Issue 45 Social Partnership: Is it a Just Structure?

Working Notes Issue 45 Editorial

on Thursday, 10 April 2003. Posted in Issue 45 Social Partnership: Is it a Just Structure?, 2003

April 2003

Ireland for the first period in its history is experiencing substantial immigration. Eugene Quinn in his article \'Integration: What\'s done? A lot more to do\' assesses the policy response to date. He questions whether there is a disjuncture between the policy rhetoric and the practice. Two areas of particular concern are the scope of integration policy, it currently excludes the broader migrant population, and the negative consequences for integration of dispersal and direct provision policies.

Peter McVerry SJ examines how the homeless have fared during the Celtic Tiger years in \'A rising tide...but no boats to lift". Against a backdrop of a chronic shortage of accommodation he examines the options now open to the homeless. He questions why, after five years of economic prosperity, the problem ofhomelessness has become so critical.

The issue of Clerical Sex Abuse and the response of the Catholic Church is considered in an article by Brian Lennon SJ entitled \'The Contradiction of Justice\'. As an institution that advocates justice for the weakest and most vulnerable in society he argues that the same standards of justice must apply within the Catholic Church.

Edmond Grace SJ in his article on \'Politics, corruption and Europe\' reflects on the growing alienation of ordinary citizens from politics and politicians, and the danger this poses to the democratic process. He points out that democratic politics is not just about winning elections but about including all the people in the process of government. Electoral politics is geared towards majority rule, which, if unchecked, becomes unresponsive to the rights of minorities. A more inclusive style of democratic politics is needed and the European political arena, which badly needs to demonstrate its own democratic legitimacy, may provide a way forward.

Finally, if you enjoy what you read between these pages and find it useful we invite you to consider making a voluntary subscription to Working Notes. We suggest a sum of C 15.00 per year. This covers the cost of producing Working Notes. If you wish to contribute more to our work here we would be most appreciative.

We thank you for your continued support throughout this year.

Eugene Quinn Director, Centre for Faith and Justice

Issues of Justice, Leadership and Authority in the Church

Written by Cathy Molloy on Thursday, 10 April 2003. Posted in Issue 45 Social Partnership: Is it a Just Structure?, 2003

Cathy Molloy is a Research Officer for the CFJ.

The church has a long tradition of engaging with issues of social justice. We have come to expect that it will be an advocate for the disadvantaged and those excluded or on the edge of society and will criticise structural injustice wherever it comes to light. The recent uncovering of injustice of the most appalling kind within the church diminishes, for some, even the prophetic voices and actions of those most committed to justice. It disheartens everyone, lay and priest alike. This article touches on some issues relating to justice, leadership and authority in the church and considers some signs of hope for a way forward.

Sustaining Work, Prosperity and Fairness.

on Tuesday, 18 February 2003. Posted in Issue 45 Social Partnership: Is it a Just Structure?, 2003

Brendan MacPartlin, SJ

The social partnership process emerged in Ireland at a time of crisis and has been closely associated with recovery and transformation in the Irish social economy.  The names of the six social partnership programmes of the past sixteen years suggest some of key concerns  of the time  – recovery, progress, work , competitiveness, partnership, prosperity, fairness and sustainability. The notion of fairness came more strongly into focus in recent years and the latest programme, Sustaining Progress, proposes in its vision for Ireland that the foundations of a successful society incorporates a commitment to social justice.  If justice is that virtue that intends to give everyone his/her due then social justice is probably the virtue that gives everyone in society his/her due.  It was clear in the run up to the agreement of Sustaining Progress that many did not think they were getting their fair dues.  So clearly we are not in a position to claim that the outcomes are totally fair.  In this article I will try to use traditional ideas about justice and make the case that social partnership is characterised by justice in its process to an extent that it is a practice worth maintaining and developing.

The War in Iraq - Is it still worth working for peace?

Written by Eugene Quinn on Thursday, 10 April 2003. Posted in Issue 45 Social Partnership: Is it a Just Structure?, 2003

Eugene Quinn and Seamus O'Gorman SJ


"It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car. Two missiles from an American jet killed them all - by my estimate, more than 20 Iraqi civilians, torn to pieces before they could be \'liberated\' by the nation that destroyed their lives. Who dares, I ask myself, to call this \'collateral damage\'?"
Robert Fisk’s visceral description of the horrors of the Market Square bombing in Baghdad (The Independent, March 27th, 2003) shatters any illusions about what the reality of war means in terms of human lives. The speed with which war arrived has been bewildering. It seemed one day we were debating the justness and the legitimacy of military intervention, marveling at the spontaneous and unexpected opposition of millions worldwide to the prospect of war. The next we were sitting helplessly by as war enveloped Iraq.

Juvenile Justice, Child Care and the Children Act, 2001

on Thursday, 10 April 2003. Posted in Issue 45 Social Partnership: Is it a Just Structure?, 2003

Raymond Doole and Maria Corbett

The juvenile justice system in Ireland is governed by legislation (the Children Act, 1908) that pre-dates the creation of the present Irish State.  New legislation (the Children Act, 2001) has been enacted but the ongoing delay in bringing most of its provisions into force has resulted in the continued use of the outdated 1908 Act.  Full introduction of the 2001 legislation is not expected until the end of 2006.

We tend to think that law defines what crime is. This makes sense because contemporary legal codes are concerned with marking out the territory where conduct is permissible by specifying the conduct that is outlawed. Yet the earliest bodies of law – consider for example, the Torah or Hammurabi’s Code – are at least as committed to articulating the good as proscribing the bad... Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.