Monday, 12 March 2018

ECB directed home possessions in Ireland is undermining human rights. ECB places home loan debtors in vulnerable situations at risk of home loss with no legal representation. ECB directions show no respect for Irish courts. ** The report  is available to download here: Access to Justice and the ECB** A detailed study of 100 Courts Lists and 2,400 cases of home possession in December 2017 and January 2018 indicates that ECB direct supervision of mortgage institutions in Ireland shows no respect for the human rights law or access to justice. Access to Justice and the ECB, a research report by the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway, shows that some 70% of home loan debtors have no recorded legal representation in mortgage possession cases.  Two thirds of those defending the actions of ECB directly supervised lenders had no legal reprersentation.  A small number of people (7%) are forced to represent themselves.  In Ireland, ECB directly supervised banks include Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank, Ulster Bank and PTSB. The report draws on Central Bank research showing that 40% of bank and 70% of ‘vulture fund’ cases result in home possession orders. ‌‌“Access to justice for all is core to the rule of law,” Dr. Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy said. “However, today in Ireland, we have a situation whereby home loan debtors are pitched against the legal resources ECB directed corporations, often in what appears like a David versus Goliath encounter. This is creating unprecedented pressure on Irish courts, which have relatively small numbers of judges. “Irish Circuit Court Judges and Registrars make valiant efforts to explain procedures, processes and even the meaning of legal terms to people who are at best anxious and nervous, and at worst suffering from serious illness, disorientated and emotionally vulnerable and fragile,” he continued. “This research raises important systemic questions in relation to access to justice in Irish courts in mortgage repossession or home loss cases. It also raises important questions as to whether the ECB, as an EU institution, directly supervising the entities instigating these legal actions, is actively and knowingly undermining EU law, especially consumer and human rights law. Access to justice for home loan debtors has never been more important, but sadly, also never so inequitable, unfair and unattainable.” Since 2014, the main euro-area banks have been supervised directly by the ECB in Frankfurt in relation to macro- and micro-prudential rules and capital requirements under the Single Supervisory Mechanism. European Banking Authority and ECB guidance on dealing with mortgage arrears suggest a range of options, but this is largely ignored by ECB supervised entities in Ireland. Dr Kenna pointed to the Irish tracker mortgage scandal, where over 33,000 mortgage consumers were overcharged and which resulted in at least 100 households losing their homes. This has already highlighted the systemic failure of the ECB and the Central Bank of Ireland to effectively promote EU consumer rights, he said. “The Irish tracker mortgage scandal reports reveals that many people experienced wrongful, court approved loss of home,” “This report demonstrates that with the absence of legal representation in two-thirds of ECB directed mortgage arrears cases, it is likley that similar wrongful evictions will take place, with unknown consequences for the households involved.” There are over 30,000 mortgages in arrears for over two years in Ireland, putting these households at far greater risk of losing their homes. Central Bank research shows that those in long-term mortgage arrears are more likely to be single parent (women) borrowers with three or more children; have lower net incomes and have higher mortgage debt service ratios. EU law obliges courts to assess the fairness of mortgage terms under the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive.  They should also assess the human rights impact of an eviction on all occupants in the home – including children, older people and people with disabilities – under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. ECB directly supervised lenders are piling possession cases into Irish courts,  and are not providing sufficient information for Irish courts to carry out “own motion assessments” for unfair contract terms in mortgages, the report finds. He said that there is a systemic non-application of relevant EU consumer and human rights law, in these proceedings, largely directed by ECB supervised entities. Furthermore, as Irish public bodies, the Central Bank of Ireland, the nationalised banks, and other State agencies involved in the home loss/ possession cases have a “public sector duty” to protect human rights under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.For more information contact: Dr Padraic Kenna at Read the full press release and case studies here: Access to Justice Press Release The report has been covered in The Irish Times

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Job Opportunities in the European Institutions Irish is an official language of the European Union and EU institutions will be recruiting lawyer-linguists and legal translators with high competence in Irish regularly between now and the end of 2021. Over 100 Irish translators and over 30 Irish lawyer-linguists will be recruited as the derogation on the official status of Irish in the EU comes to an end. These positions are available in the European Parliament, Commission, Council, and Court of Justice, located in Brussels and Luxembourg. Pay and conditions in such positions are excellent. Types of Posts and Basic Requirements Translators translate legislation and other official documents. Lawyer-linguists, who have law degrees and/or professional legal qualifications, ensure that the various language versions of legislation are of the same effect throughout the Union. Lawyer-linguists also translate pleadings and judgments in the Court of Justice. To work as a translator, you must have perfect command of one EU language and a thorough command of at least 2 others, and a degree in any discipline. The selection procedure for translators will focus on your language knowledge and skills in translating, as well as the core competencies required of all EU officials. To work as a lawyer-linguist, you must have a perfect command of one EU language and a thorough command of at least 2 others and a law degree. Previous experience of translating legal texts and additional languages are an asset. For further information, see Languages at NUI Galway School of Law Students in the Corporate Law and Civil Law programmes can study Legal German and Legal French. Spanish is also available to students in the Corporate Law programme.Students in the BA Law can study a range of languages including French, Irish, German, Italian and Spanish. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge offers a Diploma in Irish, which students can study while an undergraduate at a reduced fee for NUI Galway students. Further Information To learn more about opportunities to work in the European Institutions in a translation role, please contact Ursula Connolly in the School of Law at Obair Aistriúcháin Dhlíthiúil sna hInstitiúidí Eorpacha Deiseanna Fostaíochta sna hInstitiúidí Eorpacha Is teanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh í an Ghaeilge agus beidh institiúidí AE ag earcú dlítheangeolaithe agus aistritheoirí dlí le hardchumas Gaeilge go rialta as seo go deireadh 2021. Tá os cionn 100 aistritheoir Gaeilge agus os cionn 30 dlítheangeolaí Gaeilge le hearcú toisc go bhfuil deireadh á chur leis an maolú ar stádas oifigiúil na Gaeilge san AE. Tá na poist seo ar fáil i bParlaimint na hEorpa, sa Choimisiún Eorpach, sa Chomhairle agus sa Chúirt Bhreithiúnais agus iad lonnaithe sa Bhruiséil agus i Lucsamburg. Tá tuarastal agus coinníollacha oibre den scoth i gceist. Cineálacha Poist agus Bunriachtanais Aistríonn aistritheoirí cáipéisí reachtaíochta chomh maith le cáipéisí oifigiúla eile. Deimhníonn dlítheangeolaithe, a bhfuil céim sa dlí agus/nó cáilíocht ghairmiúil sa dlí acu, go bhfuil na leaganacha éagsúla aistriúcháin den reachtaíocht ag teacht lena chéile ar fud an Aontais. Bíonn aistriúchán ar phléadálacha agus ar bhreithiúnais ar bun ag na dlítheangeolaithe sa Chúirt Bhreithiúnais freisin. Chun post mar aistritheoir a bhaint amach, caithfidh tú eolas críochnúil a bheith agat ar theanga amháin de chuid AE agus sáreolas ar phéire eile, ar a laghad, chomh maith le céim i ndisciplín ar bith. Díreoidh an nós imeachta roghnúcháin d'aistritheoirí ar an eolas atá agat ar theangacha agus ar do chuid scileanna aistriúcháin mar aon leis na príomhinniúlachtaí atá de dhíth ar oifigigh uile AE. Chun post mar dhlítheangeolaí a bhaint amach, caithfidh eolas críochnúil a bheith agat ar theanga amháin de chuid AE agus sáreolas ar phéire eile, ar a laghad chomh maith le céim sa dlí. Beidh buntáiste ag an té a bhfuil taithí aige/aice ar théacsanna dlí a aistriú agus a bhfuil teangacha eile ar a t(h)oil aige/aici. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil, féach Teangacha i Scoil an Dlí, OÉ Gaillimh Is féidir le mic léinn ar an gclár sa Dlí Corparáideach agus sa Dlí Sibhialta staidéar a dhéanamh ar Ghearmáinis an Dlí agus ar Fhraincis an Dlí. Tá an Spáinnis ar fáil do mhic léinn ar an gclár sa Dlí Corparáideach chomh maith. Is féidir le mic léinn ar an BA sa Dlí staidéar a dhéanamh ar raon teangacha lena n-áirítear an Fhraincis, an Ghaeilge, an Ghearmáinis, an Iodáilis agus an Spáinnis.Cuireann Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge ar fáil, agus is féidir le mic léinn fochéime staidéar a dhéanamh air ar tháille laghdaithe do mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh. Tuilleadh eolais Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil maidir leis na deiseanna atá ann oibriú mar aistritheoir sna hInstitiúidí Eorpacha, déan teagmháil le Ursula Connolly sa Scoil Dlí ag

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The School of Law officially launched two new postgraduate programmes on Wednesday, February 7, 2018:  LLM (International & Comparative Business Law) & LLM (General). The launch will take place in the O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. The School was also delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Thomas Courtney as Adjunct Professor. Professor Courtney is a graduate of NUI Galway, Chairman of the Company Law Review Group, Head of Compliance and Governance Practice at Arthur Cox Solicitors and was the driving force behind the Companies Act 2014. Dr Connie Healy, Programme Director of the Masters in International and Comparative Business Law and LL.M General said: "The appointment of Professor Courtney is doubly significant. Firstly, in recognising Professor Courtney's outstanding contribution to the field of Company/Business law and secondly, and importantly for all students considering a Masters in International and Comparative Law at NUI Galway, Professor Courtney's ongoing links with the School of Law means they will benefit from his expertise during small group seminars undertaken as part of their Master's degree. This, together with the opportunity to compete for five commercial legal placements and to engage in skills-based modules enhancing employability, are just some of the unique and outstanding features of the masters in International and Comparative Business Law at NUI Galway."  To coincide with his appointment, Professor Courtney delivered a lecture to students and members of the Galway Solicitors Bar Association entitled: "Effective security for corporate obligations: the creation and registration of company charges."

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Moot Court Module final took place on Saturday 27 January in Galway Courthouse. Congratulations to Patricia Brannick, John Cunningham and Christina Hynes who were the overall winners of the Ross O'Driscoll cup. The moot was presided over by Ms Justice Mary Faherty, judge of the High Court. Special thanks to Tom O'Malley who drafted the moot problem; Shivaun Quinlivan, Conor Hanly and Eoin Daly who acted as mentors for the teams and to Galway Courthouse for facilitating the moot.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

NUI Galway Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy is publishing a new, user-friendly Guide to help thousands of Irish families in mortgage distress, and facing unfair evictions to understand and advocate for their rights, using vital EU consumer and human rights law. The Guide, 'Your EU Consumer and Human Rights: A Guide for People in Mortgage Distress in Ireland', published jointly with Open Society Foundations' Abusive Lending Practices Project, is also essential reading for people improperly denied tracker mortgages, or those who have been given incorrect interest calculations. ** The Guide is available to download here: A Guide for People in Mortgage Distress in Ireland ** ‌Dr Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway, and one of the authors of the report, says: "Our Guide sets out simply and clearly how existing EU law should be routinely applied to determine, firstly, whether a mortgage contract term is fair and, secondly, whether a possession or eviction notice is a proportional response to any breach of a mortgage term. By applying these EU laws, Irish courts and lawyers can really assist their clients and vulnerable defendants."The authors have stressed that the Guide is for information purposes only. It does not provide legal advice, and is not a substitute for consulting a lawyer. They suggest, within the Guide, that people share it with their solicitors. They also acknowledge, however, that a high number of people facing possession are unrepresented, due to the shortage of free and low cost legal services.The Guide has been created as part of the Open Society Foundations' Abusive Lending Practices Project, in conjunction with the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway, and a group of Irish lawyers and advocates.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Committee for Employment & Social Security in the states of Guernsey have appointed Dr Shivaun Quinlivan and Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley of the School of Law and the internationally-acclaimed Centre for Disability Law and Policy to advise progress on the development of Disability Discrimination Legislation. They will advise the Committee on which country's legislation would be most appropriate for Guernsey to model its disability discrimination legislation on. They will assess the approach taken in a number of countries based on evaluation criteria which will be agreed by the Committee in consultation with key stakeholders. This will underpin the shape of the future legislation. It is hoped that a model law will be identified by the end of March, following which proposals will be developed regarding how the model legislation should be tailored to the Guernsey context. The Committee is aiming to consult with the public on developed policy proposals before the end of 2018. Further information can be found at the official website at the states of Guernsey.

Friday, 18 January 2019

The School of Law, NUI Galway hosted  a seminar on  Court Reform on Wednesday, 17th of January 2018 in the Aula Maxima. The seminar featured a keynote address from Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice of Ireland and a response from Mr Tom O'Malley, Senior Lecturer, School of Law.  Professor Siobhan Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights,  chaired the seminar. Read more in the Irish Times and the Irish Independent. The event was livestreamed on Facebook and a video of the seminar can be watched below. Download: Keynote Address: Chief Justice Speech 17 Jan 2018 Response: The Allocation of Criminal Jurisdiction

Monday, 18 December 2017

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy are delighted to announce that the 10th International Disability Law Summer School will take place from Monday 18th June Friday 22nd June 2018 in Galway.  The theme will explore Intersectionality. The Summer School seeks to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the generalities of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform for persons with disabilities. We look forward, as usual, to a world-class Faculty and participants from around the globe including persons with disabilities, civil society groups, advocates for disability law reform, academics, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. More information and draft programme will follow in the New Year. Information from the 9th International Disability Law Summer School available here: REGISTRATION OPENS JANUARY 2018

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

 Council of Europe finds that Ireland violated the European Social Charter the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection.The Council of Europe has today upheld a Collective Complaint that Ireland has violated Article 16 of the European Social Charter on the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection. Adequate housing is viewed as an integral element of this right.The Council of Europe held that Ireland failed to take sufficient and timely measures to ensure the right to housing of an adequate standard for a significant number of families living in local authority housing, and therefore there is a violation of Article 16 of the Charter in this respect.This Collective Complaint was facilitated by the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway, working in association with local tenants groups in the main cities, law centres and Non-Government Organisations, involved the submission of detailed evidence of housing conditions on local authority estates, with associated human rights standards. Some 90% of the estimated 130,000 Irish local authority tenant households live on estates.Dr Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway today welcomed this landmark decision, saying: "We have been working with tenants groups, law centres, national and international human rights agencies, over the past five years. Our students at the University researched the European human rights norms. This decision marks a significant historical development, which could enhance the development of Irish State housing policy."The Irish State does not support any national organisation of its tenants, who could be consulted or participate in framing legislation or housing policy, unlike almost every other European country. There was no opportunity, within Ireland, for these tenants to have the collective issues examined in any systematic way. They could submit this European Complaint only through other organisations. Many issues faced by Irish local authority tenants could be resolved by tenants associations.Dr Kenna added: "Of course, nothing in this complaint was intended to diminish respect for the valuable and dedicated work of national and local authority housing professionals, or the committed work of voluntary and community groups and public representatives, who work tirelessly to improve the situation of local authority tenants in Ireland. This issue is more complex. State housing in Ireland generates a surplus after maintenance costs are deducted from rents. A recent report from the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) shows that local authorities generated a surplus of €40 million in 2014, from their housing, used to cross-subsidise other services."The Council of Europe noted that complete statistics on the condition of local authority housing have not been collated since 2002. It also noted that a significant number of regeneration programmes have not been completed, leaving many local authority tenants in unacceptable housing conditions.Significantly, housing standards for 30,000 tenants of approved housing bodies are now regulated by the Residential Tenancies Board, but there is no such regulation of State tenancies. Indeed, the State is both the landlord and the regulator on housing standards in local authority housing.The Irish State must report to the Council of Europe within 12 months on how it has addressed this violation.The full decision and a summary is available at:

Friday, 15 September 2017

Professor Mary McAleese was the eminent speaker at a recent Masterclass for PhD law students held at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. Professor McAleese was President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Her area of research is children's rights in Canon Law. Five PhD students from National University of Ireland, Galway were among a group of PhD law students from Universities throughout Ireland who attended the Masterclass. Deirdre Halloran, Luke Hamilton, Maria Corbett, Maria Portuondo, Silvia Gagliardi and Sandra Murphy are all currently engaged in individual doctoral projects under the auspices of the School of Law and The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUIG. Dr. Deirdre McGowan, Head of Law at DIT, chaired the Masterclass and each of the PhD participants gave a short introduction of themselves and their area of research. There was a wide variety of PhD topics and research interests among the students which gave an insight into the diversity of law PhDs currently being undertaken in university law schools around the country. Professor McAleese spoke about her career to date. It is a truly exceptional career that has spanned law, journalism, academics, politics and human rights at national and international levels.  Professor McAleese then spoke about her research into Canon Law and told us about the one year of Medieval Latin that she had to master in the first year of her PhD research! As she spoke her passion and conviction for her research topic shone through. Her own experiences of the PhD process and the importance of the project undertaken was truly motivational. Her PhD research is highly significant, focusing on The Holy See and the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. After a fascinating talk Professor McAleese allowed plenty of time for questions and led a discussion of her topic and her research area generally. The afternoon passed quickly and everyone enjoyed Professor McAleese's warmth and generous engagement with us all. The Masterclass series is an innovative initiative of the Royal Irish Academy which allows the participants sit around a table and engage with a high-profile expert and have a face-to-face discussion, rather than in a lecture theatre format. The objective of the masterclass is to engage and motivate early-career researchers and forge relationships and networks.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Congratulations to Kyle Greene, a recent graduate of the BCL International programme, with 1st Class Honours, who has been awarded a place on the prestigious LL.M. European Law programme (2017 – 2018) at the College of Europe, Bruges. The College of Europe is recognised as the leading institution for post-graduate studies in European affairs, with a list of notable alumni that includes former Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former Prime Minister of Finland Alexander Stubb, and the former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as well as a number of diplomats and senior civil servants in European institutions. Kyle spent a period of the summer working as a judicial intern at the Supreme Court of Ireland as part of the Chief Justice's summer internship programme and has also been offered a traineeship with Walkers Global, a preeminent international financial services law firm, through their Cathal Lavelle Summer Internship programme, which is organized in conjunction with the (NUIG) School of Law.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The School of Law is delighted to announce that the Irish Research Council has awarded scholarships to two candidates from the School of Law and its Centres. Congratulations to Jurgita Bukauskaite and her supervisor Dr Ekaterina Yahyaoui-Krivenko, ICHR, and to Sarah Hofmayer and her supervisor Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley. Jurgita's research topic is "Translating Universal Human Rights Commitments on Gender Equality into the Vernacular and in Line with the Istanbul Convention: the Case of Domestic Violence in Ireland". A multidisciplinary socio-legal analysis of the human rights instruments will be conducted with an objective to identify the best practices to promote gender equality, prevent and end violence against women, and domestic violence in particular. This study is timely considering Ireland is preparing to ratify the the Istanbul Convention and will offer informed guidance to the legal professionals and policy makers on the standards necessary to promote and successfully implement the Convention vis-a-vis de facto position of women. Sarah's research topic is "Work Integration Social Enterprises - a tool to further inclusive employment for persons with disabilities?" This research is looking into how WISE can contribute to realizing inclusive employment in conformity with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It includes a comparative analysis of the legal and regulatory situation in Austria, Ireland and Italy, taking the experiences of service users and social entrepreneurs via qualitative interviews into account.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dr Connie Healy organised a Summer School in Law for secondary school students in June 2017. The summer school provided participants with an insight into studying law at NUIG. Students travelled from all over the country to participate. Dr Conor Hanly introduced students to Criminal law, Ursula Connolly explored topical issues in Tort law, Dr Ciara Smyth examined the Irish Asylum system, Dr John Danaher explored Game Theory and the Law and Dr Brian Tobin led a session on the Regulation of Surrogacy in Ireland. The students also had an opportunity to meet with current students of the School of Law and learn about the different undergraduate law programmes that we offer. Dr Máire Áine Ní Mhainnín and Dr Deirdre Byrnes, from the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, spoke about the opportunity to study French, German, Spanish and Nicola Murphy and Dr Conor Hanly outlined the many exciting opportunities there are to study throughout Europe and internationally as part of the undergraduate law programmes offered at NUI Galway. The final session, delivered by Dr Connie Healy, focused on outlining the different careers options available both as members of the legal profession (solicitors and barristers) and alternative careers in law.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Professor Donncha O’Connell of the School of Law at NUI Galway has been appointed by the Government to the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. The Commission, which has been established in response to recent controversies involving An Garda Síochána and is modelled on the Patten Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland, will be chaired by Kathleen O’Toole, the Chief of the Seattle Police Department and former Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate. The other members are: Ms Noeline Blackwell, Mr Conor Brady, Dr Johnny Connolly, Dr Vicky Conway, Mr Tim Dalton, Sir Peter Fahy, Dr Eddie Molloy, Ms Tonita Murray, Dr Antonio Oftelie and Ms Helen Ryan.Professor O’Connell recently completed a four-year term as Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway. He is also a Commissioner (part-time) of the Law Reform Commission and served, for four years, as a board member of the Legal Aid Board. He was, previously, a member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights that advised the EU Commission on a wide range of human rights issues. He was also the Senior Irish