- Ivana Bacik
Infobox Politician| name =Senator Ivana Bacik
term_start =July 2007
predecessor =Mary Henry
constituency =University of Dublin
Ivana Bacik (born 1968) has been Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and
Penologyat Trinity College Dublin(TCD) Law School since 1996, and was a made a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin in 2005. She was elected a Senatorfor the Dublin University Seanad Éireannconstituency in July 2007. She has an LL.B.from TCD and an LL.M.from the London School of Economics. She practises as a barrister, and teaches courses in Criminal law; Criminology and Penology; and Feminist Theory and Law at Trinity. Her research interests include criminal law and criminology, constitutional law, feminist theories and law, human rights and equality issues in law. She is known in particular for her pro-choice campaigning since the 1990s, and her liberal stance on social issues.
Her family name is of Czech origin. Her grandfather, Karel Bacik, was in the Czech resistance and was imprisoned by the Nazis. After the war, he moved to Ireland with his young family, fleeing
Stalin's takeover of his home country, eventually settling in Waterford. He brought much needed industrial skills to his new city, was involved in the establishment of Waterford Crystalin 1947, at a time when industrial employment in Waterford was in short supply.
As president of TCD Students' Union (TCDSU) (1989–90), she was taken to court by the anti-abortion pressure group, The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC), for providing information on abortion. SPUC were successful in the court case, albeit that success came in the 1990s, long after Bacik had graduated from Trinity College.
Her term as president of TCDSU ended prematurely when she resigned in 1990 after it was discovered that she had broken a mandate received from the Union membership. Bacik secretly broke the
mandategiven to her to voting for candidates at a Union of Students in Irelandconference. Despite 13 TCD representatives being mandated to vote for one candidate, Martin Whelan, a former TCD SU present, it transpired that candidate received only 12 votes, Bacik's vote instead being given to the feminist former UCD SU officer, Karen Quinlivan. A major controversy erupted in the Students' Union and an investigation started leading to Bacik's resignation.
Her career as a national politician commenced when she stood as a candidate for the Labour Party for the 2004 election to the
European Parliamentin the Dublinconstituency. She ran with an established candidate Proinsias De Rossa, who was also the party president, sitting on the same ticket. It seemed a long shot that she would make it, though she did manage to poll respectably. Despite this setback, Bacik remains a prominent member of the Irish Labour Party, representing the party on numerous occasions in public debates and in the media.
She did not stand as a candidate for the Labour Party in the Irish General Election of 2007 However, she contested the
Seanad Éireannelections for the third time in the Dublin University constituency, as an independent candidate and was elected a Senatoron the eighth count, over the quota but behind Senator Shane Rossand Senator David Norris, who had already been elected. She previously contested that same election and constituency in 1997 and 2002, but had been unsuccessful.
In September 2006, Bacik was one of the 61 Irish academic signatories of a letter published in the
Irish Timescalling for an academic boycott of the state of Israel [ [http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=1134 Irish academics call on EU to stop funding Israeli academic institutions.] ] .
Bacik's policies may be described as
left-wingor liberal. She is in favour of decriminalising cannabis[http://www.ivanabacik.com/what-i-stand-for/drugs] , state-funded childcare, free contraception, abortion rights[http://www.ivanabacik.com/what-i-stand-for/womens-rights] , stricter environmental regulation, expanded social housingprogrammes, extended paid parental leave [http://www.ivanabacik.com/what-i-stand-for/social-policy] , state funding of political campaigns [http://www.ivanabacik.com/what-i-stand-for/politics] , gay rights(including same-sex marriage) [http://www.ivanabacik.com/what-i-stand-for/gay-rights] and a publicly-funded health careservice, "based on need, not means" [http://www.ivanabacik.com/what-i-stand-for/equality] .
In 2006, Bacik acted as
Junior Counselin the unsuccessful Irish High Court case brought by Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan (KAL case) over non-recognition of their Same-sex marriageby the Irish Revenue Commissioners. The case is currently on appeal to the Irish Supreme Court.
Bacik regularly appears in the Irish media
RTÉtelevision and radio current affairs programmes. She also writes articles in the Irish Timesand Irish Independentconcerning social policy, family planning, reproductive rights, or criminal law issues. She has appeared on public demonstrations and protests. [http://www.indymedia.ie/article/4184?print_page=true]
* [http://www.ivanabacik.com Ivana Bacik's official website]
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