Friday, 4 September 2020

Dr Brian Tobin of the School of Law presented a Family Law paper at the Society of Legal Scholars' first virtual conference today (4 September 2020).  Dr Tobin's paper, 'The (D)evolving Nature of Guardianship Rights for Unmarried Fathers under Irish Law?' was presented in the Family Law stream of #SLSVirtual20 and it will be published in the September edition of Child and Family Law Quarterly. Dr Tobin's paper can be viewed on the School of Law YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/Si0bqZUY3ms 

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

The University has also announced the appointment of four new Adjunct Professors NUI Galway’s School of Law have announced details of a new postgraduate two year Bachelor of Laws (LLB) which will allow students to fast track to a career in law. The School of Law has also introduced an Irish-Language Stream for undergraduate law students and appointed four Adjunct Professors. The new course offerings and Adjunct Professors will further enhance the School’s innovative approach to teaching law, ensuring graduates acquire the practical and academic skills to adapt to an ever changing world.   The two year LLB is a full law degree, open to graduates from any discipline. It provides an excellent basis for work in legal practice, administration, business, government, the media, and many other areas. Speaking about the launch of the new course, Dr Rónán Kennedy, Programme Director of the LLB, said: “The LLB is an excellent conversion course for those who want to enhance their existing career, transfer to a career in law or develop their knowledge of the law for personal reasons. It provides a rapid route towards training for the legal professions in Ireland, offering all the subjects currently required for the solicitor and barrister entrance examinations in Ireland.” The new Irish-Language Stream has been developed in response to the demand for Irish Lawyer Linguists and is an optional stream available on the School’s undergraduate courses. The stream will allow students to develop their Irish-language skills throughout their four year full law degree with Legal Irish modules. In year three students will spend one semester studying at NUI Galway’s Gaeltacht campus in An Cheathrú Rua and one semester of professional work placement in an Irish-speaking legal environment.​ Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law, said: “It is the ideal qualification for students who want to build a career in law and open up a range of exciting job opportunities working through the Irish language. There are fantastic job opportunities for Irish Lawyer Linguists in the Institutions of the European Union.” The appointment of four new Adjunct Professors will give the School’s students further access to academic staff who are nationally and internationally recognised experts in their professions. The appointments include:   Mr Justice Peter Charleton, Judge of the Supreme Court, who has been appointed Adjunct Professor in conjunction with the School’s undergraduate course Law (BCL) Criminology and Criminal Justice. Professor Brendan Edgeworth, a Professor at University of New South Wales Law School and a distinguished property and housing law expert. Professor Edgeworth has been appointed as Adjunct Professor at the School of Law in connection with the School’s Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy Research. Professor Dr Guénaël Mettraux, Judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Member of the European Union's Human Rights Review Panel, and now Adjunct Professor (International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law) at the School’s Irish Centre for Human Rights. Emily Logan, first Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children - appointed Adjunct Professor (Human Rights Practice) at the School’s Irish Centre for Human Rights. Newly appointed Adjunct Professor, Mr. Justice Peter Charleton said: “I'm delighted to be invited to assist in teaching in NUI Galway, a centre of excellence in legal education and a pioneer in the study of human rights law and of criminology in Ireland.” Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “Guénaël Mettraux is a leading expert and practicing international lawyer who has acted as Counsel before a variety of international criminal tribunals. His appointment and extensive international practice experience will contribute greatly to our LLM and PhD programmes in international criminal justice and humanitarian law. “Emily Logan’s appointment builds on our commitment to supporting skills and practice based learning for students on our international human rights law programmes. Students will have the opportunity to work with a leading human rights advocate, former Chair of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, Ireland’s first Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and first Ombudsman for Children.” For more information about NUI Galway School of Law’s new two year LLB commencing this September, the Irish-Language Stream and Adjunct Professors visit www.nuigalway.ie/law. -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Tá ceapachán ceathrar Ollúna Taca fógartha ag an Ollscoil chomh maith D'fhógair Scoil an Dlí, OÉ Gaillimh sonraí faoi Bhaitsiléir Dlíthe (LLB) nua iarchéime a mhairfidh dhá bhliain agus a thabharfaidh deis do mhic léinn dlús a chur lena ngairm le dlí. Tá Sruth Gaeilge tugtha isteach ag Scoil an Dlí do mhic léinn dlí fochéime agus tá ceathrar Ollúna Taca ceaptha freisin. Cuirfidh na cúrsaí nua agus na hOllúna Taca le cur chuige nuálach na Scoile i leith theagasc an dlí, rud a chinnteoidh go sealbhóidh céimithe na scileanna praiticiúla agus acadúla le dul i ngleic le saol atá ag síorathrú.   