Human rights symposium at NUI Galway celebrates the late Professor Kevin Boyle

Human rights symposium at NUI Galway celebrates the late Professor Kevin Boyle-image

Friday, 28 November 2014

Former President Mary Robinson today welcomed the fact that the archive of the late Professor Kevin Boyle will be housed at NUI Galway. In a video presentation at a symposium taking place at the University today, celebrating the career of Kevin Boyle, she said: “I’m glad that his papers will enrich scholarship and activism from Galway for the betterment of the world in future.”The world-renowned human rights lawyer and scholar, Professor Kevin Boyle, served as a special advisor to Mary Robinson from September 2001, when she was UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. His personal archive, comprising of over one hundred boxes of manuscripts and printed books, is a record of the varied and rich contribution made by the activist and scholar to international human rights.Also speaking at the international symposium, ‘The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar?’ hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, was Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. In his keynote address he said of Kevin Boyle: “His involvement in resisting discrimination on grounds of religion during the early part of the troubles must have been the defining period of his life….He was scholar and activist and advocate; the dimensions were intricately connected.”The archive, kindly donated by the Boyle family since Kevin’s untimely passing in 2010, has now been catalogued by the University’s James Hardiman Library, and represents a major resource for the study and teaching of human rights. It will be formally launched later today by the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, S.C. The archive includes: Letters between Boyle and various others involved in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement. It offers a new and engaging insight into emotions, tensions and experiences in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s and onwards through the 1970s. Key research and legal arguments on a wealth of areas from Kurdish rights, to Egyptian constitutional and legal reform, to conditions in India, China, Japan, South Africa to the UK, Ireland and Northern Ireland, offering insights into a life lived in defence of others for over five decades. Paperwork from major cases, such as ‘Jersild Vs. Denmark, where a documentary film-maker was accused of inciting hatred owing to a film work he had made focusing on a right-wing group known as ‘The Green Jackets’, in Denmark. “The Kevin Boyle archive bears witness to a life lived greatly in the pursuit of justice by a charismatic man whose indefatigable optimism influenced so many others to continue his good work throughout the world”, said Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of School of Law, NUI Galway.In the late 1970s Kevin Boyle joined NUI Galway where he co-founded the Irish Centre for Human Rights with Denny Driscoll in 1980. Professor Michael O’Flaherty is now the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights: “I was one of thousands of those who were first introduced to human rights by Kevin Boyle. He had a transformative impact on our lives. As his successors in university centres such as the Irish Centre for Human Rights we seek to respect his legacy and pass on his passion for justice to new generations of students.”For more information on the archive visit http://www.library.nuigalway.ie/archives/depositedcollections/featuredcollections/professorkevinboylearchive/

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Youth Academy Graduates in Law from NUI Galway

Youth Academy Graduates in Law from NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Congratulations to the class who graduated from the Youth Academy on Saturday, 29 November. These classes were designed specifically for primary school pupils (aged between 10 and 13) and were a great sucess with very positive feedback from all involved. For the first time, a class on 'The World of Cops and Robbers: Learning the Law' was taught by PhD in law student, . This consisted of legal theory and  practical exercises. The students had an opportunity to participare in a moot trial, negotiation tournament and meet a number of legal professionals. The new six-week term starts in February, with the application process beginning at the end of December. For more information, please visit: http://cki.nuigalway.ie/youth_academy/  or contact the cordinator of the Academy, Geraldine Marley.

