The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has found that the Government has persistently blurred the boundary between legal requirements and public health guidance in its response to Covid-19,in a report authored by the Covid-19 Law and Human Rights Observatory in Trinity College Dublin
‘A more deep-seated problem is the way in which the Government has provided misleading descriptions of the law and allowed or encouraged a confused blurring of law and guidance such that it is close to impossible for conscientious citizens to identify the extent of their legal obligations.’
The study has been published by the commission as part of its mandate to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to human rights and equality.
‘Ireland’s Emergency Powers During the Covid-19 Pandemic’ looks at the four statutes and more than 65 sets of regulations enacted between March and December 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report finds that shifting relationships between the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team and limited opportunities for Oireachtas oversight have made it difficult to ascertain where, if at all, human rights and equality concerns are being addressed.
Full report here