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Health Issues Focus of Social Marketing Conference
Monday, 31 May 2010
NUI Galway will hold their second annual Social Marketing Conference entitled Making it Happen – Changing Behaviours and Changing Policies on Friday, 4 June in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. In these demanding times, insights into enabling, encouraging and supporting human behaviour from Social Marketing provides new ways to successfully tackle social and public issues in, for example, health, the environment, the community, and policy formulation. Social marketing is the application of marketing concepts and techniques to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good. Social Marketing has already had considerable success in tackling issues such as obesity, smoking, cancer screening, recycling and road safety in countries including the USA, Canada, Britain, France, New Zealand and Australia. For example, Social Marketing underpinned the recent Get Your Life in Gear Safefood intervention to tackle male obesity for truck drivers in a work setting across Ireland, resulting in positive behavioural change around food choices and physical activity. The leading world authority on Social Marketing, Professor Gerard Hastings, and Director with the Institute for Social Marketing will draw from his 30 plus years of practical experience in the field to deliver the keynote addresses at the event. In recent years Professor Hastings has acted as a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organisation on tobacco and alcohol marketing, as well as blinding trachoma, and a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Health Select Committee during their enquiries into the tobacco and food industries. He provides regular guidance on social and critical marketing to the Scottish, UK and European Parliaments. Professor Hastings has also acted as an expert witness in litigation against the tobacco industry and was awarded an OBE in the Queen s Birthday Honours List 2009 for his services to healthcare. Dr Christine Domegan, conference organiser and Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway explains: "For those new to the field, the conference will provide a comprehensive introduction to Social Marketing, encouraging participants to consider the scope for using marketing principles and techniques to effect social change and fundamentally alter the way we live for the better. It will demonstrate how professionals, seeking to bring about behavioural and social change, can apply it to practical situations in Ireland". Among the other keynote speakers at the conference are: Dr Ray Lowry, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University, UK; Professor Jeff French, CEO, Strategic Social Marketing and former director of National Social Marketing Centre, UK; Dr Sally Pears, Bangor University, Wales and "Food Dudes" Healthy Eating Programme; and Professor Paulo Moreira, Deputy Head of the Health Communication Unit, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). To register, or for further details, contact Valerie Parker on 091 495971 or email email@example.com. -Ends-
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Royal Irish Academy Honours Top NUI Galway Academics
Friday, 28 May 2010
The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) elected two of NUI Galway's top academics for admission today (Friday, 28 May 2010) in recognition of their academic achievement. This is the Academy's 225th admission of new Members since it was founded in 1785. Dr Sinisa Malesevic and Professor Stefan Decker were among only 24 academics on the island of Ireland to achieve this highest academic distinction. Professor Nicholas Canny, President of the RIA, and Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway said that this group 'is as accomplished and as academically diverse as any cohort elected since our founding members signed the roll in 1785'. He also said that the promotion of research within universities must be related to, and integrated with, their teaching mission. Professor Canny went on to note that if government funding to support research is predicated to occur only where this funding can 'be seen to promote innovation, enterprise and immediate job creation, it would be better [to enforce such a model] in stand-alone research institutes rather than through cross-subsidisation from the teaching mission of higher-research institutions'. Professor Stefan Decker is Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway, the largest and one of the most visible institutes dedicated to Web Science. He was an early pioneer of the Semantic Web. As a leading expert in web technologies, Professor Decker is one of the most widely known web scientists. Decker's dissertation work was quoted as one of the inspirations for the DARPA DAML program, which span the Semantic Web effort. His current research interests include semantics in collaborative systems and Web 2.0, Linked Data and distributed systems. He has published over 150 papers in journals and conferences. Dr Sinisa Malesevic is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. His research interests include the comparative-historical and theoretical study of ethnicity and nationalism, ideology, war, violence and sociological theory. He is author and editor of 9 books including highly influential monographs The Sociology of Ethnicity (2004), Identity as Ideology (2006) and The Sociology of War and Violence (2010). Dr Malesevic has also authored over 50 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His work has been translated into several languages. Previously he was a research fellow in the Institute for International Relations (Zagreb) and the Centre for the Study of Nationalism (Prague). He also held visiting research fellowships in the Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna) and the London School of Economics. The Royal Irish Academy is Ireland's premier learned body and vigorously promotes excellence in scholarship, recognises achievements in learning, direct research programmes and undertakes its own research projects, particularly in areas relating to Ireland and its heritage. The Academy now has 441 Members across the disciplines of the sciences, humanities and social sciences and in its entire history only 2,833 people have been Members. Competition for election to membership is keen as it is the premiere academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of the highest academic achievement. Those elected are entitled to use the designation 'MRIA' after their name. -Ends-
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Human Rights Expert Receives Medal for International Criminal Justice
Friday, 28 May 2010
NUI Galway's Professor William Schabas has been awarded the Vaspasian V. Pella Medal for International Criminal Justice by the Association internationale de droit penal. The award, which is named after the Romanian jurist who drafted the first statute of an international criminal court, is given by the Association to a single individual once every ten years. The medal has been awarded three times, the first two laureates being Benjamin Ferencz, who was one of the prosecutors at Nuremberg, and Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, who is now that honorary president of the Association. The recipient of the medal is designated by the previous laureate. Professor Bassiouni presented the medal to Professor Schabas at a ceremony in Siracusa, Italy on 24 May 2010, held at the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences. The Association internationale de droit pénale is the leading learned society in the field of criminal law, tracing its origins to the nineteenth century. William Schabas has held the chair in human rights law at NUI Galway since 2000. He is also director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. His most recent book, The International Criminal Court, was published by Oxford University Press earlier this year. ENDS