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NUIG Law Student Wins Bold Ideas Competition

NUIG Law Student Wins Bold Ideas Competition-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A student of the School of Law NUI Galway, Andrew Barr, was last week announced as the outright winner of the Bold Ideas Competition organised by the leading Irish law firm A&L Goodbody.  Andrew is a second year student on the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) programme.  Bold Ideas is a student innovation award competition that recognises the most innovative ideas from either undergraduate or postgraduate students from all disciplines.  Andrew’s winning ‘bold idea’ was in the area of environmental social responsibility and envisages businesses supporting the work of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Andrew identified that the funding for National Parks has undergone a significant reduction in recent years and that businesses can use their skills to support the work of the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The idea is based on the development of a symbiotic relationship between private Irish business and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The idea is for Irish businesses not only to recycle and have less carbon footprint but also to contribute to the conservation of our natural environment.  Andrew Barr will take up a four-week summer internship with A&L Goodbody Dublin, with the opportunity to complete one week of his internship in one of their international offices (London, New York or San Francisco) and a €3,000 cash prize.  In addition of A&L Goodbody’s will make a cash donation on behalf of Andrew to a charity of his choice.Reflecting on his win, Andrew stated: “I cannot describe how grateful I am to those who helped me along the way with my research. In particular, I would like to thank my lecturer, Dr. Brian Tobin, of the School of Law. I am passionate about the preservation of our National Parks and am thrilled that my idea was selected. I got to see two National Parks and meet the people that run them and now I have a great internship for the summer so obviously I'm delighted”. This is the second time that an NUI Galway law student has won this prestigious prize. Mahmoud Abukhadir, now a graduate of the Bachelor of Corporate Law programme, was the overall winner in 2012.  Welcoming the latest success by Andrew Barr, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law, NUI Galway, stated: “The success of our students reflects the creative and critical ways they think.  The fact that Andrew’s idea was selected above other excellent ideas proposed by undergraduate and postgraduate students from other disciplines from Irish and UK Universities speaks volumes about the significance of his achievement and augurs well for his future as a successful NUIG law graduate”.

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Law Lecturer Elected President of Irish Association of Law Teachers

Law Lecturer Elected President of Irish Association of Law Teachers-image

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dr Charles O’Mahony, lecturer in the School of Law NUI Galway, has been elected as President of the Irish Association of Law Teachers (IALT). The IALT was established in 1979 with the objective of advancing legal education, legal research and the work and interests of law teachers on the island of Ireland. The Association is managed by a council and is comprised of members representing law lecturers in Irish universities and institutes of technology on the island of Ireland.A native of County Kerry, Dr O’Mahony joined NUI Galway’s School of Law in 2012 as a lecturer in Public Law where he teaches a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses including Constitutional Law, Comparative Disability Law and Minors, Minority Groups and the Criminal Justice System. He completed his PhD in 2013 on‘Diversion: A Comparative Study of Law and Policy Relating to Defendants and Offenders with Mental Health Problems and Intellectual Disability’.Dr O’Mahony previously worked for Amnesty International Ireland as legal officer on its mental health campaign and as a legal researcher for the Law Reform Commission of Ireland. He is Co-programme Director of NUI Galway’s LLM in Public Law.The IALT runs a large conference annually, which attracts legal academics from all over Ireland and abroad. The IALT award a Book Prize named in memory of the late Professor Kevin Boyle who pioneered the teaching of human rights law in Ireland while Professor of Law at NUI Galway. Kevin Boyle an academic and human rights advocate of international repute was instrumental in the establishment of the IALT in 1979 and was elected President in 1985-1986. The IALT also offer a Teaching Innovation Fund for outstanding scholars and teachers in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Honorary members and patrons of the IALT include Mary McAleese and Mr Justice Bryan McMahon.

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Law Lecturer Appointed by Government to Working Group on Asylum

