In Fairness

at

Judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill

This afternoon.

A judge has concluded that the State has misinterpreted a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and in doing so has denied victims of child sexual abuse access to a redress scheme to which they are entitled.

In a decision that will be welcomed by survivors, Judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill has ruled that the State’s interpretation represents:”a fundamental unfairness to applicants” and involves “an inherent inversion of logic”, because of its insistence that survivors of sex abuse in primary schools need to prove that there was a complaint made to authorities about their abuser before their abuse took place.

….Figures revealed by RTÉ News earlier this year showed that out of 50 applicants to the scheme no applicant has been successful, and that all of the cases refused have been declined on the grounds of a failure to show evidence of a prior complaint….

Judge rules State misinterpreted ECHR abuse ruling (RTÉ)

Pic via Juris Resolutions

7 thoughts on “In Fairness

  1. Ron

    Any lawyers got an opinion on this? Are the state likely to appeal this? Can they appeal it?

    1. The Old Boy

      This is undoubtedly the correct finding. The State’s insistence on “prior complaint” was not only ludicrous and unfair but clearly legally incorrect in light of the ECHR determination. In short, it was a total try-on designed quite deliberately to torpedo legitimate claims.

      Mr Justice O’Neill made these findings having been commissioned to conduct an independent assessment of the redress scheme. This means the finding is not a court decision and Mr Justice O’Neill retired five years ago. The scheme itself operates on an ex-gratia basis, so there is nothing strictly compulsory about it. It was set up in response to an ECHR judgment in favour of Louise O’Keeffe in 2014 which established that the State has a duty to take steps to protect children from abuse under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

      In short, this decision does not bind the State strictly to change the nature of the scheme. I have asked colleagues who are closely involved and responses vary between “hope” and “expect” when asked whether the redress criteria would be revised in line with the findings.

  2. GiggidyGoo

    That phrase can be applied to many decisions this Government has taken. “an inherent inversion of logic”

  3. Truth in the News

    Yes they can appeal. no doubt using the “Inversion of Logic” argument , we need in this
    country. that where the State are held responsible for their actions, those who pursued
    they actions in our name are held liable personally and lose state indemnity and that
    goes to the top, to those who exercise political power, they can use our money to
    defend their wrongs, but we have to use. our own to vindicate our rights

  4. postmanpat

    Could he just have said ‘Illogical’? “Inversion of Logic Captain” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

  5. Paulus

    Hope John Cleese doesn’t get wind of judge’s name or we’ll never hear the end of it.

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