Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014


Functions of Commission

10. (1) The functions of the Commission shall be—

(a) to protect and promote human rights and equality,

(b) to encourage the development of a culture of respect for human rights, equality, and intercultural understanding in the State,

(c) to promote understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights and equality in the State,

(d) to encourage good practice in intercultural relations, to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity in the State and respect for the freedom and dignity of each person, and

(e) to work towards the elimination of human rights abuses, discrimination and prohibited conduct.

(2) The Commission shall, in furtherance of the functions referred to in subsection (1), have, in addition to the functions assigned to it by any other provision of this Act or of any other enactment, the following functions:

(a) to provide information to the public in relation to human rights and equality generally including information in respect of the enactments to which section 30 refers;

(b) to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to the protection of human rights and equality;

(c) either of its own volition or on being so requested by a Minister of the Government, to examine any legislative proposal and report its views on any implications for human rights or equality;

(d) either of its own volition or on being so requested by the Government, to make such recommendations to the Government as it deems appropriate in relation to the measures which the Commission considers should be taken to strengthen, protect and uphold human rights and equality in the State;

(e) to apply to F2[the High Court, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court] for liberty to appear before F2[the High Court, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court], as amicus curiae in proceedings before that court that involve or are concerned with the human rights or equality rights of any person and to appear as such an amicus curiae on foot of such liberty being granted (which liberty each of the said courts is hereby empowered to grant in its absolute discretion);

(f) to provide such practical assistance, including legal assistance, to persons in vindicating their rights as it sees fit in accordance with section 40;

(g) where it sees fit, to institute proceedings under section 41 or section 19 of the Act of 2003, as may be appropriate;

(h) to consult with such national, European Union or international bodies or agencies having a knowledge or expertise in the field of human rights or equality as it sees fit;

F3[(ha) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (b) or (h), to promote and monitor the implementation in the State of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities done at New York on 13 December 2006;]

(i) to be the body designated for the purposes of Directive 2014/54/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers3;

F1[(ia) to be, and to carry out the tasks of, the national rapporteur referred to in Article 19 of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 20112 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA;]

(j) to undertake, sponsor, commission or provide financial or other assistance for research and educational activities;

(k) to provide or assist in the provision of education and training on human rights and equality issues;

(l) either of its own volition or at the request of the Minister, to undertake, sponsor, commission, or provide financial or other assistance for programmes of activities and projects for the promotion of integration of migrants and other minorities, equality (including gender equality) and respect for diversity and cultural difference;

(m) to carry out equality reviews and prepare equality action plans or to invite others to do so, where appropriate, pursuant to section 32;

(n) to assist public bodies in accordance with section 42;

(o) to conduct inquiries under and in accordance with section 35;

(p) to prepare and publish, in such manner as it sees fit, reports including reports on any research undertaken, sponsored, commissioned or assisted by it under paragraph (j) or in relation to inquiries referred to in paragraph (o);

(q) to participate in the Joint Committee with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in accordance with the Multi-Party Agreement annexed to the British-Irish Agreement (within the meaning of the British-Irish Agreement Act 1999);

(r) to perform such other functions transferred to it under section 44.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of section 9(2), the Commission shall exercise its functions under this Act with a view to encouraging and supporting the development of a society in which—

(a) there is respect for, and protection of, each person’s human rights,

(b) there is respect for the dignity and worth of each person,

(c) a person’s ability to achieve his or her potential is not limited by prejudice, discrimination, neglect or prohibited conduct,

(d) each person has a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the economic, political, social or cultural life of the State, and

(e) there is mutual respect between persons, including classes of persons, based on a shared understanding of the value of diversity within society and on a shared respect for equality and human rights.

(4) The Commission shall, in the exercise of its functions under Part 3, exercise those functions in a manner which it considers to be most appropriate and proportionate in the circumstances.

(5) The Commission shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions.

(6) The Commission may perform any of its functions through or by any member of the staff of the Commission duly authorised in that behalf by the Commission.




Inserted (5.10.2020) by European Union (Prevention and Combating of Human Trafficking) (National Rapporteur) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 432 of 2020), reg. 3.


Substituted (26.04.2023) by Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022 (46/2022), s. 103(a)(i), (S.I. No. 194 of 2023).


Inserted (26.04.2023) by Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022 (46/2022), s. 103(a)(ii), (S.I. No. 194 of 2023).