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The Efficacy of Public Interest Litigation in Ireland

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Chapter Summary

In Kader Asmal's case, his political activities focused on the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the protection of civil liberties in Ireland. In 1963, he founded the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (IAAM) and succeeded in raising the consciousness of the Irish people about the evils of State racism in his home country. In June 1976, Kader, together with Mary Robinson and others, established the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) to campaign for the protection of human rights in Ireland. This chapter evaluates the efficacy of litigation strategy in Ireland based on the experience of two groups, children and Travellers, a distinct community in Irish society that suffers from poverty and discrimination. This experience highlights the need to be cautious about the use of this strategy and to ensure that it is complemented by political action to influence the inevitable political response to any favourable judicial decision.

Keywords: Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (IAAM); Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL); Kader Asmal; litigation strategy; Mary Robinson; State racism



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