Law Lecturer Appointed by Government to Working Group on Asylum-image

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dr Ciara Smyth, Director of the Doctoral Programme in the School of Law, NUI Galway, has been appointed to the government’s Working Group on Asylum.  The Working Group, which is convened by the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, and chaired by retired High Court judge, Mr Justice Bryan McMahon, is to recommend to Government what improvements should be made to the State’s existing direct provision and protection processes for asylum seekers in the short and longer term. The establishment of the Working Group comes in response to mounting criticism of delays in the Irish asylum procedure and the conditions in which asylum seekers are required to live while they await the outcome of their asylum applications.  Other members of the Working Group include: Sue Conlan, Chief Executive of the Irish Refugee Council and Sophie Magennis, Head of UNHCR in Ireland. Dr Ciara Smyth has been working in the asylum field for over fifteen years, both as a practitioner and as an academic.  She teaches Immigration Law, International Human Rights and International Law in the School of Law, NUI Galway, and Refugee Law in the Irish Centre for Human Rights.  She has been involved in training of staff in the asylum institutions, has conducted master-classes for barristers, solicitors and asylum decision-makers on various aspects of refugee law, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Refugee Council.  She has just published a monograph with Routledge on  European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child. Last year Ciara was presented with a prestigious Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award in Tilburg for her PhD thesis on ‘The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of the Child: An Exploration of Meaning and Compliance’, which she completed at Leiden University.Welcoming the announcement of Dr Smyth’s appointment to the new Working Group, the Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, Professor Donncha O’Connell, said: “This is a well-deserved recognition of Ciara Smyth’s standing as a leading Irish and European scholar on asylum and related matters. I have no doubt that she will make an invaluable contribution to the Working Group which will be chaired by Judge McMahon who was, previously, a part-time Professor in the School of Law at NUI Galway.”

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Irish Centre for Human Rights and ICCL win top EU Rights contract

Irish Centre for Human Rights and ICCL win top EU Rights contract-image

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), NUI Galway, in close collaboration with project partner the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has won a major EU contract for Irish Law and Social Data Research and will become Ireland’s new national focal point for the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). This is the first time that the prestigious FRANET-Ireland contract for data collection and research services on fundamental rights issues in Ireland has been awarded to an Irish University-led bid.FRANET is the FRA’s multidisciplinary research network. It is composed of contractors in each EU Member State who provide relevant data to FRA on fundamental rights issues, to facilitate the Agency’s comparative analyses. This work of the FRA then informs EU policy and initiatives across the EU member States.The ICHR/ICCL project has assembled a team of Ireland’s leading human rights and social science experts, located at academic institutions and in civil society.Professor Michael O’Flaherty, the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, who becomes the FRANET Senior Expert for Ireland, commented: “We are very pleased to take on this contract that will generate crucial findings for the strengthening of fundamental rights in Ireland and across the EU. We are particularly pleased to partner with the ICCL and with Ireland’s top specialists to undertake this ground-breaking work.”Mark Kelly, the Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, who becomes the FRANET Senior Legal Expert for Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the ICHR to ensure that the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency has legally accurate and up-to-date information about the state of human rights in Ireland. We also look forward to spreading the word about the important evidence-based research published by the FRA.”Research will focus on a number of thematic areas. These include: access to justice; victims of crime, including compensation to victims; respect for private life and protection of personal data; Roma integration; judicial cooperation; rights of the child; discrimination; asylum, immigration and borders; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance.

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Careers in Law Week 2014

Careers in Law Week 2014-image

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Careers in Law Week 2014 takes place on the week commencing Monday 29th September 2014. This is an initiative by the School of Law in conjunction with the Career Development Centre. Students are strongly encouraged to to attend as many of these events as possible and while they are open to all law students, it is especially important that those nearing the completion of their degrees attend in large numbers.The Careers in Law Week is an invaluable opportunity for students to begin to understand the environment in which they will compete with graduates from this and other institutions. Law Week begins with Monday's Law Firms’ Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall for which afternoon lectures have been cancelled. The format for the Law Firms Fair is as follows: Venue: The View 12:00 – 1:45pm:  Arthur Cox Mock Group Interviews (lunch provided by Arthur Cox) Venue: Section B, Bailey Allen Hall 2:00pm: Welcome and Introduction by Mr. John Hannon, Career Development Centre and Prof. Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law 2:10pm: Mason Hayes & Curran: A Day in the life of a trainee 2:25pm: William Fry: Preparing to qualify: How to get the most out of your time as a trainee 2:45pm: Matheson: How to succeed in FE1s 3:00pm: A&L Goodbody: Career Progression in a Corporate Law Firm 3:15pm: RDJ Glynn: Which Post Grad/LLM 3:30pm: Maples and Calder: How to stand out in your application 3:50pm: Arthur Cox: How to succeed at interview Venue: Section C, Bailey Allen Hall 4:30pm – 5:30pm: Law Firms’ Fair and Reception In addition to the Law Firms’ Fair there will be a number of other events: On Tuesday 30th September there will be a seminar on qualifying as a Barrister in Ireland from 5-6p.m. in The Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. On Wednesday 1st October there will be a seminar on qualifying in the U.K./U.S. from 5-6p.m. in the Careers Seminar Room, Arts Building. On Thursday 2nd October there will a seminar on ‘Alternative Careers with a Law Degree’ from 1-2p.m. in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. You can download a flyer for Law Week for easy referral: Careers in Law Week 2014

