Lawless v Ireland (1957–1961): The First Case Before the European Court of Human Rights: An International Miscarriage of Justice?, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Lawless v Ireland (1957–1961): The First Case Before the European Court of Human Rights

An International Miscarriage of Justice?, 1st Edition

By Brian Doolan


270 pages

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pub: 2019-05-21
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This title was first published in 2001. The case of Lawless v Ireland is a landmark in the development of human rights jurisprudence. Stemming from the introduction of detention without trial by the Irish government in response to the resurgence of political violence, much of the material relevant to the case brought before the European Court of Human Rights, has remained closed to public scrutiny. This book is the first to provide a detailed documentary of the case, assessing the adequacy of the investigatory processes provided under the European Convention and questioning whether the factual conclusions reached by the European Commission on Human Rights were correct. In what will be an essential reference for academics and students of human rights, the book raises doubts as to whether the Strasbourg institutions, established to rectify national breaches of human rights, might in fact have perpetrated an international miscarriage of justice.


’…a brilliant and exhaustive account of this pivotal decision. The book makes compelling reading for European and Irish human rights lawyers and for political scientists and others interested in the way law interacts with politics.’ Professor Conor Gearty, King’s College, University of London, UK ’Brian Doolan’s book is an exhaustive journey through the whole process undergone in the case…a fascinating and unusual read.’ Mountbatten Journal of Legal Studies

Table of Contents

European convention of Human Rights and Ireland; Ireland’s constitutional and legal framework; Governmental responses to resurgence of political violence in Ireland; Lawless’s detention and his pursuit of domestic remedies and release; European Commission of Human Rights admits the lawless application; European sub-commission of Human Rights investigates the application; European Commission of Human Rights reports no breach of convention; Lawless case referred to the European Court of Human Rights: preliminary procedural objections; Status of lawless before the European Court of Human Rights; Judgement of the European Court of Human rights on the merits; Postscript; Lawless case in retrospect.

About the Author

Dr Brian Doolan is a barrister and was senior lecturer in Legal Studies in the Business Faculty at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General