Today we made a submission to the Workplace Relations Commission, in response to their consultation on Remote Hearings and Written Submissions: Dealing with Adjudication Complaints During the Period of Covid19-related Restrictions.Our submission highlights the potential effects the proposed written procedure and virtual hearings will have on vulnerable groups and makes the following recommendations:1. No party should be required to participate in a written procedure without consent.2. Disputes under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 are not suitable for disposal by way of written procedure.3.
Community Law & Mediation, alongside other independent law centres including Mercy Law Resource Centre, the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Ballymun Community Law Centre and the Irish Refugee Council have made a submission to the Legal Services Regulatory Authority in relation to regulations on the advertising of legal services.
Community Law & Mediation has seen a strong demand for free legal advice and representation in relation to employment equality issues, including direct and indirect gender discrimination, in recent years. Our submission to the Citizens' Assembly on Gender Equality makes recommendations in relation to the following issues which impact on gender equality:
The proposals contained in the Housing and Planning and Development Bill will, if enacted, pose a serious threat to environmental democracy and citizens’ access to justice rights; and significantly restrict Irish environmental NGOs and lay litigants from challenging planning decisions in the courts.
Speaking before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality’s inquiry into Access to Justice, the CEO of Community Law & Mediation (CLM), Rose Wall, highlighted the importance of community law centres in providing access to justice for people living in disadvantaged communities. She recommended the following:
CLM's recent submission to the Department of Justice and Equality on the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (mid-term review) highlighted the fact that despite ratification of the UNCRPD, the law remains a remote and inaccessible concept for many, particularly those with intellectual disabilities. We recommended the following:
In our recent submission to the DEASP consultation on the Pathways to Work Strategy, we highlighted some of the barriers to entering the workforce that are experienced by our clients, who include older jobseekers, women, lone parents, people with disabilities, and other groups. We also provided recommendations as to how these might be addressed, including:
CLM made a submission to the Joint Oireachtas on Education and Skills in relation to the use of reduced timetables in schools, and were delighted to be invited to speak at the Committee meeting held on the 4th of July. We highlighted the damage reduced timetables cause as an informal method of school exclusion, a practice which operates outside of the formal school suspension system and the safeguards (such as the right to appeal) contained within that system. We also highlighted how the practice disproportionately affects vulnerable groups such as children with disabilities and members of the Travelling community, and how it contributes to the high rates of non-school completion among groups at a socio-economic disadvantage.
CLM welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the Seanad Public Consultation Committee on Travellers, post ethnic recognition in Ireland on ‘Travellers Towards a more equitable Ireland post recognition.’ This submission relates to the theme of ‘Dialogue and Traveller Social Inclusion’ with a particular focus on Traveller accommodation, as our engagement with communities through our outreach clinics has highlighted to us the issues that Travellers experience in the area of accommodation and in particular, issues related to the Caravan Loan Scheme.
CLM welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the Courts Service in relation to the consultation process on its Digitally-Enabled Long-Term Strategy. CLM took the opportunity to recommend that the Service is fully accessible to persons with intellectual disabilities in vindication of their rights, particularly in view of the increased obligations introduced by the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which comes into force on 19th April 2019.
CLM asks the Government how it intends to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
CLM publishes its written Submission to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Make Work Pay for People with Disabilities Report 2017
The Law Reform Commission (LRC) is currently preparing its Fifth Programme for Law Reform and as part of that work, has invited submissions on possible projects in areas of law that may be in need of reform and modernisation. In September 2017, Community Law & Mediation made a submission to that process.
In September 2016, Equality Rights Alliance (ERA), in conjunction with SIPTU, the Independent Law Centres Network and the Employment Law Association of Ireland, hosted a roundtable discussion in Liberty Hall, Dublin called Building an Agenda for Change in the WRC. The aim of the roundtable was to discuss the operation of the WRC from an equality perspective and to generate a shared vision for the direction participants would like the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to take in enforcing employment equality and equal status legislation. The roundtable focused on the visibility of equality in the work of the WRC, how accessible the WRC is to people taking equality cases and how cases are processed under the WRC. Jane O’Sullivan, solicitor and policy officer with Community Law & Mediation, addressed the roundtable on the accessibility of the WRC to people facing discrimination. As a representative of the Independent Law Centres Network, she explored access to justice issues in taking equality cases.
The Social Welfare Bill 2016, published on the 4th of November 2016, gives legislative effect to the social welfare measures announced in Budget 2017. It also deals with a number of other unrelated matters. FLAC and CLM’s joint submission addresses a number of relevant issues including the general manner in which social welfare bills are presented in the Houses of the Oireachtas as well as specific parts of the Bill itself.