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Opportunity to Learn “Street Law” with Georgetown Law Professor Richard Roe

Opportunity to Learn “Street Law” with Georgetown Law Professor Richard Roe-image

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Up to two current law students can attend a free, weekend-long workshop being facilitated by Professor Richard Roe of Georgetown Law School.  Professor Roe is one of the world’s leading experts on “street law,” which is an approach to teaching practical law in the community using interactive teaching methodologies.  The workshop will take place on the weekend of 10-12 October at Blackhall Place in Dublin.  Participants will include students from Irish and UK law schools, as well as recent law school graduates now attending the Professional Practice Course I in Blackhall Place.  Last year’s participants indicated that the workshop “boosted their confidence, knowledge and presentation skills.”  Interested students should contact Larry Donnelly (larry.donnelly@nuigalway.ie) as soon as possible.

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Two Doctoral Scholarships in the School of Law

Two Doctoral Scholarships in the School of Law-image

Monday, 15 September 2014

The School of Law at NUI Galway is currently accepting applications for two Doctoral Scholarships. Applications are sought from students who intend to pursue doctoral-level research on topics related to either: (a) European Human Rights, and/or (b) Constitutional Law Applications are particularly encouraged from but not confined to those interested in any of the following areas: the domestic application of international human rights law; the role of the Ombudsman in the area of human rights; public interest litigation and public interest law; processes of constitutional reform; or the right to equality. The successful students will be supervised by Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law. These Scholarships will commence before the end of 2014 and are available for a period of four years, subject to satisfactory performance. Scholarships comprise an annual stipend of €16,000 inclusive of University tuition fees (accordingly a student receives a tax-free scholarship of approximately €11,755 per annum). The holder of a Scholarship is expected to reside in Galway, Ireland and, under the guidance of Professor O’Connell, will engage in a reasonable amount of research and research support, teaching and administrative tasks in the School of Law, NUI Galway, in addition to pursuing his or her own doctoral research. Those interested in applying should submit the following: • A covering letter• A curriculum vitae• Two letters of reference from academics familiar with the work of theapplicant• A statement of the proposed doctoral research topic (1,000 words). These materials must be sent to donncha.oconnell@nuigalway.ie by 5pm on 30th September, 2014. Full information and instructions on how to apply can be found here: Two Doctoral Scholarships at the School of Law

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Legal Research in the Seychelles

Legal Research in the Seychelles-image

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Yvonne Francis a student on our LL.M in Public Law recently visited the Seychelles having being selected as a Judicial Research Assistant to work with the Court of Appeal in the Seychelles. Yvonne undertook legal research for Judge Mathilda Twomey on the law of criminal defamation and bail in July and spent two weeks earlier this month observing court proceedings in the Seychelles and engaging in other legal research opportunities.

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Irish Centre for Human Rights Welcomes Professor’s Appointment by UN

 Irish Centre for Human Rights Welcomes Professor’s Appointment by UN-image

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has welcomed the appointment of its Honorary Chairman, Professor William Schabas, to a new UN Commission of Inquiry.  The independent Commission of Inquiry will investigate purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip since the conflict began on 13 June.Professor Schabas will head up the three-person commission, details of which were announced last night (11 August). The Canadian is renowned for his work on international criminal and human rights law, and was Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway from 2000 to 2009 prior to the appointment of Professor Michael O’Flaherty to the post. He served on the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission until 2004, and was also a member of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in Human Rights.The Commission aims to establish the facts and circumstances of violations and crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible. It will also make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways to protect civilians against any further assaults.Commenting on the appointment, Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, who recently returned from the region, said: “I cannot think of a more qualified person to lead this Inquiry. The Inquiry will play a vital role in establishing the facts and identifying those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. This is a most important step in ensuring all those responsible for violations are held accountable.”