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Mastering Law: Conflicts, Challenges and Solutions in Today's Society
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
The Postgraduate Committee of Law Students at NUI Galway will host the Second Irish Conference for Law Masters Students on Thursday, 3 June, and Friday, 4 June, 2010. The title of the conference is: "Mastering Law: Conflicts, Challenges and Solutions in Today's Society". The format of the Mastering Law Conference has been designed to provide an exclusive opportunity for MA students of law to come together. Eligible students are invited to interact, present and discuss their areas of expertise in a formal and professional environment. Papers will be presented on all areas of law including: human rights, commercial law, constitutional law, criminal justice and European law. The event will be a forum to exchange ideas and a chance to explore the ways in which perspective fields of law intersect. The theme of the conference aims to facilitate stimulating and critical assessment of the legal climate of the past, present and future. Guest speakers will include Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, President of the Law Reform Commission and Michael Farrell, Irish Human Rights Commissioner. A former Justice of the Supreme Court of Ireland, Justice McGuinness is currently President of the Irish Law Reform Commission. She has a distinguished judicial career and also served in Seanad Éireann as an independent representing the Dublin University constituency. Since 2005 she has served as Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway. Justice McGuinness will be drawing on her wealth of experience to offer her views on the challenges facing Irish Law, and to discuss those areas of the Irish Justice system that might prove to be the most dynamic and engaging for young lawyers about to embark on their careers. Michael Farrell is a Senior Solicitor at the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC), an independent human rights organisation dedicated to ensuring equal access to justice within Ireland. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Law Society s Human Rights Committee, and in 2001 was appointed as a Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights Commission, a position to which he was re-appointed in 2008. Mr Farrell was co-chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, he was heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland and has since worked towards ensuring refugee rights, gay rights, and towards the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Thelma Byrne, Co-Chairperson of the conference organising committee, commented; "We are thrilled that NUI Galway will host the Mastering Law Conference this year as it is so vital for continuing professional development for students pursuing a legal career. We hope that events such as this one will continue to take place in NUI Galway into the future". The Mastering Law Conference is sponsored by The Millennium Fund, Clarus Press, AIB and The Irish Times. For more information please visit www.masteringlaw.org Ends
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New Annual Law Review Edited by NUI Galway Law School Member
Monday, 24 May 2010
At a recent event in Dublin hosted by the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), a project of the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC), the Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, launched a new scholarly review, Irish Human Rights Law Review (IHRLR), to be published on an annual basis by Clarus Press. The IHRLR is edited by Donncha O'Connell of the School of Law, NUI Galway who is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics. The inaugural edition of the Review contains articles and case notes by, among others: Hon. Justice Michael Kirby of the Australian High Court, Professor Rick Lawson of the University of Leiden, Colm Ó Cinnéide of University College London, Siobhan Cummiskey, Solicitor, Senator Alex White, BL and Dr Alpha Connelly, former CEO of the Irish Human Rights Commission. There are also contributions from NUI Galway academics Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement as well as Marie McGonagle, Ciara Smyth, Dr Padraic Kenna, Dr Laurent Pech and Emer Meeneghan of the School of Law. The Review, which should be of interest to academics, students, practitioners and activists working in the field of human rights, will focus on the domestic application of international human rights law and the critical analysis of human rights standards and processes. Opening the event, Michael Farrell, Solicitor for FLAC and member of the Irish Human Rights Commission, said: "At a time when the human rights of many vulnerable people are under attack as a result of the economic crisis, and the state s human rights and equality infrastructure has been undermined by disproportionate budget cuts, the launch of the Irish Human Rights Law Review is particularly timely." In her speech the Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, said: "Reading through the contributions in the IHRLR, I note that human rights activists, academics and lawyers are at times sensitive - rightly or wrongly - to a certain allergic reaction at the mention of human rights and this needs to be addressed by all sides in the human rights debate so that too many heels are not dug in to the detriment of the citizen. I see the annual publication of the Irish Human Rights Law Review as an important step in that process. More particularly, in the aftermath of Colm McCarthy s report and his recommendations to turn back the tide on the proliferation of single-function state agencies, I also think we all need to look at the intersections rather than the divergences in the work that we do. Human rights are principally about changing mindsets rather than the legalistic application of a set of rules. Perhaps if we thought about it also as the shared public values that enhance the life of every citizen, we can improve the chances of the realisation of those shared values in visibly tangible ways. Changing mindsets involves cultural change and through the investigation of complaints, a public sector ombudsman is uniquely placed to facilitate good public administration which is based on human rights principles." Responding to the Ombudsman, the Editor of the Irish Human Rights Law Review, Donncha O'Connell, said: "It must surely now be time to consider further the question of 'constitutionalising' the office of Ombudsman, a matter that was raised by the Constitution Review Group in 1996. As we approach the seventy-fifth anniversary of the 1937 Constitution in 2012, and as the Labour Party embarks on its innovative constitutional convention in the run-up to the 1916 Centenary, it is time to look more radically at how the Irish Constitution distributes power in the state. I would suggest that the following issues of potential constitutional reform are in need of serious analysis: The reorganisation of various statutory bodies for the protection and promotion of human rights and equality under a 'constitutionalised' office of Ombudsman with a clear and strong nexus to Parliament (akin to that of the Comptroller & Auditor General); The consequential reform of the office of Attorney General to remove the potential for conflict in the role of that office as notional guardian of the public interest and legal adviser to the Government. This would have the benefit of protecting the essential infrastructure for human rights and equality in the state from political interference; and appropriate provision could be made, by means of the Constitution, for guaranteeing the independence and effectiveness of such a reconfigured framework institution." He went on to say that he hoped that subsequent issues of the Irish Human Rights Law Review would provide a platform for the rigorous discussion of this and other matters connected to human rights. The Review can be ordered on www.claruspress.ie which contains a sample of contents and the inaugural editorial. ENDS
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