member of FRALEX, a legal expert group that advised the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Vienna for a period of time.Speaking after the announcement of the Commission’s membership, Professor O’Connell said: “It is a great responsibility to be asked to serve on the Commission on the Future of Policing and I look forward to working with Kathleen O’Toole and the other members in an open-minded and rigorous manner so as to make credible and constructive proposals on the future of policing in Ireland.”Professor O’Connell joined the staff of NUI Galway in 1993 having studied at NUI Galway, The Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Dublin and the University of Edinburgh. He took leave of absence in 1999 to become the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) returning to NUI Galway in 2002. He was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) in the academic year 2009-2010. Professor O’Connell has served on the boards of a number of non-governmental human rights organisations including: INTERIGHTS, Amnesty International – Ireland and the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd. He was also, for nine years, a board member of Druid Theatre Company. More recently, he was a member of the Gender Equality Task Force in NUI Galway chaired by Professor Jane Grimson.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Prof. Ray Murphy, Interim Director, has welcomed the appointment of Prof. Michael O’Flaherty as an Adjunct Professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights.  Michael brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Centre and it is appropriate that he should retain the strong professional and personal links he has with the Centre and School of Law at NUI Galway.  Michael is currently Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights since 16 December 2015. Previously, he was Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway.  He has served as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.  From 2004-2012, he was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, latterly as a Vice-Chairperson.  Michael  has been a member of the UK Foreign Office’s advisory bodies on freedom of expression and the prevention of torture and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs’ human rights advisory committee. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and has sat on the advisory boards of numerous human rights groups and journals internationally. Michael read law at University College Dublin, theology and philosophy at the Gregorian University, Rome, international relations at the University of Amsterdam and is a Solicitor of the Irish Courts.  He was the principal drafter of the General Comment of the Human Rights Committee on the freedoms of opinion and expression (General Comment 34, adopted in 2011). He was also rapporteur for the development of the Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law with regard to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (the Yogyakarta Principles). He initiated and directed the opening and closing expert consultations of the Dublin Process on the Strengthening of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System and was rapporteur for its Dublin Outcome Document. He has been a member of the UN Expert Task Force on Human Rights Indicators.  His recent publications include volumes on the law and practice of human rights field operations, the professionalisation of human rights field work and on human rights diplomacy. Professor O’Flaherty came to NUI Galway from the University of Nottingham where he was Professor of Applied Human Rights and Co-director of the Human Rights Law Centre. Previously he held a number of senior posts at the United Nations. He established the UN human rights field missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994) and Sierra Leone (1998) and subsequently guided UN headquarters support to its human rights programmes across the Asia-Pacific region. He has served as Secretary of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and UN human rights advisor for implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. From 2000 to 2002 he chaired the UN reference group on human rights and humanitarian action.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Professor Siobhán Mullally as the Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Professor Mullally will take up her post in September 2017.Professor Mullally is currently a Professor at the School of Law, UCC where she also holds the position of Vice-Head of the College of Business & Law. She was recently elected President of the Council of Europe expert group on human trafficking, GRETA. Professor Mullally is also a Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission and a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.Professor Mullally has worked as an adviser and consultant on human rights, migration and asylum law, gender and justice sector reform for UN bodies and international organisations in many parts of the world, including in Ethiopia, Timor-Leste, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kosovo.  In 2009, she was appointed by the International Bar Association to an inquiry team, examining the independence of the judiciary in Pakistan. As President and member of the Council of Europe anti-trafficking body (GRETA), she has been rapporteur for several country reports, including Hungary, France, Italy, UK and Sweden. Professor Mullally is the Irish member of the Odysseus European network of experts on Asylum and Migration Law.Prior to her appointment at UCC, Professor Mullally held lecturing posts in the UK and Pakistan. She has held visiting positions at several leading universities, including at Harvard Law School, Cornell University, Sydney Law School, National Law School of India, Bangalore. In 2009-2010, she was a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Fellow in Residence at Columbia University, Gender, Sexuality and Law Centre, and inn 2011-2012, she was awarded the prestigious Senior Fernand Braudel Fellowship at the European University Institute, Florence. Announcing the new appointment, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “We, in the School of Law and Irish Centre for Human Rights, are delighted that Siobhán Mullally is joining us as a colleague and we look forward the tremendous value that she will undoubtedly add to our work, nationally and internationally. Professor Mullally is an academic of unrivalled renown who, as well as being recognised internationally as one of the foremost scholars in her field, is also a very generous thought leader in civil society. I am certain that she will, in the years ahead, build on the very strong reputation of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway as a world class academic institution.”Professor Mullally said: “The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway is one of the world’s premier human rights centres, with an outstanding track record of research, post-graduate teaching and doctoral education in the field of human rights law. Uniquely situated at the cross-roads of practice, policy and academia, the Centre brings together human rights practitioners and scholars from across the world in a dynamic intellectual environment. At this critical time for human rights globally, I look forward to working with colleagues at the Centre and School of Law, to contribute to informed policy debates on many pressing human rights challenges  - from gender equality, women’s human rights and social justice, to refugee and migrant protection.”