Is céim iomlán dlí é an LLB dhá bhliain, atá oscailte do chéimithe ó réimse ar bith.  Soláthraíonn sé bunús iontach le tabhairt faoi obair i réimsí an chleachtais dlí, an riarachán, an gnó, obair in eagraíochtaí rialtais, na meáin agus réimsí go leor eile. Ag trácht ar sheoladh an chúrsa nua, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Rónán Kennedy, Stiúrthóir Cláir an LLB: “Is cúrsa tiontaithe iontach é an LLB dóibh siúd ar mhian leo cur lena ngairm reatha, aistriú go gairm le dlí nó forbairt a dhéanamh ar an eolas atá acu ar an dlí ar údair phearsanta. Cuireann sé bealach gasta ar fáil i dtreo oiliúint sna gairmeacha dlí in Éirinn, agus na hábhair uile atá riachtanach do scrúduithe iontrála an dlíodóra agus an abhcóide in Éirinn á dtairiscint ann.” Forbraíodh an Sruth nua Gaeilge mar fhreagra ar an éileamh atá ar Dhlítheangeolaithe le Gaeilge agus is sruth roghnach é atá ar fáil ar chúrsaí fochéime na Scoile. Tabharfaidh an Sruth Gaeilge deis do mhic léinn a gcuid scileanna Gaeilge a fhorbairt agus iad i mbun céim iomlán ceithre bliana sa dlí. Sa tríú bliain, caithfidh mic léinn seimeastar amháin ag staidéar ar champas Gaeltachta OÉ Gaillimh ar an gCeathrú Rua agus seimeastar eile ar shocrúchán oibre gairmiúil i dtimpeallacht dlí ina labhraítear Gaeilge. Deir an Dr Charles O’Mahony, Ceann Scoil an Dlí: “Is í seo an cháilíocht is fearr do mhic léinn atá ag iarraidh gairm a mhúnlú dóibh féin sa dlí agus raon deiseanna fostaíochta spreagúla a bheith ar fáil dóibh sa Ghaeilge. Tá deiseanna fostaíochta iontacha ar fáil freisin do Dhlítheangeolaithe in Institiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh.” Tabharfaidh ceapachán ceathrar Ollúna Taca nua rochtain bhreise do mhic léinn na Scoile ar fhoireann acadúil a aithnítear go hidirnáisiúnta agus go náisiúnta mar shaineolaithe ina gcuid gairmeacha. I measc na gceapachán tá:  An Breitheamh Onórach Peter Charleton, Breitheamh den Chúirt Uachtarach, a ceapadh ina Ollamh Taca ar chúrsa fochéime na Scoile sa Dlí, Coireolaíocht agus Ceartas Coiriúil. An tOllamh Brendan Edgeworth, Ollamh i Scoil Dlí Ollscoil New South Wales agus saineolaí iomráiteach ar dhlí réadmhaoine agus tithíochta. Ceapadh an tOllamh Edgeworth ina Ollamh Taca i Scoil an Dlí agus beidh sé ag obair go príomha san Ionad Taighde do Dhlí, Cearta agus Polasaí Tithíochta. An Dr Guénaël Mettraux, Breitheamh Shain-Dlísheomraí na Cosaive agus Ball de Phainéal Athbhreithnithe an Aontais Eorpaigh um Chearta an Duine, agus Ollamh Taca (Dlí Coirpeach Idirnáisiúnta agus Dlí Daonnúil Idirnáisiúnta) in Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine anois. Emily Logan, an chéad Phríomh-Choimisinéir ar Choimisiún na hÉireann um Chearta an Duine agus Comhionannas agus an chéad Ombudsman do Leanaí in Éirinn - ceaptha mar Ollamh Comhghafach (Cleachtas um Chearta an Duine) ag Ionad na hÉireann um Chearta an Duine. Deir an tOllamh Taca nuacheaptha, an Breitheamh Onórach Peter Charleton: “Tá lúcháir orm cuireadh a fháil chun tacú leis an teagasc in OÉ Gaillimh, atá mar ionad barr feabhais in oideachas an dlí agus ceannródaí i léann an dlí i leith chearta an duine agus léann na coireolaíochta in Éirinn. Deir an tOllamh Siobhán Mullally, Stiúrthóir Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is príomhshaineolaí agus dlíodóir idirnáisiúnta atá ag cleachtadh a ghairme é Guénaël Mettraux a bhí ina Abhcóide os comhair réimse éagsúil binsí coiriúla idirnáisiúnta. Cuirfidh a cheapachán agus a thaithí fhairsing ar chleachtas idirnáisiúnta go mór lenár gcláir LLM agus PhD sa Cheartas Coiriúil Idirnáisiúnta agus sa Dlí Daonnúil. “Cuireann ceapachán Emily Logan lenár dtiomantas tacú le scileanna agus le foghlaim chleachtas-bhunaithe do mhic léinn ar ár gcláir i nDlí Idirnáisiúnta Chearta an Duine. Beidh deis ag mic léinn oibriú le príomhurlabhraí chearta an duine, iarChathaoirleach Líonra Eorpach na nInstitiúidí Náisiúnta um Chearta an Duine, an chéad Phríomhchoimisinéir ar Choimisiún na hÉireann um Chearta an Duine agus Comhionannas agus an chéad Ombudsman do Leanaí in Éirinn.” Le tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin LLB nua dhá bhliain i Scoil an Dlí, OÉ Gaillimh atá le tosú i mí Mheán Fómhair, faoin Sruth Gaeilge agus faoi na hOllúna Taca téigh chuig www.nuigalway.ie/law. -Críoch-