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NUI Galway Law School Launch Formal Exchange with Boston’s Suffolk University Law School

NUI Galway Law School Launch Formal Exchange with Boston’s Suffolk University Law School -image

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

After recently signing a memorandum of understanding to establish formal links, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, Professor Donncha O’Connell, and Dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Professor Camille Nelson, are delighted to announce that students from each institution are currently undertaking a two months placement, gaining a mixture of deeper academic knowledge and vital practical experience on opposite sides of the Atlantic.Professor O’Connell noted:  “The exchange offers an extraordinary opportunity for our students to learn about the US law and legal system in Boston, a vibrant city which is renowned for its universities and cultural life and which has very close ties with Galway and the west of Ireland.” Further, Professor O’Connell commented that: “This student exchange is unique in Irish law schools and reflects the School of Law’s commitment to clinical legal education – the idea that practical, ‘real world’ experience is an important component of legal education, especially as the practice of law in increasingly global in nature. I would like to thank my colleagues, Larry Donnelly, a Boston native who is a graduate of Suffolk Law School, and Dr Conor Hanly, who is leading the School of Law’s internationalisation efforts, for their work in establishing this new relationship and selecting students to take part in the exchange.”The NUI Galway students who are living, working and studying in Boston until the end of July are Ammi Burke, from Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Patrick Munnelly, from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Catherine Corcoran, from Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan and Jacintha Hopkins, from Bohermore, Co. Galway.  They will be working, respectively, in the Massachussetts Appeal Court, the Massachussetts Secretary of State’s Office, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Probate and Family Court.Two Suffolk Law School students are spending the summer in Ireland. Melissa Chen will be working in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, while Ana Mora is working at the Law Reform Commission in Dublin. In addition to their academic work, both students will also be taking part in a variety of cultural activities and tours.Professor Nelson, Dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, said: “Suffolk Law School is delighted to partner with the School of Law at NUI Galway to offer our students this unique experience to learn from and work with public interest advocates engaged in truly compelling work.  Likewise, we very much look forward to hosting and welcoming into our Suffolk Law community students from NUI Galway who will be interning in Boston this summer as part of the program. As a school, we greatly value these international exchanges.  The enrichment they bring to our student and faculty life cannot be underestimated.”

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A Franco-Irish discussion on marriage equality at NUI Galway

A Franco-Irish discussion on marriage equality at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 28 April 2014

The School of Law at NUI Galway, in association with the French embassy in Ireland, hosted a Franco-Irish discussion on marriage equality on April 25th.The keynote speaker was Erwann Binet, deputy of the French National Assembly. Deputy Binet was the rapporteur for the French “mariage pour tous” (marriage equality) bill in 2013 and spoke on the political challenges faced in passing the bill through the French parliament.Whereas marriage equality was legislated for in France without a referendum – despite significant political and public opposition – the Irish government has committed to holding a referendum to legalise same-sex marriage in 2015, as it believes that the Constitution in its current form would prevent this from being introduced through ordinary legislation. More than three quarters of the members of the Constitutional Convention recommended that the Constitution should be amended for provide for marriage equality for same-sex couples. Parallel to the debate on marriage rights, there has been move towards legislative reform concerning assisted reproduction and adoption rights in both countries.In this light, this event, chaired by Dr. Eoin Daly, provided an insight on the shared experience of Ireland and France in undertaking legislative and constitutional reform in controversial areas of family law. The respondent was Dr. Lucy-Ann Buckley of the School of Law, who discussed how similar challenges are being faced in Ireland both in relation to marriage equality and family law reform.

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