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A collection of provocative writings on contemporary issues and controversies, by Irish women writers, thinkers and activists including: Eavan Boland, Clodagh Corcoran, Carol Coulter, Gretchen Fitzgerald, Maureen Gaffney, Trudy Hayes, Edna Longley, Gerardine Meaney, Ruth Riddick, Helena Sheehan, Ethna Viney, and Margaret Ward. This is a collection of the best of the LIP pamphlet series published during the past ten years.
Farmers in Ireland have been protesting again recently about low farm incomes and calling for further state support. Yet farmers already receive large sums in EU and Irish state transfers to support their incomes, amounting to IR 32.4 billion per year. This amount now exceeds the value of farm income, raising the question of where this support has gone, and why are farmers complaining again? "Farm Incomes--Myths and Realities" examines current trends in farm incomes policy and shows the value of these transfers to Irish farmers and the Irish economy. It then analyzes the distribution of these payments among the farming population, and the relative importance of support to different types and sizes of farms. The book also compares total farm household incomes (including off-farm income) with the total incomes of non-farm households and examines the impact of social welfare transfers and income taxation on this comparison. It also highlights the extent and sources of rural poverty and deprivation. Finally, it recommends alternative mechanisms to provide a safety net for farm incomes within the context of ongoing changes in the EU's agricultural policy.
Public and political interest in issues of crime and punishment in Ireland has grown substantially in recent years. However, the debate tends to be poorly informed and rarely rises above the level of hollow rhetoric. This is an area where important decisions are made in a vacuum. Rhetoric and reaction, rather than reason and principle, are the primary forces shaping criminal justice policy.Over the past five years the official crime rate has declined sharply. This has been offered as support for the politics of zero tolerance. However there is a range of alternative explanations which are rarely discussed but equally plausible. The reduction in recorded crime has been accompanied by a major redirection of criminal justice policy." The War on Crime" explores why a punitive political consensus has emerged at a time when, according to the Garda statistics, society has become much safer. The book provides a radical critique of criminal statistics, locates Irish crime patterns in a European context and suggests a new framework for analyzing trends in crime and its management.
Children are a voiceless minority with few political or legal rights. They are usually regarded as appendages of their parents. They exert no influence on any of the powerful groups and institutions which inform and underpin social and economic change. The whole concept of the rights of children is a new one. But what do we mean by children's rights? The essential thrust of a children's rights perspective is to establish a benchmark below which law and policy-makers cannot go. Empowering children as fully autonomous individuals with legal rights, the author argues, will enhance democratic society as a whole."The Politics of Children's Rights" outlines how children's rights are identified by the Constitution and in Irish law, and what bearing international conventions have on domestic law in this area. It identifies areas which remain to be addressed, suggesting legislative and constitutional changes to ensure the full vindication of children's rights.
The traditional Hippocratic Oath sworn by generations of doctors requires the physician to "prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone." The patient's views as to what constituted her "good" did not have to be canvassed. Like many hitherto unexamined aspects of Irish society, the relationship between doctor and patient has been re-evaluated in recent years. In theory, at least, we now live in a society where the patient, and not the doctor, knows best, where an individual's consent is a fundamental prerequisite for any medical procedure. Yet, in spite of the importance afforded to consent by legal, ethical, and medical commentators, the reality is that genuine and informed consent to medical procedures is often absent. Many patients, either by choice or because they have no alternative, still leave the responsibility for health-care decisions in the hands of physicians.This book looks at the requirement for consent to medical procedures. It considers how this requirement has assumed the important position it now holds and examines the way in which the requirement is given legal force. It asks why Ireland's health-care system operates in a way that fails to deliver genuine and informed consent and why the legal system fails to make it do so. The book also questions whether the focus on consent creates an unnecessary distance in the relationship between physician and patient. It argues that a revision of existing legal frameworks is important in order to protect patients' rights and suggests a solution. However, it also argues that the law is a limited tool which can never fully take account of the complexities of thedoctor-patient relationship, and that a more effective means of ensuring greater patient participation in health-care decision-making is needed.
An investigation of the experiences of families of Irish political prisoners in British and Northern Irish jails.
The huge expansion of the number of prison places, the recent decision to appoint a Prisons Authority, the constantly expanding number of prisoners with all the attendant costs, have taken place without serious consideration of the broader issues. Does prison work? What is the international experience? Is the vast amount of money well spent? This book examines the history of prison policy in Ireland, examining in particular the gap bewteen officially stated policy and the actual situation. As well as describing in detail how the Irish prison system works, it compares the Irish model of the use of prison with the international experience. It also looks at possible alternatives to present policy.
Irish political life has experienced great turmoil in recent years because of the scale and intricacy of political corruption being uncovered by parliamentary and quasi-judicial inquiries. There is genuine popular amazement and growing cynicism towards the seemingly never-ending wave of scandal and attendant tribunals. To understand political corruption in Ireland, this pamphlet examines the concept within a political-science analytical framework that allows both historical and international comparison. The book challenges the current explanations of political corruption, particularly those that stress a turning away from a political "golden age" in the 1960s"Understanding Political Corruption in Irish Politics" chronicles political scandals in the 1990s, looks at their causes and explains their consequences. It also suggests reform strategies that will reduce the incentives drawing politicians towards corruption and increase the likelihood and expense of being detected.
"Family Law in Practice: A Study of Cases in the Circuit Court" is the first book to examine the workings of the Irish family law in the Circuit Court. Prior to 2005 due to the in camera rule, reporting on and access to family law courts was prohibited. The Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 and the attendant Regulations came into operation in 2005 and allowed access to family law courts for named categories of people, including bona fide researchers. "Family Law in Practice: A Study of Cases in the Circuit Court" is based both on attendance at court proceedings and empirical data from court files. The family law system is subjected to both statistical and legal analysis, within the context of international and Irish literature on the theory and practice of family law, while stressing the need for basic primary research in an Irish context. "Family Law in Practice: A Study of Cases in the Circuit Court" outlines trends relating to the likelihood of settlement, the issues most likely to be contentious and the outcomes in both settled and contested cases. Common assumptions about the family law system in the context of the facts are questioned and found to be sometimes misplaced. The identification of flaws in the family law system is highlighted as are recommendations for the future.
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