Friday, 5 June 2020

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Emily Logan, Adjunct Professor to the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Commenting on her appointment, Ms Logan said: "With such a strong global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy, it is indeed a great honour to join the Irish Centre for Human Rights". Emily Logan previously served as Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, appointed by President Michael D. Higgins, from 2014 to 2019. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, a fifteen member Commission, is Ireland’s national human rights institution and national equality body, accounts to the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) and is accredited by the United Nations as an ‘A’ status institution. In October 2018, she was nominated by her peers across Council of Europe member states as Chair of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions. Prior to this, she served as Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children from 2003 to 2014, appointed by President McAleese and accounting to the Oireachtas (Irish parliament). In 2008 she was nominated by her peers to the position of President of the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children. Emily’s contribution to the rights of the children of Ireland, in particular children without parental guardianship, children in the care of the State, separated children or those deprived of their liberty, is widely acknowledged. She has for many years appeared in multiple national and international fora, including before the Oireachtas for sixteen years and regionally and internationally at the Council of Europe and across all United Nations Treaty-based bodies, UN Charter-based bodies and engaging with Special Procedures mandate holders.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Academic staff in the School of Law have contributed research papers, newspaper articles and other contributions to public discourse in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.  Dr Rónán Kennedy, 'Contact Tracing and Data Protection', Obiter Dicta podcast (May 2020) Prof Ray Murphy, 'Respect for human rights must be central to our response to Covid-19', Sunday Business Post (May 2020) Dr Shane Darcy, 'Human rights due diligence for business: elements and developments', Business & Human Rights in Ireland Blog (May 2020) Dr Padraic Kenna, 'This time it IS different: Covid-19 and the renewal of housing rights', Progressive Economy @ TASC (May 2020)  Dr Rónán Kennedy, 'Data Protection and COVID-19: Short-Term Priorities, Long-Term Consequences', Bloomsbury Professional (May 2020) Dr Padraic Kenna, 'If we are to create a just society after COVID-19, we need to talk about property rights', openDemocracy (May 2020) Dr Conor Hanly and Dr Rónán Kennedy, 'Is it possible to have a socially distant trial by jury?', RTÉ Brainstorm (May 2020) Tom O'Malley, 'Can jury trial be waived?', Sentencing, Crime and Justice Blog (May 2020) Dr John Danaher, 'Will COVID-19 Spark a Moral Revolution? Eight Possibilities', Philosophical Disquisitions Blog (April 2020) Dr Padraic Kenna, 'This time it will be different?' Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy (April 2020) Dr Rónán Kennedy, 'Why have Irish courts been slow to move online during the crisis?', RTÉ Brainstorm (April 2020) Dr Padraic Kenna, 'Could the Kenny Report solve the Irish housing crisis?', RTÉ Brainstorm (March 2020) Dr John Danaher also has a series of podcasts on various aspects of COVID-19 on matters such as surveillance and privacy, ethical contexts, healthcare prioritisation and how to understand COVID-19. 

Monday, 18 May 2020

Report shines a light on a ‘lost decade’ of mortgage possessions and warns that Covid-19 could result in a new round of arrears A major research report confirms, for the first time, that almost half of the mortgage possession cases listed before the courts are being pursued by “household name” banks, which are directly supervised by the European Central Bank. The research, A Lost Decade – Study on Mortgage Possession Court Lists in Ireland, was carried out by Dr Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway. The report examined some 12,650 mortgage possession cases between April and December 2019, and provides a detailed breakdown of the financial institutions seeking possession of homes. The ECB ‘significant’ supervised entities accounting for 46% of the listed cases in the study period are AIB (and its subsidiaries), Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and KBC. The report also reveals that one in every five mortgage cases over that period was being pursued by Permanent TSB, which is 75% owned by the Minister for Finance of Ireland and is supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland. So-called vulture funds, or non-bank mortgage entities and retail credit firms, were taking one third of cases before the Irish courts over that period. Dr Kenna warned that Covid-19 could result in a new round of mortgage arrears and that many of the challenges of the last decade could re-emerge: “It is important not to repeat the mistakes of the past and I would recommended that those facing mortgage payment problems post Covid 19 should be able to avail of the State mediation, personal insolvency and new legislation in 2019 which obliges courts to carry out proportionality assessments.” His research confirmed that women have been particularly vulnerable to the actions of financial entities. “One of the most glaring findings of this research is the absence of a gender dimension in State reports on the issue. Women as the majority of single-parents, with responsibility for children and often most relying on State supports, are more heavily impacted by these actions of financial entities. Yet, despite legal obligations on equality, no State agency, including the Central Bank of Ireland, addresses gender in its reports”, explained Dr Kenna. The research finds that only one quarter of borrowers at risk of losing their homes had any listed legal representation. Some 7% represented themselves. In contrast, financial institutions were almost always legally represented, with just 10 legal firms accounting for 70% of the possession proceedings on behalf of financial entities. The report confirms that the numbers of possession orders being granted is reducing year on year, since 2015. Continuing the pattern over the years, for every two orders granted, three are not granted by the courts, for a variety of reasons. Most cases were dealt with by the County Registrar rather than the Judge in Circuit Courts. The highest proportion of cases were located in the South East (19% of cases) and Midland (18% of cases) Circuits. The full report, A Lost Decade – Study on Mortgage Possession Court Lists in Ireland, is available here: A-Lost-Decade---Report-on-Mortgage-Possession-Cases-in-Ireland- For more information please contact Dr Padraic Kenna at 0864176484 or padraic.kenna@nuigalway.ie, or Sheila Gorham, Marketing and Communications, NUI Galway, at Sheila.gorham@nuigalway.ie. Note to editors: The research is based on a sample of 12,650 cases, between April and December 2019, comprising 8,505 (67%) on County Registrars Lists, 1,467 (12%) on the Callover Lists and some 2,678 (21%) on the Circuit Court Judges’ List. There were 5,340 unique cases (excluding duplicate listings) in the period. This duplication of Listing occurs due to adjournments, or separate hearings, and Listings in each of the Registrars, Callover or Judges Lists in the period.  Media Coverage This major research report was discussed in many media outlets. These include reports from The Irish Times here and here, RTÉ News, RTÉ Six One News (Tuesday, @20.28), Irish Independent here and here, Irish Examiner here and here, Nuacht TG4 (@9.46), Newstalk, and Breaking News here and here.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

