Document Type

Report

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Social topics, Law, Penelogy

Publication Details

Prison Law and Prisoner Rights Assignment 2015, DIT, School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences.

Abstract

Nowadays it is very hard to find the relevant balance between decisions of the Irish Courts and European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), regarding the rights of individual prisoners and the proper functioning of the prison system. On one side, the main function of the courts is resolution dispute, apply the relative law and most importantly: protecting the law and human rights. On the other hand, court decisions have to be based on the relevant prison and justice systems that applies to each particular country.

It is worth taking into consideration that decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights do not have the power to repeal the Supreme Court decisions. This has a significant impact as it shows that the European Court of Human Rights is not the court of appeal of unfavourable decisions made by national courts. ECtHR does not analyse or interpret the national law, but controls and monitors the commitments undertaken by European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)[1].

This essay makes an attempt to critically discuss whether the Irish courts and the European Court of Human Rights have achieved the correct balance between protections of the rights of individual prisoners and the correct functioning of the prison system. In the first section the author presents and analyses the workings of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in the protection of the rights of individual prisoners. This section also provides general information about the ECtHR and analyses the law based on the European Convention on Human Rights. The author illustrates the “key” case law regarding protection of the prisoner’s rights.

In section two the author presents and analyses how the workings of the jurisdiction of the Irish courts in the protection of the rights of individual prisoners. This section provides general information about the Irish court in the context of prison law. It interprets the decisions made by the Irish courts, regarding the prisoner rights.

The functioning of the Irish prison system is the third section of this essay. In this section the definition of the Irish prison system and modern Irish criminal justice system is defined in order to understand the creation of the current legal framework. The author analyses the Irish Prison legal system and other pieces of legislation, which help to functioning prison system.

The last section is an interpretation and conclusion of the above findings. At this stage, the author attempts to answer the question: Has the Irish courts and the European Court of Human Rights achieved the correct balance between protection of the rights of prisoners and pragmatic concerns regarding the proper functioning of the prison system?

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