Norris v. Ireland

Norris v. Ireland was a case decided by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 1988, in which David Norris successfully charged that Ireland's criminalisation of certain homosexual acts between consenting adult men was in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life).

Norris v. Ireland
Decided 26 October 1988
Full case nameDavid Norris v. Ireland
Case number6/1987/129/180
Nationality of partiesIrish
Court composition
R. Ryssdal
Legislation affecting

Original caseEdit

The original case in the Irish courts was Norris v. Attorney General, introduced in 1977 and decided by the Supreme Court of Ireland in 1983. Norris's Senior Counsel was fellow member of the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, Mary Robinson, who in 1990 would become the first female President of Ireland. The Irish courts ruled that Norris's right to privacy was not violated by the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (criminalising "buggery") and the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (criminalising "gross indecency").

Case before the ECtHREdit

Norris appealed the Irish court's decision to the ECtHR in 1983. The Court passed judgment in 1988, deciding in Norris's favour on grounds similar to those of its 1981 decision in Dudgeon v United Kingdom.

The laws impugned by the judgment were eventually repealed by the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act, 1993.[1][2]

See alsoEdit


  • "Case of Norris v. Ireland (Application no. 10581/83)". European Court of Human Rights. 26 October 1988.
  • Norris v. A.G. [1983] IESC 3, [1984] IR 36 (22 April 1983), Supreme Court (Ireland)
  1. ^ "Private Members' Business. - Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill, 1993: Second Stage". Dáil Éireann debates. Oireachtas. 23 June 1993. Retrieved 9 July 2012. it is the case that the main sections of the Bill arise against a background of the European Court decision in the Norris case
  2. ^ Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act, 1993 Archived 2015-03-29 at the Wayback Machine Irish Statute Book