“The EU institutional response after 2009 did not respect, observe or promote human or housing rights. This time it must be different” says Dr Padraic Kenna, NUI Galway Dr Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at the School of Law, NUI Galway, has said that the EU should avoid the mistakes of the 2009 crisis by ensuring that human rights, and particularly housing rights are embedded within its response to Covid-19. In a set of three new Briefing Papers available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/chlrp/news/this-time-it-will-be-different.html  Dr Kenna outlines how EU institutions interacting with Member States’ in response to this crisis, must now apply the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, especially in economic governance and financial supervision.  He said that nowhere was this more important than in the way in which housing is treated. The three Briefing Papers will form the basis for a significant submission to the European Commission on a New Strategy for the Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, now part of Treaty law for 10 years. Dr Kenna said: “Housing is a fundamental right and need on which so many other rights depend, like health, safety, privacy and home life, as Covid-19 has so clearly shown. Access to adequate and affordable housing for all is becoming a key test of the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Union.” “Housing is a major political issue in many Member States, including as we know, here in Ireland,” he continued. “Over 80 million Europeans are overburdened by housing costs.  One quarter of Europeans live in overcrowded housing, and an estimated 700,000 people were homeless in 2019. Housing is, once again ,the wobbly pillar of EU banking stability, and this will be exacerbated following Covid-19.” Dr Kenna also commented that a ‘business as usual’ attitude by EU institutions when it comes to responding to the Covid-19 tragedy was no longer good enough for EU citizens. “Maintaining the legitimacy of all our EU institutions is now a vital part of the recovery we need. To do this, we all need to see a real human and housing based-reboot.”

Monday, 2 March 2020

New Zealand is very much to the fore In terms of global developments in electronic conveyancing. Today (March 2 2020), we had a very interesting lecture on these developments in this area, including comparisons between eConveyancing progress in Ireland and in New Zealand, by Sandra Murphy Solicitor and IRC PhD candidate, and Professor Rod Thomas, of Auckland University, New Zealand, who is an international expert in this area.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

The School of Law was delighted to welcome back Jacinta Niland (partner), Beauchamps Solicitors, to deliver a guest lecture on commercial leases to students of the International Commercial Property Law Module on the LLM in International and Comparative Business Law this week. Jacinta is a Bachelor of Civil Law graduate from NUI Galway (2005) as well as a Masters in Law (e-law & commercial law) in UCC (2006). She qualified as a solicitor in 2011 and became a partner at Beauchamps in 2017.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

The European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights is now ten years old. The Charter brings into European and Irish law a range of human rights – in such areas as equality, access to justice, respect for privacy and home, and a range of socio-economic rights. The Charter, in its entirety, addresses, and is applicable to, the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union, and Member States when they implement EU law. To mark the 10th Anniversary of the Charter the School of Law NUI Galway arranged, together with the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL), and Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a major conference in December 2019, with speakers from across all areas law of EU and human rights law and a range of EU Member States. Panel discussions were chaired by The Hon Mr Justice Nial Fennelly, The Hon Mr Justice Aindrias Ó Caoimh, and the Hon Mr Justice Tony O’ Connor. Pictured above are Dr. Stephen Brittain BL. Director ICEL, Dr Padraic Kenna NUI Galway, Marguerite Angelari, J.D. (OSJI) The Hon Mr Justice Nial Fennelly (formerly of the Supreme Court), Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Anna Van Duin, University of Amsterdam, Professor Jeff Kenner, University of Nottingham and Vice President of the Global Campus of Human Rights, Venice, Italy.  Conference participants in the Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin

Monday, 6 January 2020

In September 2020 NUI Galway’s School of Law will enrol the first cohorts of students in two new undergraduate degrees; Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice and Law and Taxation. The launch of these two new programmes is the latest in a series of innovations by the School of Law to further develop the undergraduate study of law at NUI Galway. Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice is a unique new degree providing students with the opportunity to combine the study of a full undergraduate law degree with specially-developed modules in criminal law, criminology and criminal justice. Programme Director, Dr Diarmuid Griffin said: “Graduates of this programme will be well-positioned to pursue careers as barristers or solicitors specialising in criminal law or working with the agencies and organisations of the criminal justice system.” Law and Taxation will enable students to combine the study of a full undergraduate law degree with taxation and still explore other related areas of law and commerce including Business and Commercial Law, Accountancy, Economics, Digital Business and Management. Senior Lecturer in Taxation and Finance at NUI Galway, Dr Emer Mulligan said: “Ireland is an increasingly important hub on the international taxation landscape. Irish law and other professional services firms advise leading domestic and international corporations and financial institutions, who undertake their business in and from Ireland. This Law and Taxation degree will equip students with the graduate attributes, knowledge and practical work experience needed to pursue a range of careers in taxation across tax advisory roles and industry.” The two new programmes complement existing Law degrees on offer at NUI Galway including Law, Law and Business, and Law and Human Rights, which was launched in 2019 and is the first of its kind in the country. All Law degrees offered by NUI Galway are full Law degrees which means students have the option to pursue professional legal training as a solicitor or as a barrister upon graduation. All programmes offer study abroad and work placement opportunities and recent reforms of the Year 1 curriculum across all Law programmes means that students are equipped with core legal skills from the outset, before progressing to more complex Law modules. Head of School of Law at NUI Galway, Dr Charles O’Mahony explains: “It is a great time to consider studying Law at NUI Galway, especially with the new and innovative changes around our undergraduate programmes. We are very proud that the School of Law was named the ‘Law School of the Year 2019’ at the recent Irish Law Awards. NUI Galway Law students become highly-skilled, employable graduates able to progress to professional qualification and to pursue a range of other careers locally, nationally and globally. Our new Law degrees allow students to specialise in areas of interest to them, equipping students with both the academic and practical skills required for successful careers.” For more information on the new programmes visit our undergraduate page.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Dr Brian Tobin of the School of Law, Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley, lecturer in history at the College of Arts, Social Science & Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, Dr Rebecca Barr (University of Cambridge), and Dr Mary McAuliffe (UCD) held a successful two-day workshop on 'Feminism, Fertility and Reproduction: Towards a Progressive Politics' on Wednesday 4th - Thursday 5th December in the Human Biology Building at NUI Galway. The group received funding for this event from the Irish Research Council under its 'Creative Connections' scheme.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Congratulations to Dr Diarmuid Griffin who was presented with a President's Award for Societal Impact at a special event on 20 November 2019. Diarmuid was successfully awarded for his pioneering work on sentencing and release of life sentence prisoners in Ireland and is highly commended for his efforts in terms of national policy change and practices to prepare for the release of life sentence prisoners.  Before Diarmuid’s research and public engagement activities over a decade ago, at a national level there was little information on the release of life sentence prisoners.  His work has engaged directly with the Prison system in Ireland, Life sentence prisoners, Dáil question lines, advocating and influencing of policy, judicial citations and his work has most recently culminated in the creation and the passing of the Parole Act 2019. Read more at Diarmuid's Case Study.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

