Law Reform Commission publishes discussion paper on implementation of international obligations

The Law Reform Commission has published a Discussion Paper on Domestic Implementation of International Obligations.

The Paper comprises the second and final element of the Commission’s research on the domestic implementation of Ireland’s international obligations. The first element of the project was the publication in 2018 of a Draft Inventory of International Agreements Entered into by the State, which lists the 1,400 international agreements that the State has either ratified or signed, organised under 30 subject headings. The Commission hopes that the Paper may be of practical use to policy makers, the Oireachtas, statutory bodies, NGOs and academics.

The Discussion Paper:

  • describes the development of Ireland’s active participation in the international law community since 1922, which has involved ratification of over 1,400 international agreements (listed in the 2018 Draft Inventory), including the leading global and regional human rights treaties and conventions as well as those concerning a wide range of other matters such as international trade, mutual assistance in criminal law enforcement, peaceful settlement of disputes, nuclear disarmament, public health, refugees, and succession law;
  • discusses the process involved in implementing international agreements, including the provisions in Article 29 of the Irish Constitution 1937 that require the approval of the Oireachtas before any international agreement becomes part of Irish law (the “dualist” approach to international law);
  • discusses examples of best practice in ratifying international agreements, including the use of policy tools, such as a “Roadmap to Ratification” and Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), which set out clear and transparent pathways towards implementing the obligations in those agreements in our national law; and
  • describes the role played by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Oireachtas, the courts, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, NGOs and international monitoring bodies, which ensure that the highest possible standards are applied in the ongoing implementation of Ireland’s international obligations.

Click here for the paper.




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