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Is legal support for victims available from public agencies/bodies? Is there access for victims to assistance and justice?

Key Area:
Anti-discrimination Legislation & Implementation
Discrimination, Equality
15/02/2012 - 12:31
Short Answer

The Equality Authority, a public body, provides legal support for victims of discrimination on a strategic enforcement basis.  Victims can access information and legal support from the Equality Authority.  They can access redress mechanisms through the Equality Tribunal, a quasi-judicial public body.

Qualitative Info

About The Equality Authority (from their website -

"The Equality Authority is an independent body set up under the Employment Equality Act 1998.  It was established on 18th October 1999.  The Equality Authority replaced the Employment Equality Agency, and has a greatly expanded role and functions.  The Employment Equality Act, 1998 and the Equal Status Act, 2000 outlaw discrimination in employment, vocational training, advertising, collective agreements, the provision of goods and services and other opportunities to which the public generally have access on nine distinct grounds.


These are:

* gender;

* civil status;

* family status;

* age;

* disability;

* race;

* sexual orientation;

* religious belief; and

* membership of the Traveller Community."


Mission Statement: "The Equality Authority seeks to achieve positive change in the situation and experience of those groups and individuals experiencing inequality by stimulating and supporting a commitment to equality:


* Within the systems and practices of key organisations and institutions.

* As part of the cultural values espoused by society.

* As a dimension to individual attitudes and actions."


About The Equality Tribunal:  (from their website -

"The Equality Tribunal is the impartial forum to hear or mediate complaints of alleged discrimination under equality legislation.  It is independent and quasi-judicial and its decisions and mediated settlements are legally binding.  The equality legislation prohibits discrimination on 9 grounds - gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community. 


"Please note:  The relevant legislation is the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011, Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2011 and the Pensions Acts 1990 to 2009.


"Our Mission [is to] contribute to a fairer society through providing a fair, accessible and impartial forum to remedy unlawful discrimination."


"Our Mandate: The Employment Equality Act 1998, which established the Equality Tribunal, provides a statutory framework whereby we mediate and/or investigate claims of unlawful discrimination in accordance with the provisions of the Act.  Various legislative changes have occurred since our establishment and we now have a unique responsibility for mediating and investigating complaints of unlawful discrimination under the following legislation:


* Employment Equality Acts 1998 - 2011

* Equal Status Acts 2000 -2011

* Pensions Acts 1990-2009.


"Our jurisdiction is wide ranging and includes complaints in relation to employment, occupational benefits e.g. pensions, and equal status, i.e. access to goods and provision of services, with two exceptions:


* Claims in relation to registered clubs and licensed premises are dealt with by the District Court under the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003;


* Complainants in relation to employment discrimination on the gender ground have an option of seeking redress for unlawful discrimination from the Circuit Court.


Our core work focuses on impartial resolution of discrimination disputes on the following grounds:

·   gender

·   civil status

·   family status

·   sexual orientation

·   religion

·   age

·   disability

·   race (including colour, nationality or national or ethnic origin)

·   membership of the Traveller community


and in the following areas

·        all aspects of employment including recruitment and retirement benefits

·        access to accommodation and disposal of property

·        access to goods

·        provision of services, and certain aspects of education"

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Asylum seekers, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, Persons with disability, Africans/black people, National minorities
Type (R/D)
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Employment - labour market, Housing, Health and social protection, Education, Anti-discrimination, Anti-racism, Integration - social cohesion, Daily life, Religion
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