Law Reform Commission Publishes Draft Subject-Based Inventory of International Agreements Entered into by the State

By bmeskell, Wednesday, 18th July 2018 | 0 comments
Filed under: 2018.




Law Reform Commission publishes subject-based Inventory of International Agreements entered into by the State

  • Inventory contains 1,400 entries, organised under 38 subject headings
  • It is based on Irish Treaty Series of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • The 1,400 international agreements are linked to associated Irish legislation

The Law Reform Commission is today publishing a draft Inventory of International Agreements entered into by the State. This draft Inventory forms part of the Commission’s project in its Fourth Programme of Law Reform concerning the domestic implementation of international obligations. For ease of reference, the draft inventory is being made available in both EXCEL and PDF formats (the pdf version also includes an introduction and overview).

The Inventory will be formally launched at the Commission’s offices at 4pm. Mr James Kingston, Legal Adviser in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will speak at the launch of the Inventory.

Inventory primarily derived from Irish Treaty Series (ITS)

The Commission’s Draft Inventory contains 1,400 entries, and the vast majority of these have been derived from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Irish Treaty Series (ITS), which has compiled the most extensive record of Ireland’s treaty obligations to date. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has recorded Ireland’s international treaty obligations in the ITS, which details international agreements which have entered into force with respect to Ireland from 1930 onwards. The ITS includes a digital full-text record of all post-1998 treaties and a selection of pre-1998 treaties online.

Inventory includes signed and ratified international agreements

The Commission’s Inventory includes international which the State has signed as well as those it has ratified. It therefore includes agreements which it would not be appropriate to include in the ITS. The Commission has included these agreements in order to provide the public, the business community as well as various professionals (legal practitioners, policy-makers from central and local government, non-governmental organisations, and judges) with information that may assist them to ascertain not only the international agreements in force to which Ireland is a party (the contents of the ITS) but also instruments that may at some point become binding if and when they are ratified. While these additional instruments in the Commission’s Inventory may not become binding for some time (or at all), their inclusion is intended to provide signposts for the future.

Inventory organised under 38 subject headings, linked to Irish legislation

The Commission has also organised the 1,400 entries in the Inventory under 38 subject-based headings. This is intended to be helpful in terms of the accessibility of the entries, in particular for those who may seek information on particular subject areas, such as Environment, Family Law or Taxation. This mirrors the Commission’s existing approach to making domestic legislation more accessible by presenting it in subject-matter form, through the publication of the Classified List of In-Force Legislation, which groups Irish domestic legislation under 36 subject headings. In keeping with that approach to accessibility, the Commission’s Inventory has attempted where possible to link each entry with corresponding domestic measures in Acts, as the case may be, statutory Regulations.

The Commission’s Inventory is a working draft and it is being published on the Commission’s website as a basis for public discussion and will be updated and supplemented where necessary.  All interested parties are invited to submit feedback on this inventory by contacting the Commission at the dedicated email address created for this purpose i.e.

Speaking in advance of the launch this afternoon, Law Reform Commissioner Professor Donncha O’Connell said:

“The Commission is delighted to be publishing this draft Inventory of Ireland’s international obigations today, and we very much welcome the ongoing support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in this major Commission project. The fact that the Inventory includes 1,400 international agreements covering 38 subject headings underlines the signficant impact that international law has on our own law. These areas including Agriculture, Education, the Environment, Human Rights, International Trade, Refugee Law and Social Security Law.”

James Kingston, Legal Adviser at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said:

The Department welcomes the Law Reform Commission’s work on the draft Inventory of International Agreements. The information on the treaties which Ireland has become signatory and party to complements the work of the Department, which publicises information on the international agreements which Ireland has ratified and acceded to, including through publishing the Irish Treaty Series on the Department’s website.”

For further information / interview with Commissioner Donncha O’Connell or other Commission spokesperson contact the Commission at T: 01-6377600

Background Notes for Editors

The Law Reform Commission is an independent statutory body whose main role is to keep the law under review and to make proposals for reform. To date, the Commission has published over 200 documents (Consultation Papers, Issues Papers and Reports) containing reform proposals. The majority of these proposals have influenced the drafting and content of reforming legislation. The Draft Inventory will be available on the Commission’s website,, from the morning of Wednesday 18th July. The other component of this project will involve the publication of a Discussion Paper that examines the methodology and models used in the implementation of the State’s international obligations, as well as Ireland’s implementation practices, including a number of illustrative case studies. The Discussion Paper will differ from many other Commission publications, in that it will be descriptive and will not contain recommendations for reform.