IRELAND - Abolitionist
Government: republic, parliamentary democracy
State of civil and political rights: Free
Constitution: adopted 1 July 1937 by plebiscite; effective 29 December 1937
Legal System: based on English common law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts;
Legislative System: bicameral Parliament (Oireachtas) consists of the Senate (Seanad Eireann) and the House of Representatives (Dail Eireann)
Judicial System: Supreme Court whose judges are appointed by the Head of State upon the Government's recommendation
Religion: Roman Catholic 88.4%, Church of Ireland 3%, other
International Treaties on the Death Penalty and Human Rights:
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- 1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant
- Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
- 6th Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (concerning the abolition of the death penalty)
- European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances
- Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty)
Ireland abolished the death penalty in 1990. In 2001 a national referendum approved an amendment to the constitution to prohibit capital punishment. Amendment No. 21 will prevent the government from enacting ''any law providing for the imposition of the death penalty''.
On May 3, 2002 Ireland deposited with the Council of Europe the instrument of ratification of Protocol No 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms banning the death penalty in all circumstances. The last execution in Ireland was carried out in 1954.
On December 19, 2016, Ireland once again co-sponsored and voted in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.