The School of Law is proud to announce that the won of the Postgraduate Course of the Year in Law award sponsored by PwC. This was announced at gradirelandHigher Education Symposium & Awards 2020 on Friday 22 November 2019. The LLM had also been shortlisted in the Best New Course category. The  judging panel’s comments included, "Excellent innovation and teaching methodology, with strong links to industry".  Congratulations to programme director Dr Connie Healy and the entire teaching team of the Masters in International and Comparative Business Law.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

28 November 2019 17:30 – 20:00 at Galway Court House 2 CPD points for attendance The end of the Irish lending boom has left many individuals and families with unsustainable levels of personal debt. This seminar, co-organised by the Irish Centre for European Law, the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy (CHLRP) at the School of Law, NUI Galway, will examine how the Unfair Contract Terms in Consumer Contracts Directive (UCTD), the Charter of Fundamental Rights, recent case law and legislation can assist borrowers in debt related proceeding. Based on the UCTD and the Charter, the CJEU has been developing the law in this area, which can be applied by the Irish courts. This is a free seminar but registration is essential. To register see https://ti.to/ ICEL/eu-law-and-debt- proceedings-a-new- approach or email icel@tcd.ie

Friday, 18 October 2019

Warmest congratulations to Ursula Connolly, who was awarded second place in the 2019 Dean's Awards for Inclusive Teaching (Individual Award). Ursula was nominated for the award by students, in recognition of her highly inclusive and empathetic approach to teaching. Ursula is pictured receiving her award certificate from the Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, Prof. John McHale, at the College's Inclusive Teaching Workshop. Ursula subsequently presented on her teaching approach to staff and students attending the workshop. Pictured below are the other award winners, the heads of School, including the Head of the School of Law, Dr Charles O'Mahony, and Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley and Dr Shivaun Quinlivan, who organised Friday's event.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

A group of housing experts and public representative from Boston and Massachusetts visited the Centre for Housing Law Rights and Policy NUI Galway, as part of their housing policy fact-finding mission in Ireland. Pictured here with Dr Padraic Kenna are Kevin. G. Honan, Massachusetts State Representative and Chair of Committee on Housing, Chrystal Kornegay, Director of Massachusetts Housing, and Michael O’ Connor, President of M.J. O’ Connor Contracting in Boston, who hails from Co. Clare. The group participated in a seminar comparing housing law and policy issues between Ireland and Massachusetts.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

