Decision-Making, Appeals and Redress

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Laws, policies and decisions may impact the population and specific groups or individuals in different ways. Human rights law requires that all individuals have the opportunity to voice their opinions and participate meaningfully in decision-making processes.

In providing different means for participation, civil servants must ensure that all sections of the population are able to participate. Varied approaches may be necessary to capture the voices of particular groups, such as:

  • Children 
  • Individuals with disabilities 
  • Individuals with English as an additional language 
  • Roma and Travellers 
  • Other vulnerable and marginalised groups identified 


Whenever civil servants make decisions or act in a way that affect individuals’ human rights, there should also be procedures in place that enable those individuals to make complaints and challenge those decisions. 

  • A competent and impartial public authority usually a court or tribunal, should be able to review cases.

  • They must be able to examine the substance of human rights compliant and to provide appropriate relief.

  • Where they find an individual’s rights have been violated the individual is entitled to compensation and redress.

  • Legal aid should be available in all criminal cases in civil matters, an individual should not be deprived of his or her effective access to a court.

Rights Engaged 

Right to an effective remedy
  • ECHR, Art 13
  • ICCPR, Art 2(3)
  • UNCAT, Art 14
  • UNCEDAW, Art 2(c)
  • ICERD, Art 6

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Right to equality before the law
  • ECHR/HRA, Art 14
  • ICCPR, Arts 2, 3, 26
  • ICESCR, Art 2
  • ICERD    
  • UNCRPD             
  • UNCRC        

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Right to a fair trial – right to be heard
  • ECHR/HRA, Arts 6, 7
  • ICCPR, Arts 14, 15
  • UNCRC, Art 12(2)

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Right to private and family life
  • ECHR/HRA, Art 8
  • ICCPR, Art 17
  • UNCRPD, Arts 22, 23, 31
  • UNCRC, Art 16

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Right to participation
  • ICCPR, Art 25
  • ICESCR, Arts 13(1), 15(1)
  • UNCEDAW, Arts  7, 8, 13(c), 14(2)
  • ICERD, Art 5(e)(vi)
  • UNCRC, Arts 12, 31
  • UNCRPD, Arts 3(c), 4(3), 9, 29, 30