Lawless v Ireland (No 3): ECHR 1 Jul 1961

The Irish Government derogated from article 5 in July 1957 in order to permit detention without charge or trial and the applicant was detained between July and December 1957. He could have obtained his release by undertaking to observe the law and refrain from activities contrary to the Offences against the State (Amendment) Act 1940, but instead challenged the lawfulness of the Irish derogation. He admitted membership of the IRA, a terrorist group which had been declared by statute to be an unlawful organisation.
Held: His application failed. It was for the Court to determine whether the conditions laid down in article 15 for the exercise of the exceptional right of derogation had been made out. The words ‘for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority’ qualify both limbs of art. 5(1)(c), and it was not be possible to justify the detention under the exceptions in paras (b) or (c). Persons detained must be brought before the Court in all cases to which Art 5(1)(c) refers. The Court was been acutely conscious of the difficulties faced by States in protecting their populations from terrorist violence, which constitutes, in itself, a grave threat to human rights.

R Cassin P
332/57, (1979) 1 EHRR 15, [1961] 1 EHRR 15, [1961] ECHR 2
Worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 5(1)(c)
Human Rights
See AlsoLawless v Ireland (No 1) ECHR 14-Nov-1960
ECHR Judgment (Preliminary objections) Preliminary objection rejected (incompatibility); Questions of procedure rejected. . .
See AlsoLawless v Ireland (No 1) ECHR 7-Apr-1961
‘The Court,
Having regard to the conclusions presented by the Delegates of the European Commission of Human Rights at the hearing on 7th April 1961;
Taking note of the fact that the Agent of the Irish Government does not intend to submit . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Prisons

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.511026

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