The School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture 2019, in conjunction with the Sheehy-Skeffington Annual Distinguished Lecture, took place on Friday 27th of September 2019.  This year, our Annual Distinguished Lecture was delivered by Justice Leona Theron of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.  The title of the lecture was ”Are we all Equal? Is the new South Africa’s promise of true equality a reality or still a dream?” This was our ninth Annual Distinguished Lecture. Previous speakers included 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, Professor Nicholas Canny and Judge Síofra O’Leary. Justice Leona Theron: Justice Theron was born in KwaZulu-Natal on the east coast of South Africa.   She attended Natal University from 1984 to 1988 where she completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws.   In 1989 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship by the American Government to study in the US.   She obtained a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University in Washington DC in 1990.   Whilst she was in the States, she worked for the International Labour Organisation in Washington DC and for a firm of attorneys in Los Angeles. On her return to South Africa at the end of 1990, Justice Theron practiced as an advocate and also lectured at the University of Natal.  In 1995, she was appointed by former President Mandela as a member of the Judge White Commission which was tasked with assessing various contentious decisions that had been taken in the Public Service.  On 15 October 1999, she was appointed as a Judge of the High Court.  At the age of 32, Justice Theron was the then youngest judge in the country and was the first black female judge to be appointed in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.  After serving as a High Court Judge for eleven years, Justice Theron was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal.  She was the then youngest member of the Supreme Court of Appeal.  On 1 July 2017,  Justice Theron was appointed to the Constitutional Court, which is the apex Court in the Republic of South Africa.  Justice Theron’s rise from humble beginnings in a poor segregated township in South Africa, to the highest court in the land has been described as nothing short of spectacular and as an achievement against all odds. Justice Theron is well known for a number of leading judgments and, in particular, for her fierce defense of women’s rights.  In 2008, she handed down a seminal judgment in the KZN High Court in the matter of Gumede v President of the RSA.  Justice Theron ruled that certain statutory provisions which discriminated against women who were married under African customary law were unconstitutional as they constituted unfair discrimination on the grounds of race and sex.  Her judgment was later upheld by the Constitutional Court.  Whilst acting at the Supreme Court of Appeal, Justice Theron wrote a powerful dissent against the majority judgment in State v Nkomo who had reduced the sentence of a convicted rapist.  In doing so, Justice Theron emphasized the need for Courts to be mindful of their duty to send out a clear message to potential rapists and the community that they are determined to protect the equality, dignity and freedom of all women.  In a groundbreaking judgment on racism in the workplace, Justice Theron recently wrote a unanimous judgment on behalf of the Constitutional Court in Rustenburg Platinum Mine v SA Equity Workers.  Her judgment sets a precedent for the proper approach to sanctioning racist remarks in the workplace. Even more recently, Justice Theron’s majority judgment in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality v Asla confirmed that organs of state and private parties contracting with the state no longer have the protection afforded by time bars to escape the consequences of patently unlawful and invalid contracts. Justice Theron has been described as an activist.  She was also a founding member of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges.  She sits on a number of boards, and has delivered papers at numerous conferences, both within South Africa and internationally.  Justice Theron has, over the years, received numerous awards for her contribution to the development of justice in South Africa.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Congratulations to our colleague, Dr Shivaun Quinlivan, and to our former colleague, Prof. Gerard Quinn, whose work was cited yesterday by the Irish Supreme Court in a landmark decision on disability equality law. Other work by Dr Quinlivan, and by students of the LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, was previously incorporated in the General Comment on Article 5 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The General Comment, which addresses equality and non-discrimination for persons with disabilities, was adopted by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last year. Dr Quinlivan and Prof. Quinn are experts in disability law, and the citation of their work is a testament to the quality of their research, and to its national and international impact. The incorporation of wording by our LLM students in the General Comment demonstrates the very high quality of their work also, and their strong commitment to social justice. Our congratulations to all concerned, and also to Dr Quinlivan, who led the group, on this wonderful achievement. The full decision of the Supreme Court is available at: http://www.courts.ie/Judgments.nsf/09859e7a3f34669680256ef3004a27de/0036387fa70d0e74802584480046ab2b?OpenDocument The General Comment on Article 5 of the CRPD is available at: https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/crpd/pages/gc.aspx

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Legislation developed by the School of Law at NUI Galway has been passed by the Oireachtas. The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform (Amendment) Act 2019 enables courts to consider better solutions for distressed mortgagers. The Act has its genesis in the Keeping People in their Homes Bill, which was introduced in the Dáil in 2017 by Minister of State, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD. This legislation was originally inspired and drafted by Dr Padraic Kenna, Senior Lecturer in Housing and Property Law at NUI Galway, and NUI Galway Alumnus, Eugene Deering, BA, LLB, LLM, and Special Adviser to Minister Moran, following detailed research at the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy Research in NUI Galway and discussions with Department of Justice officials. The original Bill contained the key provisions of the new Act, including the critical ‘proportionality test’ – finding the outcome involving least interference with rights of respect for home, and taking into account the circumstances of all household members, advocated by Dr Kenna and Mr Deering. Dr Padraic Kenna, School of Law, NUI Galway, said: “This legislation builds on existing Government initiatives designed to assist people in mortgage distress, and reflects government policy of keeping people in their homes, and ensures that the circumstances of everyone living in the home, including children, are fully considered in mortgage possession cases.” Minister of State, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD, presented and advanced the Act in the Oireachtas. The passage of the legislation was facilitated by officials in the Department of Justice and Equality, former Minister, Frances Fitzgerald (now MEP), and current Minister, Charles Flanagan TD. It was also supported by Jim O’ Callaghan TD, Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Justice and Equality, and passed by agreement of all TDs in July 2019.The legislation enables a court or registrar to consider whether the making of a possession order would be proportionate in all the circumstances, whether the lender has put forward a statement to the borrower which would enable the borrower and their dependants to remain in the home and settle the matter, and “additional matters it thinks appropriate.” The court must now also consider the circumstances of the borrower and any dependants living in the home. This will include the circumstances of any children, and persons with a disability.The new Act also enables a court or registrar to consider any proposal made by the borrower to the lender, which would allow him/her, and any dependants, to remain in the home, or to secure alternative accommodation – as well as the response of the lender to that proposal. The court will be able to review the conduct of the mortgage lender, as well as the borrower, in their attempts to find a resolution.Dr Charles O’ Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “This significant legislative development will enable Irish courts to fully consider the circumstances of those at risk of losing their home. It was inspired and drafted originally in the School of Law, following detailed research on EU developments, and clearly demonstrates the impact of our research and engagement at NUI Galway’s School of Law.” The Act is available to download at: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2019/19/For more information about the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy Research, NUI Galway, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/chlrp/-Ends-

