A new guide on implementing a human rights-based approach to Garda Reform has been published.
It comes after serious concerns of the force's handling of a housing protest on North Frederick Street on Tuesday night were raised.
The Irish Council of Civil Liberties (ICCL) report finds that taking human rights seriously at all levels of Irish policing will have profound benefits for Gardaí and for the communities they serve.
Sinead Nolan from the ICCL is calling for a report from the Gardaí on the incident on Tuesday.
"Our experience has been that that kind of thing doesn't happen because the human rights are not taken into account at every stage with the Gardaí as they are at the moment," said Ms Nolan.
Commenting on the ICCL report, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said that any ideas on how Gardaí can strengthen its delivery of a human rights-based policing and security service are welcome.
He said that An Garda Síochána has taken and is currently undertaking measures to ensure it provides such a service including:
- All Garda members and staff are in the process of being trained in the Code of Ethics. Over 10,000 personnel have been trained to date. All new Garda recruits also have to sign the Code of Ethics before they become members of An Garda Síochána.
- A high level group chaired by Deputy Commissioner, Policing & Security, is examining how to ensure human rights is a central focus of policing.
- Work initially commissioned by SHRAC has been underway over recent years to develop a Human Rights Framework document. This Framework will support the embedding of a human rights-based approach in the development of policy, training and operations.
- Human rights is a key plank of the training provided to Garda students and Garda probationers. Human rights training is also provided as part of many courses delivered to Garda members and Garda staff.
- An Garda Síochána’s public order incident command policy is available on Garda.ie. It was developed based on best international practice including input from police services in Canada, UK, and Northern Ireland. That policy specifically states that "any action taken must comply with the fundamental principles of legality, necessity (absolute necessity in terms of lethal force), proportionality and accountability and is applied in a non-discriminatory manner in accordance with the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)".
"Respecting and protecting the human rights of all individuals we interact with is one of the three key policing principles that guide how we deliver our service to the public," said Deputy Commissioner Twomey.