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FLAC Seminar Series in Association with Trinity College Law School.

Status Check: 20 Years of the Equal Status Acts.

Online Seminars from 1pm - 2pm weekly throughout June, commencing Tuesday 1 June 2021.

About this event:

As the Equal Status Acts enter their third decade in effect in Ireland, FLAC is delighted to invite you to an online Seminar Series, in which academics, practitioners, policy-makers and activists will reflect on the experience, impact and limitations of this legislation to date, and explore its future role in Ireland’s equality framework.

The Equal Status Acts prohibit discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the provision of goods, services, education and accommodation. They cover the nine grounds of gender, marital status, family status, age disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, and membership of the Traveller community. The enactment of this legislation represented the fulfilment of a commitment contained in the Good Friday Agreement and placed Ireland at the forefront of Europe in terms of anti-discrimination legislation.

However, in recent years, the number of complaints made under the Equal Status Acts has begun to decline. Questions continue to be raised about the legislation’s compatibility with Ireland’s obligations under international and regional human rights instruments. The dedicated equality bodies which were in place when the legislation was introduced, the Equality Tribunal and the Equality Authority, have been subsumed into the Workplace Relations Commission and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission respectively. At the same time, we have seen the introduction of a dedicated Public Sector Human Rights and Equality Duty.

The recent commitments by Government - to examine the introduction of a “disadvantaged socio-economic status” ground and to review Ireland’s equality legislation generally - afford another opportunity for Ireland to act as European leaders in promoting equality and combatting discrimination.

The seminar series will examine these issues and seek to contribute to the debate about the future of Ireland’s equality law.

Tuesday 1 June 2021 - Examining the Effectiveness of the Equal Status Acts.

  • Chair: David Fennelly (TCD and Law Library)
  • Prof. Judy Walsh (UCD)
  • Sinéad Lucey (FLAC Managing Solicitor)

Tuesday 8 June 2021 - Socio-Economic Status and Equality Law.

  • Paul McKeon (IHREC and activist)
  • Tamás Kádár (Equinet)
  • Siobhán Phelan SC (Law Library)

16 June 2021 - Ireland’s Evolving Equality Architecture.

  • Sinéad Gibney (Chief Commissioner, IHREC)
  • Niall Crowley (former CEO of the Equality Authority)
  • Eilis Barry (FLAC Chief Executive)

22 June 2021 - The Future of Equality Law.

  • Prof. Sandra Fredman (Oxford)
  • Prof Mark Bell (TCD)
  • Closing Address: Roderic O’Gorman TD, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
Event Registration