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

The School of Law NUI Galway has been named ‘Law School of the Year 2019' at the Irish Law Awards, securing the prestigious accolade for the first time.Outperforming the other Law Schools, NUI Galway's School of Law has a strong reputation for research and has made significant changes to its undergraduate law programmes over the past year. The School has also introduced a number of new law degrees, to include: Law & Business, new 2019 Law & Human Rights, new 2019 Law & Taxation, new 2020 Law Criminology & Criminal Justice, new 2020 In a year of firsts, the School of Law were part of legal history in March of this year when the highest court in Ireland, the Supreme Court, would sit in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. This was be the first time that the Supreme Court would sit outside of a courthouse since it returned to the Four Courts in 1932, the first time it would sit in Galway and only the third time the court would ever sit outside of DublinRebecca McKittrick, a Masters graduate from NUI Galway’s School of Law was selected as a finalist in the ‘Law Student of the Year’ category. Additionally, the Hon Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness a great friend of the School of Law and Chair of the University’s Governing Authority received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the ceremony. Dr Charles O’Mahony Head of the School of Law said: “This is wonderful recognition of the School of Law, Irish Centre for Human Rights and Centre for Disability Law and Policy. We have strengths across research and learning, teaching and assessment.  This is also tremendous recognition of our collective contribution to our city, region and broader society through our scholarship and work on law and public policy engagement.  We were delighted to see our student Rebecca McKittrick selected as a finalist in the ‘Law Student of the Year’ category. The ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ conferred on the Hon Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness is fitting recognition of her extraordinary career and enduring commitment to the law, justice and public service.” Professional Work Placement / Study AboardAll students studying law at NUI Galway have the opportunity for students to gain real world experience through work placement or study abroad in the third year of their degree.  The School of Law has partnered with local, regional, national and internationally recognised law firms and businesses who offer high quality professional work experience for our law students.Students can also choose to avail of the opportunity to study abroad with partner institutions, transforming their university degree into a truly global experience.  The School of Law has partnered with leading universities in Australia, Canada, China, Europe and the United States. Innovation in Teaching, Learning & AssessmentThe School of Law works closely with students to support transition from secondary school to university, and to build the skills necessary for their law degree and career.  NUI Galway places the development of these skills at the heart of our law degrees.  In first year, students spend their first four weeks creating a solid skills foundation by concentrating on research, case analysis, statutory interpretation, legal citation and legal writing.  Once foundational skills are in place, students are then introduced to substantive subjects. School of Law Research & EventsThe School of Law is committed to engaging with the legal professions through events that inform public policy and practice.  The School delivers a wide range of conferences, summer schools, lunchtime talks and seminars every year.  These events are open to the public, complement student learning and provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points to local legal community. The School of Law has an excellent research reputation. Staff publish with leading publishers and University presses (Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Hart & Routledge), and in the leading international law journals. A strong focus on public policy engagement has always been a key strength of School and Centres and in its research and teaching.  The School of Law also has an excellent track record of securing competitive research funding.Congratulating the School of Law on their award, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of colleagues at NUI Galway, I extend warmest congratulations to Charles and his team in the School of Law on securing the title of Law School of the Year at the Irish Law Awards. This recognises and respects the immense work and dedication which the School has demonstrated over recent years in providing excellent opportunities for students and for developing a range of innovations to our distinctive course offerings.  I am also delighted to see the Hon Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Justice McGuinness has been an adjunct professor at the School of Law since 2005.  She is one of Ireland’s leading jurists and has been a progressive and reforming force in Irish legal history over her lifetime.   As Chair of NUI Galway’s Governing Authority since 2013 she has made an enormous contribution to the governance of our University. On behalf of NUI Galway I extend our warmest congratulations as her achievements are so justly recognised by the Irish Law Awards in this way.” Awards for Galway Law FirmsA number of Galway based law firms were also honoured at the Irish Law Awards. Alastair Purdy & Co. Solicitors received the Connacht/Ulster & Munster Employment Law Firm of the Year award.  MacSweeney & Company received the Connacht/Ulster Law Firm of the Year, Connacht/Ulster Litigation Law Firm of the Year and the Connacht/Ulster & Munster Family Law Firm of the Year awards. Blake & Kenny Solicitors received the Connacht/Ulster Property Law Firm/Team/Lawyer of the Year award.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

TUTORING POSITIONS Every year, the Law School offers tutorials to our undergraduate and LL.B. students in the core Irish law subjects. Applications are invited for tutoring positions in the following subjects:  Administrative Law Company Law Constitutional Law Contract Law Criminal Law Land Law Law of Equity Law of Torts Understanding the Law Applicants must hold a 2.1 undergraduate law degree.  If you are interested in tutoring in the academic year 2019/20, please submit a one page CV to Tara Elwood, Law School, NUI Galway (t.elwood@nuigalway.ie) by Friday 28th June 2019, indicating your preferred subject area(s).  The Law School anticipates that interviews will be held week commencing Monday 29th July 2019.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Dr Ioanna Tourkochoriti was one of the organisers of the 8th Annual Conference of the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law was held on May 10th-11th at McGill School of Law. Prof Maximo Langer (UCLA, ASCL Vice President) delivered a keynote speech on “Plea Bargaining and the Global Administration of Criminal Convictions”. The Conference offered the opportunity to 60 early stage comparative law scholars from all over the world to discuss their work in a supportive and constructive spirit. Dr  Tourkochoriti is a co-chair of the 2019 Annual YCC Conference Program Committee More information on the event can be found on the McGill website.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

In early March 2019, the Supreme Court held a historic sitting in NUI Galway, but a major judgment delivered by the Supreme Court today (11 April 2019) involved, in a sense, the Law School at  NUI Galway going to the Supreme Court. In the case in question, People (DPP) v Mahon the Court dealt with two important matters. The first was the manner in which a trial judge should interpret a jury verdict when there is some ambiguity as to the basis in which it was reached, a problem that can sometimes arise where a person charged with murder is convicted of manslaughter. The second dealt with principles and guidelines for the sentencing of manslaughter. This was the first time the Supreme Court had issued sentencing guidelines for any offence, and it involved a departure from a decision the Court had reached in 1988 that it would inappropriate to give sentencing guidance of this nature.  Among the sources on which the Court drew when setting out the guidelines was an article by Dr Diarmuid Griffin published in the Irish Jurist in 2015 on the release and recall of life prisoners. That was not the only NUI Galway connection. The appeal was argued by Tom O'Malley of the School of Law who acted as lead counsel for the State (with Anne Marie Lawlor SC and Gareth Baker BL).

