On the 6th March 2013, the Firm had the honour to be instructed by Louise O’Keeffe in presenting her case against Ireland before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Louise had been the victim of sexual abuse whilst attending Dunderrow National School, Kinsale, Co. Cork, in the early 1970s. The Firm sought to argue before the European Court, that the State has a liability for the abuse perpetrated by the teacher upon Louise. The thrust of the case is to the effect that Member States who have signed up to the European Convention, must take steps to prevent torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. Sexual abuse amounts to torture and/or degrading treatment. The Irish State, in Cantillons Submissions to the Court, had not put in place any system for the prevention of sexual abuse. The State, in Cantillons Submissions was liable for the abuse. The Court reserved judgment.
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