New report calls for end to garda powers brought in for pandemic

New report calls for end to garda powers brought in for pandemic

Liam Herrick of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

A REPORT being published today is calling for an end to the garda special powers brought in during the pandemic.

In a report on the impact of the pandemic on human rights, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties is also calling for a review of the emergency legislation enacted to deal with the pandemic, as well as a “sunset clause” for the legislation.

The report says: “Emergency legislation was rushed through the Dáil in March 2020 and again in October 2020. 

"Fifteen months into the crisis, there is no longer any excuse for railroading draconian legislation without democratic oversight. The legislation must be reviewed, and it must have a final sunset clause.”

The report describes mandatory hotel quarantine as a form of detention, adding: “Human rights standards for detention must apply.

“If the current system is not amended so that basic standards such as inspections, review and appeals processes apply, it must end.”

The Covid tracker App is also looked at in the report, with a call for it to be discontinued if its efficacy cannot be proven.

Cork man Liam Herrick is the executive director of the council.

He said: “ICCL looks forward to a time when society can come back together in full enjoyment of our human rights. The pandemic has shown how, when some are at risk, we are all at risk.

“We’ve seen how interconnected we are and how reliant we are on each other for our health and wellbeing. Yet during the pandemic, existing inequalities were exacerbated.

“ICCL echoes the global call for Governments to ‘build back better’, to address structural inequalities and solve entrenched societal problems.

“As we restore the rights and freedoms restricted during the pandemic, we must restore them on an equal basis for everyone.”

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