Ireland and the Council of Europe

The respect and promotion of human rights continues to be a cornerstone of Irish foreign policy. Ireland actively works to uphold Council of Europe values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

The European Convention on Human Rights is central to the work of the Council of Europe and is a mainstay of human rights protection in Europe. As a founding state, Ireland was amongst the first signatories to the Convention, all of whom are bound to protect specified rights and freedoms.

The European Court of Human Rights hears applications from both individuals and Member States on alleged breaches of the Convention. It is of particular importance to Ireland, given the vital role it plays in safeguarding fundamental rights. Ireland has also strongly supported efforts in recent years to reform and improve the working methods of the Court.

Ireland is State Party to more than 100 other Council of Europe conventions and protocols, and is a member of 10 non-Treaty based special projects established by the Council, including the European Commission for the Promotion of Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”). Ireland also participates in and is subject to the significant monitoring mechanisms of the Council including:

  • The Convention on Anti-Human Trafficking (GRETA);
  • The Framework Convention on National Minorities;
  • The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO);
  • The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT);
  • The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI);
  • The European Social Charter;
  • Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO).