LEGAL MOVE ON THE ROUTE TO THE COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
In late May I received the IHRC's (Irish Human Rights
Commission) written decision on granting me legal
assistance with my case. It refused and stated that
"the Commission is unable to assist you further." To
quote the relevant paragraphs in its refusal letter of
27 May 2004, signed by Gerry Finn, Assistant
"You asked the Commission to review the decision of
the Casework Committee not to grant you assistance
pursuant to section 10 of the Act [Human Rights
Commission Act, 2000]
. . .
The Review Committee affirmed the decision of the
Casework Committee not to grant you assistance
pursuant to section 10 of the Act on the basis that
you failed to demonstrate either:
1. that pertinent new information has come to light
which you could not reasonably have been expected to
provide prior to the Casework Committee's decision or
2. evidence of bias on the part of the Casework
3. a clearly identifiable mistake of fact or law on
the part of the Casework Committee."
That's it in all its terseness; no further
explanations. And item 3 especially is open to
The next step in ensuring I exhaust all domestic
remedies before heading for Strasbourg (Court of Human
Rights) appears to be a judicial review of the IHRC's
basis for its refusal. And so I've finished penning
the letter below to Irish Legal Aid for the necessary
help. I've now added in [ ] to this letter below
information for retrieving online the full text of
some of the documents I submitted to IHRC plus other
related information you have archived online.
Somehow, I'm managing to keep my EHS misdiagnosis show
on the road! Best, Imelda, Cork.
Mr. Gerry Enright, Solicitor
LEGAL AID BOARD
Quay Street, Caherciveen
July 6, 2004
Dear Mr. Enright,
A legal clerk (Tess) at the Cork Legal Aid Board
office -has advised me to write directly to you for
specific information I need regards legal aid for
judicial reviews in the Republic of Ireland. In late
1999 (copy enclosed) I was refused Legal Aid on
appeal. I did not seek a judicial review of the
negative decision because I was unaware that this
possibility might exist, at that time.
The information I now seek is as follows:
1. If a negative decision to grant Legal Aid
is upheld on appeal can the failed applicant request a
judicial review of the negative decision?
2. If a judicial review of a failed Legal Aid request
is allowed, when was it introduced?
3. If a judicial review of a failed Legal Aid request
was allowed prior to January 1, 2000, what number of
failed applicants availed of it up to that date?
4. If a judicial review of a failed Legal Aid request
is allowed, can the failed applicant apply for legal
Aid for the judicial review?
5. If a judicial review of a failed Legal Aid request
is allowed, what is the time limit for applying for
The online announcement (see end-note) that Michael
McKevitt's (RIRA) defence team applied recently in N.
Ireland for a judicial review of his failed Legal Aid
request points up that such a judicial review is
applicable in that jurisdiction. Please let me know if
this process is allowed in the Republic.
I have further queries to which I would like you to
respond. These concern applying for Legal Aid for a
Judicial Review of a negative decision from the IHRC
(Irish Human Rights Commission). The IHRC negative
decision on my application was upheld recently on
appeal. I now wish to seek a Judicial Review of the
IHRC's refusal to help me. The case I submitted to it
for its support is the same as the one I had already
unsuccessfully petitioned Legal Aid to support. I am
enclosing copies of its--IHRC--refusal. I wish to
challenge items 1 and 3 of the reasons it gives for
its refusal to help me. Not having the private
financial means to pay for a Judicial Review, I will
have to petition Legal Aid. My queries on this matter
6. How long on average is it now taking between
submissions for Legal Aid and final decisions?
7. How should a Legal Aid petitioner proceed when the
time frame for activating a Judicial Review is far
shorter (within c. 3-6 months of negative decision, I
have read) than that applying to decisions on Legal
Perhaps I should explain that I do intent bringing my
case to the Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, if/when
I have exhausted all domestic remedies for seeking
justice here. While being misdiagnosed as psychotic
is just about the worst medical misadventure that
could happen to anyone as one is stigmatised for life,
the very nature of the misdiagnosis makes it nigh to
impossible up to the present for the victim to seek
legal redress. As I was medically decreed to be a
person of unsound mind/psychotic/mentally ill when I
claimed I was suffering bio-effects from
electromagnetic radiation, irrespective of the fact
that standard medical procedures for arriving at a
diagnosis of mental illness were not complied with in
my case, I could not get the essential legal help I
needed to bring my case for this specific type of
medical negligence through the legal system. Isn't it
now high time to legally challenge this absurd,
permanently demeaning, and socio-economically damaging
situation for an Irish citizen who has been
incorrectly diagnosed as psychotic? What could be
more absurd than being in a situation where due to the
nature of my grievance (being pronounced a person of
unsound mind/psychotic) I cannot get the legal help
essential for correcting it in court! Am I really
expected to live out the remainder of my life with
this horrifically demeaning identification when I have
substantial evidence to show that standard procedures
for arriving at this diagnosis were discarded in my
case plus that electrosensitivity--which is what I
presented with in the first place and still have-- has
continued to gain more and more recognition, in
Ireland and internationally, as a distinct
environmental illness/allergy? And most essentially,
one of the world's leading authorities on diagnosing
and treating electrosensitivity--Dr. Jean Monro,
Breakspear Hospital, U.K.-- has diagnosed me as
having this condition. Enclosed is a copy of her
medical evaluation of me.
I presented The Irish Human Rights Commission with
strong evidence in support of my plea to it for legal
help and its refusal indicates it has no compassion
for the absurdity and pain of my situation.
Des Hogan, Senior Caseworker, IHRC, in his letter to
me of 21 May, 2003, requested the following
information: "whether there have been any statements
or papers issued by the World Health Organisation or
any Health Authority in another jurisdiction
recognising the condition of "Electrical Sensitivity",
or any court decisions in other jurisdictions dealing
with the condition (for example, you mention a recent
court decision in Spain). If so, I would be most
obliged if you could forward copies of the relevant
papers and/or decisions to the Commission."
I presented him with generous evidence of ES/EHS
recognition in various health authorities, etc.
overseas but my evidence was ignored in IHRC's
refusal and it just said that EHS wasn't recognised
nationally or internationally. Also, I included the
email statement I received from a Swedish authority
stating ES is officially recognised in Sweden and the
IHRC ignored this too.
The spirit of the IHRC in rejecting my application for
legal assistance was at variance with that
demonstrated for instance in the ECHR 2002 judgment in
Goodwin v. United Kingdom. The ECHR while
establishing its views on this case looked at evolving
trends internationally in the treatment and
recognition of transexuality and the diversity of
legal treatment of post-operative transsexuals.
Unlike the ECHR, the IHRC just ignored the evidence of
varied treatment and recognition of electrosensitivity
internationally that I presented to it.
Also, in the same way that the non-legal recognition
of gender re-assignment caused transsexuals
incalculable pain and suffering because of this denial
of their condition, so also ES/EHS people are forced
to endure pain and suffering due to non-recognition
and misdiagnoses of their condition. Another
similarity is obvious here between the fate of
transsexuals and electrosensitives: transsexuality
(as was homosexuality) was until quite recently
considered a mental illness!
As I have indicated above, I will now be seeking a
judicial review of the IHRC's negative decision and I
wish to apply for Legal Aid for this judicial review.
I am enclosing background information on my case plus
some outlines of data I submitted to IHRC and copies
of their letters of refusal. I have of course
numerous files of documents appertaining to my case
which I can present to you on request.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Imelda O'Connor, Ph.D.
IHRC--Caseworkers: Des Hogan and Gerry
NIHRC--Caseworker: Angela Stevens
Klaus Rudolf of Star.Mail@t-online.de
online circulation among EHS supporters
From online posting: "McKevitt to challenge legal
WEDNESDAY 23/06/2004 11:52:30 McKevitt to challenge
legal aid refusal Jailed Real IRA leader Michael
McKevitt is to challenge the refusal of legal aid to
fight the multi-million pound civil action brought
against him by victims of the Omagh bomb massacre.
McKevitt`s lawyers have lodged papers in the High
Court in Belfast seeking a judicial review of the
decision by the Legal Services Commission. McKevitt,
who is serving a 20-year sentence in the Republic for
belonging to the RIRA and directing terrorism, is
being sued for £14 million along with four others
suspected of carrying out the RIRA atrocity in which
29 people died. . . ."
LIST OF CONTENTS
1. A copy of my Ordinary Civil Bill with background
statement on my case. I kept applying Ex-Parte to the
Cork Circuit Court for extensions on serving this
Civil Bill. Each time I had to reapply, I submitted
more affidavits and argued that I was waiting for the
IHRC to decide whether it would give me the legal
assistance I needed to bring my case through the
courts. I do not have the required legal training to
do so and my case is far too complex for
2. Copies of refusal of my appeal to Legal Aid. 3
Copies of refusal letters from IHRC. 16 July
2003; 27 May 2004
3. Copy of Dr. Jean Monro's medical report of my EHS
(electrohypersensitivite) condition. Dr. Monro of
Breakspear Hospital, U.K. is a world authority on the
4. Des Hogan, Senior Caseworker, IHRC, letter to me of
21 May 2003 where he requests specific information.
My outline responses to Mr. Hogan's request
where I furnish him with the information he required.
["EHS State of Recognition Internationally." Archived
15/6/03 of Citizens Initiative Omega
"EHS/EMR Lawsuits." Archived 17/6/03 of Citizens
I also sent him print evidence in the form of copies
of letters, etc., to validate each claim I made. I
did not include the WHO statement on the prevalence of
EHS and how "several countries have acknowledged the
existence of the condition of ElectroMagnetic
sensitivity" , as written by Dr. David Nabarro, WHO's
Executive Director for Sustainable Development and
Healthy Environments, in a letter he wrote to Mr
Alan Meyer, and dated 27 February 2003 because I was
not made aware of that letter until several months
later. But as soon as I did become aware of it I sent
it along and I also got it widely circulated online.
["Official Position of the WHO on EHS as of February
2003." Archived 1/10/03 at Citizens Initiative Omega]
5. Des Hogan of IHRC requested me to specify what
Human Rights violations I believed were violated in my
In my emailed letter to him of July 4, 2003, I
["Human Rights Viiolations Applicable to EHS
Misdiagnosis." Archived 5/7/03 at Citizens
6. A copy of my formal appeal letter to IHRC dated
August 12, 2003.
I have attached to this some applicable facts
from the textbook PSYCHIATRY AND THE LAW
7. A copy of Des Hogan's letter to me of 5 September
2003 where he states "the Review Committee has asked
the Casework Committee to reconsider" my case.
8. A recent article by a severe EHS
sufferer--Arthur Firstenberg--which illuminates very
well just how tragic EHS victims situations are.
[Archived for 12.05.2004 at
This was published last month--far too late for any
IHRC submissions. However, I had presented IHRC with
many similar articles.
[For some related information see:
"EMF and Scizophrenia." Citizens Initiative Omega
"Visual Demo of Effects when EHS is misdiagnosed as
Psychosis." Citizens Initiative Omega 11/7/03
"EHS Solidarity with Human Rights and Mental Health
Fast Protest in Pasadena, CA." Citizens Initiative
"Amnesty Campaign for Human Rights of EHS
sufferers--violations of Human Rights of vast number
of EHS sufferers . . .." Citizens Initiative Omega
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