Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes: Visit from Senator David Norris to mark Pride Month at the archives
Senator David Norris visited the National Archives on Tuesday 22nd June to mark the National Archives contribution to Pride Month. He was shown the records relating to his landmark case in 1988 at the European Court of Human Rights, David Norris V Ireland. Ref. NAI 2019/101/1171
The Department of Foreign Affairs files relate to the successful case he brought against Ireland’s criminalisation of certain homosexual acts between consenting adult men. His case proved that the criminalisation of these acts was in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This successful case led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland.
In 1977 Senator Norris had unsuccessfully taken the Attorney General to the High Court over the criminalisation of homosexual acts and appealed his case to the Supreme Court of Ireland. In 1983 the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the existing law. David Norris appealed the Irish Court’s decision to the European Court of Human Rights in 1983 and this Court passed judgement in his favour in 1988. The laws impugned by the judgement were repealed five years later in 1993.