Irish anti-terror laws may be a breach of human rights

Ireland’s new anti-terror laws, signed into law last week, carry a “significant risk” of breaching individual human rights, according to the Human Rights Commission, which also says the Terrorist Offences Act may be contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights.

Under the law, terrorist activity is defined as:
Seriously intimidating a population,
Unduly compelling a government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing an act.
Seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a state or an international organisation.

The HRC believes the definition adopted is impermissibly wide and runs the risk of categorising groups opposing dictatorial or oppressive regimes, anti-globalisation, anti-war or environmental protestors, or even militant trade unionists, as terrorists.

Maybe this is the objective.

  • barney

    Don’t be surprised if Michel McDuce uses the new law to make Ireland’s trains run on time.

  • Peter Nolan

    With the CAB’s new initiatives and a new racketeering law, things seem to be moving in the right direction so that the largest terrorist groups can be dealt with.

  • Peter Nolan

    Come to think of it, putting a few dozen people in Gitmo would solve Ireland’s terrorist problem pretty quickly, regardless of what the Brussels judges say.

  • aquifer

    “Seriously intimidating a population” seems a bit wide without specifying what is being threatened in fact or by implication. If the IRA or LVF threaten, historically we might expect to be shot if we do not comply with their demands, whereas people may feel intimidated by large demonstrations where the intimidation is not the intention. Do the prohibited acts include all the logistical, financial, and propaganda support for small numbers of active terrorists? Do small scale but co-ordinated acts of intimidation fall through the net because too few people are affected?

    Is the state soft on conspiracies, vainly imagining that it has no effective competitors in the enclaves?

    Who guarantees basic rights in there? Not the HRC.