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The School of Law, NUI Galway hosted a highly successful international conference entitled ‘The Future is Now! - eConveyancing and Title Registration at the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Galway on the 7th and 8th April 2017. The conference brought together national and international experts from around the world in the area of eConveyancing and title registration. The conference was chaired by the Honourable Miss Justice Mary Laffoy of the Supreme Court and Mr. Justice Michael Peart of the Court of Appeal. Keynote speaker was Professor J.C.W. Wylie, Irish expert in land and conveyancing law. Pictured at the conference were, from left, Dr Padraic Kenna, NUI Galway School of Law, conference organiser, Sandra Murphy, NUI Galway School of Law, conference organiser, Professor J.C.W. Wylie, Keynote Speaker and Peter McGarvey, Solicitor, RDJ, conference sponsors.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Friday, 26 May, to Friday, 9 June Applications are currently being accepted from candidates who 1) are now completing their final year exams as BCL or LLB students, or 2) are presently pursuing LLM or PhD degrees or 3) are BCL, LLB or LLM graduates of the classes of 2014, 2015, 2016.  There are up to five places open to take two short modules taught by American law school professors – Emerging Issues in EU Business Law and Policy and Fundamental Rights: A Criminal Law Perspective – alongside American law school students.  Guest lectures will be provided by experts from practice and academia and there will be class trips to sites relevant to the topics covered in the two modules.  This programme affords a unique opportunity to discuss and debate some of the major legal and non-legal issues that animate current global public discourse in a US law school setting here in Galway.  There will be no fees for the successful candidates and a certificate will be awarded to those who complete the two modules. To apply, interested candidates must send a detailed cover letter outlining their reasons for seeking a place on the programme and an up to date CV (including all academic results – transcripts not required) to by 5 PM on Friday, 5 May.  Those who have questions should contact either Larry Donnelly or Conor Hanly (

