Academics and legal experts have written an 'Alternative Executive Summary' of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation Final report.

It was authored, edited, reviewed and proof read by 61 people, mainly legal academics and has been described as a 'rapid response' to the Commission's Final Report.

The collaboration took place between March and July this year.

The foreward says a rewrite of the Executive Summary was decided upon because it is the section of the Commission's Report that most people had read, and is section outlining the Commission's findings.

It acknowledges that the document does not replace the work done by the Commissioners or their research team, but says it is a "creative academic exercise" that shows the Commission could have come to different conclusions using the same evidence, while remaining within the original Terms of Reference.

Described as a feminist rights-based analysis, the document, which takes a human rights approach, uses much of the Commission's work as a reference point.

It also uses research from the Clann project and human rights law.

The Commission of Investigation's Executive Summary outlines the history of mother-and-baby homes through headings, beginning with the People (women and children in the institutions), the Institutions (governance arrangements and practices), how Ireland differed from other countries and the chronology of the institutions.

The Alternative Executive Summary begins with Human Rights and then moves to the heading Unmarried Motherhood in context, the Institutions, Family Separation and Discrimination.

It delves into vaccine and milk trials, adoption and discrimination.

The authors express regret that the Commission of Investigation did not request to modify its Terms of Reference to permit deep engagement with a wider range of organisations.

Therefore, the 25 academics who did most of the work note that the new document can only speak to and generalise from the harms that occurred in a small number of institutions.

"Our findings can only be indicative and not conclusive. In addition, our legal arguments are not worked out in as much detail as if we had written a larger Report".

It says adopted people have an established right to identity and personal data and it says the State is responsible for the continuing effects of some "past violations".

Report welcomed by AMRI

The Association of Mixed Race Irish has welcomed the publication of the report, which concludes that "mixed-race children experienced institutional racism".

AMRI says it has always claimed that institutional racism existed in the institutions, but says this was refuted by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby homes.

"The human rights approach taken by this academic team, in its analysis of the evidence contained in the Commission’s Final Report, presents a clearer picture of the racial abuses that occurred in these
institutions," AMRI said.

The Association of Mixed Race Irish says that while the Alternative Executive Summery offers no recommendations nor does it replace the Commission’s Final Report, it says it makes important conclusions which the Government should take into account in working towards justice, accountability, restoration, and redress for mothers and children impacted by these institutions.