Friday, 22 March 2019

Congratulations to Dr Connie Healy of the School of Law who has been awarded Irish Research Council (New Foundations) Funding to undertake research into the Unified Family Courts system in Baltimore, USA. This comes at a time where there has been a renewed call for specialist family courts in Ireland highlighted by research undertaken by the Child Care Law Reporting Project led by Dr Carol Coulter and the report of the Special Rapporteur for Child Protection, Dr Geoffrey Shannon. Dr Healy’s doctoral research into Conflict Resolution within the Family Law System was also funded by the IRC.

Friday, 22 March 2019

A very successful launch of ‘eConveyancing and Title Registration in Ireland' a co-edited book by Sandra Murphy, solicitor and Dr. Padraic Kenna, took place in the President’s Drawing Room in the Aula Maxima, National University of Ireland, Galway on Friday 15th March. Ms. Justice Mary Laffoy, Judge of the Supreme Court (retired) and President of the Law Reform Commission, launched the book with Dr. Charles O’Mahony as Master of Ceremonies. The book, published by Clarus Press, follows a conference held in 2017, chaired by the Honourable Ms. Justice Mary Laffoy and Mr. Justice Michael Peart and brought together national and international experts in the area of land law and conveyancing. The book represents a significant milestone in the development of a system of electronic conveyancing for Ireland.

Friday, 22 March 2019

The Irish Centre for Human Rights launched the on Thursday, 28 February, 2019.  Ms Gráinne O'Hara, Head of the Department of International Protection at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, gave the keynote address reflecting  on her experience of working with refugees in Mexico, the former Yugoslavia, Burundi, Sudan (Darfur), the US, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.  Ms O’Hara also spoke to the need for highly qualified postgraduates in the area of migration and forced displacement, both at the policy level and in the field: “At a time when human mobility, and forced displacement in particular, is to the forefront of so many highly charged political discussions, the value of academic discipline on the distinct but related issues of migration and refugee flight comes into its own. The LLM in International Migration and Refugee Law and Policy on offer from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI is a case in point. A clear understanding of the relevant legal frameworks, coupled with evidence-based analysis on field realities, is critical to good policy making.” The LL.M in International Migration and Refugee Law will commence in September, 2019 and is the only course of its kind on offer in an Irish university.  The Irish Centre for Human Rights, as one of the world’s premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights, is uniquely placed to deliver this course.  The programme enables the development of expertise in international, regional and domestic law, policy and practice in the areas of migration, human trafficking and refugee law.  There is the opportunity to combine the study of international migration with specialised courses in international humanitarian law and peace operations, gender and law, child rights, and international criminal law.The core-teaching programme is supplemented with an exciting programme of guest seminars, workshops and conferences engaging with leading experts and practitioners in the field of refugee protection, human trafficking, international migration, human rights law and public policy.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley has been promoted to Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway. Dr Buckley previously lectured at the University of Warwick and the University of Limerick. She specialises in equality law, labour law and family property law, and is currently co-leading a major project advising the States of Guernsey on the development of multi-ground equality legislation. She is also a member of the Berkeley Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Study Group, where she is a member of the Sexual Harassment Working Group and the Disability Rights Working Group. Dr Padraic Kenna has been promoted to Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway. Padraic is the Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy and is leading a project on integrating housing rights into the EU institutional economic governance framework. Padraic has recently published Loss of Homes and Evictions across Europe – A Comparative Legal and Policy Examination. (Cheltenham, Edward Elgar). This book provides a comparative assessment of human rights, administrative, procedural and public policy norms, in the context of eviction, across a number of European jurisdictions. Through this comparison the book exposes the emergence of consistent, Europe-wide standards and norms.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

A new book on 'Loss of Homes and Evictions across Europe', edited by Dr Padraic Kenna of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights, and Policy and the School of Law, NUI Galway, has recently been published by Edward Elgar.  The loss of a home can lead to major violations of a person’s dignity and human rights. Yet, evictions take place everyday in all countries across Europe. This book provides a comparative assessment of human rights, administrative, procedural and public policy norms, in the context of eviction, across a number of European jurisdictions. Through this comparison the book exposes the emergence of consistent, Europe-wide standards and norms. With contributions from experts across Europe, the chapters provide an assessment of eviction procedures in 11 jurisdictions, including Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Each chapter examines a number of factors relating to evictions in the respective jurisdiction, such as, the human rights and legal framework, nature and extent of evictions taking place, risk factors leading to evictions and relevant best practice guidance. All together, this book will make a significant contribution to the understanding of the similarities and differences between eviction policies across European states.As the first work of its kind to provide an in-depth comparison of eviction policies across Europe, Loss of Homes and Evictions Across Europe will be of great interest to those who are researching European housing law and human rights law and policy. Housing law and public policy makers, and those working within associated European institutions, will also find the data and accompanying analysis invaluable for informing their work. The book can also be purchased in digital form from Google Play, with a sample introductory chapter also available.


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