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture 2017 takes place on Friday 31st March at 8pm in the Aula Maxima (Lower). This year, the Annual Distinguished Lecture will be delivered by Judge Síofra O’Leary of the European Court of Human Rights (biographical details below) and chaired by Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley of the Irish Supreme Court. The title of the lecture is: “A Tale of Two Cities: the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Strasbourg and Luxembourg”. This is our eighth Annual Distinguished Lecture. Previous speakers include: Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University, Judge John T. Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University, Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court with Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly of the Irish Supreme Court, Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland and Professor Nicholas Canny. A reception which follows the lecture in the Staff Club of the Quadrangle, NUIG. This is the School’s farewell occasion for final year students where they are introduced  to graduates and practitioners. Biographical details of speaker: In July 2015 Síofra O'Leary, BCL (University College Dublin), PhD (European University Institute) was sworn in as a Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, elected in respect of Ireland. Prior to joining the European Court of Human Rights, Judge O’Leary worked for 18 years at the Court of Justice of the European Union, where she served as a référendaire and Chef de cabinet for Judges Aindrias Ó Caoimh (IRL), Fidelma Macken (IRL) and Federico Mancini (IT). She later ran part of that Court’s Research Directorate. Judge O’Leary has been a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges for many years where she has taught LLM courses on EU law and the individual, EU Social Law and Policy as well as a judicial workshop. She has, in recent years, been a member of the Editorial Board of the Common Market Law Review and is now a member of both its Advisory Board and the Board of the Irish Centre for European Law. In 2016 she was elected an Honorary Bencher of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns. Before joining the Court of Justice of the European Union, Síofra O’Leary was the Assistant Director for the Centre of European Legal Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Emmanuel College. She was previously a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Law, University College Dublin, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cádiz, Spain and a Research Associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research in London. She is the author of two books entitled The Evolving Concept of Community Citizenship (Kluwer, 1996) and Employment Law at the European Court of Justice (Hart Publishing, 2001) and has published extensively in academic journals and EU law monographs on the protection of fundamental rights in the EU, EU employment law, the free movement of persons and services and EU citizenship generally.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Half-day Conference: 'The Judiciary, the State and Social Change' The School of Law, under the auspices of the LLM in Public Law, is hosting a half-day conference on April 5th on the theme "The Judiciary, the State and Social Change". We are hosting three speakers who have recently authored or edited books on the Irish judiciary: Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, author of 'The Politics of Judicial Selection in Ireland' (Four Courts Press, 2016). Tom O'Malley, School of Law Dr. Tom Hickey (Dublin City University), co-editor of 'Judges, Politics and the Irish Constitution' (Manchester University Press, 2017). The conference takes place from 2.30-5.15pm in ENG-G047 (Lee Theatre). All are welcome to attend, but please register your attendance by emailing with 'Judiciary conference' in the subject line.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

NUI Galway to host event on the Trump presidencyThe Moore and Whitaker Institutes and the School of Law at NUI Galway will host an event on Wednesday, 22 March, entitled “President Donald Trump: The First Sixty Days and Beyond”.  The event will take place in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall (Upper Aula Maxima) at 5.30pm in the University’s Quadrangle.The panel discussion will feature five speakers who will provide various perspectives - political, human rights, historical, economics and more - on Donald Trump's election and his time in the White House. This will be followed by an interactive audience question and answer session. A reception with light refreshments will precede the event and begin at 5pm.Mary Regan, a native of Moycullen, Co. Galway and well-known political journalist and columnist for the Sunday Business Post who also appears frequently in the broadcast media, will moderate the event.Speaking on the evening will be: Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, and former special adviser to the Minister for Finance; Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, NUI Galway; Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, Lecturer, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway; Larry Donnelly, Lecturer, School of Law, NUI Galway, and political commentator; Karlin Lillington, Journalist and Columnist, The Irish Times. Commenting ahead of the event, Larry Donnelly, NUI Galway said: “In a year full of major news events, the 2016 US presidential election attracted a phenomenal amount of interest in Ireland. The early days of President Trump’s administration have been unpredictable and, in many ways, unprecedented.  On 22 March, people here in Galway, as well as the staff and students of NUI Galway, will have a unique opportunity to delve behind the tweets and explore the policy implications of different facets of the Trump presidency, in an uncertain era of change and upheaval in the US and throughout the western world.”The event is free and open to the public, however those who wish to attend must pre-register via Eventbrite at

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Charles O’Mahony, Lecturer in Law and Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy. Published by Clarus Press, Disability Law and Policy: An Analysis of the UN Convention undertakes a multidisciplinary examination of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.The rights-based perspective on disability is a relatively new lens through which disability law and policy is considered. This is despite the fact that persons with disabilities are often described as the world’s largest minority. There are approximately 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world (15 percent of the world’s population). This book is an edited volume of essays that undertakes a multidisciplinary examination of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Dr Charles O’Mahony said: “The UN Convention requires law and policy reform throughout the world and this book identified what state parties need to do to comply with international human rights law. This is particularly relevant for Ireland being was one of the first states to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.  However it is now the only EU member state not to have ratified.”Disability Law and Policy: An Analysis of the UN Convention has evolved from an event entitled 'Global PhD and Researchers Colloquium on Disability Law’ and Policy organised by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway. The Colloquium was organised in conjunction with the Burton Blatt Institute, University of Syracuse and the University of Haifa, Israel.

Featured Stories

Connect & share

Connect with us:

Facebook icon 32px YouTube icon 32px

Follow us on Flickr‌‌