Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Conor O'Mahony and Ursula Kilkelly
Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
O’Keeffe v Ireland and the duty of the state to identify and prevent child abuse
Optional Fields
Child protection; Ireland; sexual abuse; Article 3 ECHR; Article 13 ECHR; positive obligations
In 1973, Louise O’Keeffe was, along with many other children at her school, repeatedly sexually abused by her school principal. While her abuser’s culpability was clear, the culpability of the Irish State for creating the conditions in which sexual abuse of children could take place unchecked became the subject of a protracted legal battle that culminated in the ruling of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in O’Keeffe v Ireland in January 2014. This article examines the background to this litigation and explores in detail the reasoning given by the Court for finding that Ireland had failed in its obligation to implement effective child protection measures in primary schools, as well as its obligation to provide an effective remedy to Louise O’Keeffe. The implications of the ruling for child protection across Council of Europe member states are also considered.
Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK
Grant Details