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Human Rights

There is an argument to be made that the broad statement in the blog post “Slip and Fall” acknowledging impunity for public authorities for non-feasance is wrong.

Under the European Convention on Human Rights, persons have the following rights;

Article 8: The right to respect for home (private and family life)
Article 2: the Right to life;
The First Protocol, Article 1: the right to protection of property.

Under the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003, the Courts are obliged to interpret Irish law to conform with the Convention.

In Guerra v Italy (1998) 26 EHRR 357, toxic emissions from a factory injured many nearby residents and killed some. The ECtHR found that the absence of information on the effects of living near the factory breached the Applicants’ right to respect for home under Article 8 of the Convention.

Consequently, where a failure by public authority would result in a breach of an Article of the Convention, it would be incumbent on the authority to act and the authority would be liable in those circumstances for any failure to so act.