Dr Ciara Smyth

PhD, LL.M, LL.B, B.A.

 
researcher
 

Biography

Dr. Ciara Smyth researches in the area of international, European and Irish refugee law and she is particularly interested in how refugee law and human rights law interact.  She has written extensively on the Common European Asylum System and her book, European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child (Routledge, 2014), explores the extent to which the European regional system of refugee protection is consistent with the rights of the child.  Ciara also researches in the field of immigration law and, in particular, on the topics of family reunification and immigration detention.

Before joining NUI Galway Ciara worked for a number of non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations in Ireland and abroad, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She continues to play an active role in civil society and in the influencing of public policy.  From 2012-2015 she was a member - and variously Vice Chair and Acting Chair - of the Board of Directors of the Irish Refugee Council. In 2014 she was nominated by the Minister of Justice and Equality, Ms. Francis Fitzgerald, to the McMahon Working Group which was tasked with recommending improvements to the Irish asylum process. In 2016 she appeared before the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee to give expert evidence on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU.  She also regularly contributes to media discussions on matters relating to immigration, asylum and human rights in Ireland and the UK.
 

Ciara holds a PhD from Leiden University, the Netherlands, for which she was awarded a Max Van Der Stoel Human Rights award in 2013; an LL.M in Human Rights (with distinction) from Queen's University Belfast; and an LL.B and B.A. from NUI Galway. 
 

Ciara is Vice Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Business, Public Policy and Law and Programme Director of the new LL.M in International Migration and Refugee Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, which began in September 2019.  She was recipient of a President's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018.   


Research Interests

Ciara researches in the areas of refugee and immigration law, policy and practice at the international, European and domestic levels and is particularly interested in how these fields intersect with human rights law.

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2019) 'Towards a Complete Prohibition on the Immigration Detention of Children'
Ciara Smyth (2019) 'Towards a Complete Prohibition on the Immigration Detention of Children'. Human Rights Law Review, 19 (1):1-36 [DOI] [Details]
(2019) 'A Turn Towards Fundamental Rights or Just a Swerve? The Jurisprudence of the CJEU on Family Reunification for Static Union Citizens and Third Country National Immigrants'
Ciara Smyth (2019) 'A Turn Towards Fundamental Rights or Just a Swerve? The Jurisprudence of the CJEU on Family Reunification for Static Union Citizens and Third Country National Immigrants'. Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law, 33 (4):283-301 [Details]
(2016) 'Chronicle of a Reform Process: the Irish Working Group on Protection'
Ciara Smyth (2016) 'Chronicle of a Reform Process: the Irish Working Group on Protection'. Journal of Refugee Studies, 29 (3):388-410 [DOI] [Details]
(2015) 'The Best Interests of the Child in the Expulsion and First-entry Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights: How Principled is the Court's Use of the Principle?'
Ciara Smyth (2015) 'The Best Interests of the Child in the Expulsion and First-entry Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights: How Principled is the Court's Use of the Principle?'. European Journal of Migration and Law, 17 (1):70-103 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Is the Right of the Child to Liberty Safeguarded in the Common European Asylum System?'
Ciara Smyth (2013) 'Is the Right of the Child to Liberty Safeguarded in the Common European Asylum System?'. European Journal of Migration and Law, 15 (2):111-136 [DOI] [Details]
(2010) 'Why is it So Difficult to Promote a Rights-Based Approach to Immigration?'
Ciara Smyth (2010) 'Why is it So Difficult to Promote a Rights-Based Approach to Immigration?'. Irish Human Rights Law Review, 1 (1):83-110 [Details]
(2005) 'Refugee Status Determination of Separated Children: International Developments and the Irish Response, Part I - The Refugee Definition''
Ciara Smyth (2005) 'Refugee Status Determination of Separated Children: International Developments and the Irish Response, Part I - The Refugee Definition''. Irish Journal Of Family Law, 1 (January):15-22 [Details]
(2005) 'Refugee Status Determination of Separated Children: International Developments and the Irish Response, Part II - The Asylum Procedure''
Ciara Smyth (2005) 'Refugee Status Determination of Separated Children: International Developments and the Irish Response, Part II - The Asylum Procedure''. Irish Journal Of Family Law, 2 (Summer):21-28 [Details]
(1999) 'Does the Statute of the International Criminal Court Deal Adequately with the Problem of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict? A Critique and Recommendations for the Future'
Ciara Smyth (1999) 'Does the Statute of the International Criminal Court Deal Adequately with the Problem of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict? A Critique and Recommendations for the Future'. Occasional Paper Queen'S University Belfast, (8):1-70 [Details]

Books

  Year Publication
(2014) European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child.
Ciara Smyth (2014) European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child. Oxford: Routledge. [DOI] [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(2020) 'Family Life and the Best Interests of the Child in the Field of Migration'
Ciara Smyth (2020) 'Family Life and the Best Interests of the Child in the Field of Migration' In: Fundamental Rights in the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Details]
(2018) 'Migration, Refugees and Children's Rights'
Ciara Smyth (2018) 'Migration, Refugees and Children's Rights' In: International Human Rights of Children. New York: Springer Publishers. [Details]
(2018) 'The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights Relevant to Child Migrants'
Ciara Smyth (2018) 'The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights Relevant to Child Migrants' In: Research Handbook on Child Migration. Northampton MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. [Details]
(2014) 'Children, Direct Provision and the European Convention on Human Rights'
Ciara Smyth (2014) 'Children, Direct Provision and the European Convention on Human Rights' In: Ireland and the European Convention on Human Rights, 60 Years and Beyond. London: Bloomsbury. [Details]
(2012) 'The Best Interests of the Immigrant Child in the European Courts: Problems and Prospects'
Ciara Smyth (2012) 'The Best Interests of the Immigrant Child in the European Courts: Problems and Prospects' In: Het Kind in het Immigratierecht. The Hague: Publicatiereeks Instituut voor Immigratierecht. [Details]
(2006) 'The Irish Citizenship Referendum 2004: A Solution in Search of a Problem?'
Ciara Smyth & Donncha O'Connell (2006) 'The Irish Citizenship Referendum 2004: A Solution in Search of a Problem?' In: Migration, Diasporas and Legal Systems. London and New York: Routledge Cavendish. [Details]
(2003) 'Citizenship and the Irish Constitution'
Ciara Smyth & Donncha O'Connell (2003) 'Citizenship and the Irish Constitution' In: Sanctuary in Ireland, Perspectives on Asylum Law and Policy. Dublin, Ireland: Institute of Public Administration. [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
(2018) Safeguarding Children's Rights in Immigration Law
Ciara Smyth (2018) Towards a Complete Prohibition on the Immigration Detention of Children Safeguarding Children's Rights in Immigration Law Leiden University, the Netherlands, , 23-NOV-18 [Details]
(2017) The Brexit Impact of Criminal Justice Cooperation in Ireland, Association of Criminal Justice Research and Development
Ciara Smyth (2017) The Asylum and Immigration Implications of Brexit The Brexit Impact of Criminal Justice Cooperation in Ireland, Association of Criminal Justice Research and Development [Details]
(2018) The Rights of Migrants & Refugees: Exploring the Role of Courts & Tribunals
Ciara Smyth (2018) The European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human rights and the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the Immigration Detention of Children The Rights of Migrants & Refugees: Exploring the Role of Courts & Tribunals Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, , 18-MAY-18 [Details]
(2018) The Reception Conditions Directive
Ciara Smyth (2018) Ireland's Human Rights Obligations and Opting-in to the Reception Conditions Directive The Reception Conditions Directive Law Society of Ireland, Dublin, , 22-MAR-18 [Details]
(2017) Responding to the Needs of Refugee Children
Ciara Smyth (2017) Children in the Protection Process: Are Their Rights Being Met? Responding to the Needs of Refugee Children University College Dublin, , 20-JUN-17 [Details]
(2017) Measuring Up for Children: Reviewing the 'McMahon' Recommendations
Ciara Smyth (2017) Children, the Protection Process and McMahon: Where Are We Now? Measuring Up for Children: Reviewing the 'McMahon' Recommendations Children's Rights Alliance, Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square East, Dublin 2, , 08-JUN-17 [Details]
(2016) Irish Society of Comparative Law Annual Conference: Dis(Locating) Comparative Law
Ciara Smyth (2016) Is there a Refugee Crisis in Europe? Irish Society of Comparative Law Annual Conference: Dis(Locating) Comparative Law NUI Galway, , 23-MAY-16 [Details]
(2015) European Union Asylum Law
Ciara Smyth (2015) The Best Interests of the Child and the Common European Asylum System European Union Asylum Law Irish Refugee Council and European Council for Refugees and Exiles, Dublin, , 15-JAN-15 [Details]
(2013) The European Convention on Human Rights and Ireland: 60 Years and Beyond
Ciara Smyth (2013) Is the Treatment of Asylum-Seeking Children in Direct Provision Contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights? The European Convention on Human Rights and Ireland: 60 Years and Beyond University College Dublin, , 29-JUN-13 [Details]
(2012) The Child in Immigration Law
Ciara Smyth (2012) The Best Interests of the Child in the European Courts: Problems and Prospects The Child in Immigration Law Leiden University, The Netherlands, , 27-JAN-12 [Details]
(2007) New Rules for the New Irish
Ciara Smyth (2007) Protection Aspects of the Immigration, Protection and Residence Bill New Rules for the New Irish Law Society of Ireland, Dublin, , 26-JAN-07 [Details]
(2005) Citizens, Non-Citizens and Voting Rights in Europe
Ciara Smyth (2005) The Right to Vote and Participate in Local Elections: Citizens' Right or Human Right? Citizens, Non-Citizens and Voting Rights in Europe University of Edinburgh, Scotland, , 03-JUN-05 [Details]
(2005) Future Developments in Refugee Law
Ciara Smyth (2005) The Future for Subsidiary Protection in Ireland Future Developments in Refugee Law Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, , 28-MAY-05 [Details]
(2004) W.G. Hart Legal Workshop: The Challenge of Migration to Legal Systems
Ciara Smyth & Donncha O'Connell (2004) The Irish Citizenship Referendum: Two Solutions in Search of a Problem W.G. Hart Legal Workshop: The Challenge of Migration to Legal Systems Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, , 29-JUN-04 [Details]

Published Reports

  Year Publication
(2015) Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers.
Working Group on Protection (2015) Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers. Government Publications, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2003) Advocacy Paper No. 3: The Citizenship Referendum, Issues, Observations and Concerns.
Ciara Smyth (2003) Advocacy Paper No. 3: The Citizenship Referendum, Issues, Observations and Concerns. National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, Dublin, Ireland. [ARAN Link] [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2005) The Aftermath of the Citizenship Referendum, the Irish Human Rights Commission,
Ciara Smyth (2005) Public discussion organised by the Irish Human Rights Commission to discuss the aftermath of the citizenship referendum for so-called 'Irish born children' and their parents and for society at large. [Chaired Session], The Aftermath of the Citizenship Referendum, the Irish Human Rights Commission, University of Limerick , 20-AUG-05. [Details]
(2019) Women on Supreme Courts,
Ciara Smyth (2019) Present and past members of the Irish Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of the Seychelles discuss the role of women judges and lawyers. [Chaired Session], Women on Supreme Courts, NUI Galway , 05-MAR-19. [Details]
(2018) The Right to Respect for Private Life and the Regularisation of Irregular Migrants,
Ciara Smyth (2018) The best interests of the child principle in the Article 8 jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. [Invited Oral Presentation], The Right to Respect for Private Life and the Regularisation of Irregular Migrants, Institute of Immigration Law, Leiden, the Netherlands , 29-JUN-18. [Details]
(2018) Summer School: The Immigrant Child - Challenges and Opportunities in International Migration for Children,
Ciara Smyth (2018) The International Legal Position on the Immigration Detention of Children. [Invited Oral Presentation], Summer School: The Immigrant Child - Challenges and Opportunities in International Migration for Children, Institute of Immigration Law, Leiden, the Netherlands , 28-JUN-18. [Details]
(2018) 10th International Disability Law Summer School,
Ciara Smyth (2018) CRPD Reservations and Declarations. [Invited Oral Presentation], 10th International Disability Law Summer School, NUI Galway , 18-JUN-18 - 18-JUN-18. [Details]
(2018) The Rights of Migrants & Refugees: Exploring the Role of Courts & Tribunals,
Ciara Smyth (2018) Conference to launch the LL.M in International Migration and Refugee Law and Policy. [Conference Organising Committee Member], The Rights of Migrants & Refugees: Exploring the Role of Courts & Tribunals, NUI Galway , 17-MAY-18 - 18-MAY-18. [Details]
(2017) 9th International Disability Law Summer School,
Ciara Smyth (2017) The A, B, C of Using and Interpreting a Treaty & International Human Rights Law. [Invited Oral Presentation], 9th International Disability Law Summer School, Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway , 19-JUN-17 - 23-JUN-17. [Details]
(2016) Inclusive Centenaries,
Ciara Smyth (2016) Conference to explore the ideals of the 1916 Proclamation of Independence from the perspective of Ireland's 'new' communities. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Inclusive Centenaries, NUI Galway , 15-JUN-16. [Details]
(2016) Inclusive Centenaries,
Ciara Smyth (2016) The Voices of Young People Living in Direct Provision. [Track Chair ], Inclusive Centenaries, NUI Galway , 15-JUN-16. [Details]
(2016) (Dis)locating Comparative Law,
Ciara Smyth (2016) The Welfare State and Public Service. [Workshop chair], (Dis)locating Comparative Law, NUI Galway , 24-MAY-16. [Details]
(2015) 2nd Mary Robinson Centre Annual Human Rights Lecture, Conflict, Climate Change and Displacement,
Ciara Smyth (2015) Europe's Response to the Current Refugee 'Crisis'. [Invited Oral Presentation], 2nd Mary Robinson Centre Annual Human Rights Lecture, Conflict, Climate Change and Displacement, The Mary Robinson Centre, Ballina , 28-NOV-15 - 28-NOV-15. [Details]
(2014) Public Law: Dignity, Detention and the State,
Ciara Smyth (2014) Dignity and the Direct Provision System. [Invited Oral Presentation], Public Law: Dignity, Detention and the State, NUI Galway , 31-OCT-14 - 31-OCT-14. [Details]
(2013) Public Law in Action,
Ciara Smyth (2013) A Role for Pro-Bono Work in Private Practice. [Invited Oral Presentation], Public Law in Action, Burren College of Art , 11-OCT-13 - 11-OCT-13. [Details]
(2012) The Children's Referendum,
Ciara Smyth (2012) Expert panel discussion with the Minister for Justice and Equality. [Invited Oral Presentation], The Children's Referendum, NUI Galway , 16-OCT-12. [Details]
(2012) The Child in Immigration Law,
Ciara Smyth (2012) Conference exploring the portrayal and treatment of children in immigration law. [Conference Organising Committee Member], The Child in Immigration Law, Leiden University, the Netherlands , 27-JAN-12 - 27-JAN-12. [Details]
(2007) North-South Roundtable Discussion on Immigration,
Ciara Smyth (2007) Overview of EU and Irish Legislation and Policy on Immigration. [Invited Oral Presentation], North-South Roundtable Discussion on Immigration, Dundalk , 18-MAY-07 - 18-MAY-07. [Details]
(2005) Future Developments in Refugee Law,
Ciara Smyth (2005) Conference to explore likely developments in Refugee Law and the international, regional and domestic levels. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Future Developments in Refugee Law, NUI Galway , 28-MAY-05 - 28-MAY-05. [Details]
(2004) Parnell Summer School,
Ciara Smyth (2004) How the Law in Ireland Perceives Immigrants. [Invited Oral Presentation], Parnell Summer School, Avondale, Co. Wicklow , 09-AUG-04 - 09-AUG-04. [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
(2007) 'International Perspective on the D case'
Ciara Smyth (2007) 'International Perspective on the D case' The Law Society Gazette, June :20-21. [Details]

Blog

  Year Publication
(2012) The Irish Asylum System is in Need of Radical Reform.
Ciara Smyth (2012) The Irish Asylum System is in Need of Radical Reform. Ireland: Blog [Details]
(2012) The Proposed Constitutional Amendment and the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Are We There Yet?.
Ciara Smyth (2012) The Proposed Constitutional Amendment and the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Are We There Yet?. Ireland: Blog [Details]

Book Review

  Year Publication
(2016) The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, A Commentary.
Ciara Smyth (2016) The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, A Commentary. Book Review [ARAN Link] [Details]

Newspaper Articles

  Year Publication
(2020) Ireland is Illegally Turning Back Georgians and Albanian Immigrants.
Ciara Smyth (2020) Ireland is Illegally Turning Back Georgians and Albanian Immigrants. Dublin: Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2004) The Case for Constitutional Reform Has Simply Not Been Made.
Ciara Smyth and Donncha O'Connell (2004) The Case for Constitutional Reform Has Simply Not Been Made. Dublin: Newspaper Articles [Details]

Report

  Year Publication
(2008) National Report (Ireland) on the Domestic Implementation of EC Immigration and Asylum Directives: Directive on Family Reunification, Directive on Victims of Trafficking, Directive on Mutual Recognition of Expulsion Decisions, Odysseus Network (for the European Commission).
Ciara Smyth (2008) National Report (Ireland) on the Domestic Implementation of EC Immigration and Asylum Directives: Directive on Family Reunification, Directive on Victims of Trafficking, Directive on Mutual Recognition of Expulsion Decisions, Odysseus Network (for the European Commission). Report [Details]

Workshops

  Year Publication
(2016) Refugee status determination, A&L Goodbody.
Ciara Smyth (2016) Refugee status determination, A&L Goodbody. Workshops [Details]
(2014) Workshop on the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors and Separated Children in Ireland and Europe, UNHCR.
Ciara Smyth (2014) Workshop on the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors and Separated Children in Ireland and Europe, UNHCR. Workshops [Details]
(2012) Masterclass for Asylum Practitioners and Judges: Using European Case-Law and the Courts in Asylum Litigation.
Ciara Smyth & Cathryn Costello (2012) Masterclass for Asylum Practitioners and Judges: Using European Case-Law and the Courts in Asylum Litigation. Workshops [Details]
(2013) Masterclass for Asylum Practitioners and Judges: In the Best Interests of Children.
Ciara Smyth & Kathryn Cronin (2013) Masterclass for Asylum Practitioners and Judges: In the Best Interests of Children. Workshops [Details]
(2013) Refugee status determination, A&L Goodbody.
Ciara Smyth (2013) Refugee status determination, A&L Goodbody. Workshops [Details]
(2011) The concept of the Best Interests of the Child in International Law, Defence for Children International, the Netherlands.
Ciara Smyth (2011) The concept of the Best Interests of the Child in International Law, Defence for Children International, the Netherlands. Workshops [Details]
(2006) Sexual Violence and Refugee Law, Irish Refugee Council and Mayo Rape Crisis Centre.
Ciara Smyth (2006) Sexual Violence and Refugee Law, Irish Refugee Council and Mayo Rape Crisis Centre. Workshops [Details]
(2004) The Citizenship Referendum, Galway Refugee Support Group.
Ciara Smyth (2004) The Citizenship Referendum, Galway Refugee Support Group. Workshops [Details]

Teaching Interests

Ciara teaches Public International Law and International Protection of Human Rights, at the undergraduate level in the School of Law, and International Refugee Law and the Common European Asylum System, at the postgraduate level in the Irish Centre for Human Rights.

Modules Taught

  Term/Year Module Title Module Code Subject / Desc
Semester 1 International Protection of Human Rights LW343
Semester 2 The Common European Asylum System LW5113 EU asylum law, whether it converges with or diverges from international refugee standards, the refugee 'crisis' in Europe, legal and policy responses
Semester 2 International Refugee Law LW5114 International, regional and national protection of asylum seekers, refugees and persons otherwise in need of international protection
Year-long Public International Law LW323