Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Terence O’Malley on campus visit to meet inaugural scholars The Chairman Emeritus of global law firm DLA Piper has heralded the impact of a special new scholarship set up in partnership with the School of Law at NUI Galway. The Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholarship provides funding and support to enable and empower successful students to study a law degree at NUI Galway. Terence O’Malley, who has family roots in the west of Ireland, was welcomed to the campus by Professor Geraint Howells, Executive Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law. He also met the inaugural scholars, Bachelor of Civil Law students Ava Cullinan, from Kilrush, Co Clare and Emily Donnellan, from Maree, Co Galway. Terry O’Malley said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit the NUI Galway campus and meet the first scholars. It is very gratifying to hear about the impact of the awards as well as having the opportunity to visit the School of Law and learn about the education and learning on offer.” Professor Howells said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Terence O’Malley to NUI Galway and thank him in person for DLA Piper’s generous support of NUI Galway students. Partnership with Irish and global law firms are key to ensuring that we can attract and retain a diverse student group who will go on to make an impact and contribution in their fields.” The Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholarship launched in 2020 at NUI Galway following Mr O’Malley’s retirement from a highly-regarded legal career, serving in various roles including as DLA Piper's US Managing Partner, US Co-Chairman, and Global Co-Chief executive officer. In addition to the scholarship provides funding and support to successful students over the course of their law degree, a separate annual bursary is also awarded to the student who achieves the highest grade in the University’s new Law and Innovation module. Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholar Ava Cullinan said: “Having received this scholarship, the financial burden I carry throughout my journey to become a solicitor has greatly lessened. I believe that a disadvantaged background should not hinder me from accessing my full potential, and it is in this regard that I cannot understate the importance and impact of the scholarship on both my personal and professional aspirations.” Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholar Emily Donnellan said: “The scholarship has afforded me relief and a greater sense of security while pursuing my studies so far. I hope to represent and advocate for people in the justice system. I enjoy working with and helping others and I would hope to make a positive contribution to society through a career in Law. I am grateful for the opportunity and the sense of relief the scholarship has provided me with while I pursue my studies, having allowed me to focus and prioritise studying for my course." DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. DLA Piper established in Ireland in 2019 with offices in Dublin.  DLA Piper clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies. Applications details for the 2021 Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholarship will be announced in October. For further details visit www.nuigalway.ie/dlapiperscholarship. Ends

Friday, 17 September 2021

NUI Galway has announced the new Head of the School of Law – Professor Martin Hogg. Professor Hogg will take up the new role in November, having joined from the University of Edinburgh, where he served as Head of School and Dean of Law. Professor Geraint Howells, Executive Dean for the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted to have Martin joining us. He is a leading contract law scholar and an experienced leader. “Our Law School has an outstanding reputation for its teaching and scholarship. Martin is an ideal person to help us build on our strengths and develop new initiatives to meet the needs of our community." Professor Hogg said: “I’m honoured and very happy to be joining NUI Galway’s Law School as Head of School and Established Professor in November. “The Law School is an inspiring centre of learning and research, whose students and staff are widely known for their commitment to justice and the rule of law. I’m looking forward to meeting as many of them as I can in the coming months, as well as alumni and practitioner communities. “The whole NUI Galway community has already extended to me the warmest of Galway welcomes, for which I am very grateful.” Professor Hogg’s research interests lie in all aspects of the law of obligations, including comparative obligations theory, contract and promise, and fundamental structural language in the law of obligations. He has published widely in this field, including Promises and Contract Law and Obligations: Law and Language with Cambridge University Press. He is the Scottish Reporter for the European Tort Law Yearbook. Professor Hogg spent two years qualifying as a Solicitor with Dundas & Wilson CS in Edinburgh, before being appointed Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Edinburgh in 1995. He was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2004 and in 2013 he was appointed to a Chair in the Law of Obligations. Professor Hogg is a (non-practising) member of the Faculty of Advocates (the Scottish Bar). Professor Hogg brings with him a wealth of experience, having previously held office as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Teaching, Deputy Director of Research, and Convener of the Board of Studies. He took office as Deputy Head of the Law School in Edinburgh in 2014, and became Head of School and Dean of Law in 2017. Professor Shane Darcy, Interim Head of the School of Law, said: “On behalf of my colleagues at the School of Law, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Professor Hogg. We are very excited to have him join us as Head of the School of Law and very much look forward to working with him in this role at NUI Galway.” NUI Galway’s School of Law delivers innovative legal education in a dynamic school dedicated to impactful, high quality legal research. It hosts the internationally renowned Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Disability Law & Policy. The School has introduced several new programmes in recent years, including the undergraduate degrees Law (BCL), Criminology and Criminal Justice and Law (BCL) and Human Rights. It also offers a suite of postgraduate LLM programmes and is home to a vibrant doctoral community. Further information www.nuigalway.ie/law

Monday, 13 September 2021

Online Seminar Friday 22 October 2021   10.00 am – 5.00 pm  Irish Council for Civil LibertiesWhitaker Institute and School of Law,National University of Ireland GalwaySchool of Law, University of Limerick Funded by the Irish Research Council ‌   9.30 Login 10.00 KeynoteThe Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice of Ireland – Title TBC 10.15 Session 1 – Judicial Conduct and Ethics in Ireland: The Context Chair: Dr Rónán Kennedy Doireann Ansbro, ICCL: International Standards on Judicial Conduct and Ethics Ray Byrne, Adjunct Full Professor, UCD: The Bangalore Principles and the Judicial Council Act 2019 Dr Laura Cahillane, UL: Analysing the New Judicial Conduct Framework 11.30 Break 11.45 Session 2 – Judicial Conduct and Ethics in Comparative Perspective Chair: Ray Byrne Dr Sophie Turenne, University of Cambridge: Judicial Conduct, Complaints and Discipline in England and Wales: Key Features and Issues Prof Daniela Cavallini, University of Bologna: The Italian Case: The Impact of the 2006 Reform on Transparency and Effectiveness of Disciplinary Action. Current debate Silvio R. Vinceti, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia: How (Not) to Try a Judge. Judicial Discipline in Italy and Ireland 13.15 Lunch 14.15 Session 3 – What is Judicial Misconduct? Chair: The Hon Mr Justice Brian Murray Eunice Collins, University of Oxford: Defining Judicial Misconduct Dr David Fennelly, TCD: Equal Treatment in the Court Process Dr Brian Barry, TUD: The Definition and Nature of Judicial Impartiality 15.15 Break 15.30 Session 4 – Investigating Complaints Chair: Dr Brian Barry  Caoimhe Kiernan, TUD: Who Judges the Judges? A Comparative Analysis of the Composition of the Bodies Responsible for Investigating Complaints against the Judiciary Dr Patrick O’Brien, Oxford Brooks University: Disentangling the Formal and Informal in Judicial Conduct Processes Prof Colin Scott, UCD: Regulating Judicial Conduct Responsively 16.30 Conclusions, Final Discussion, and Next Steps 17.00 Close Registration is now open for this event – please sign up at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkceygqDMpG9doCTra3P9L4oxvY5zFgn3g Enquiries to: ronan.m.kennedy@nuigalway.ie or to Rónán Kennedy (Law School, National University of Ireland Galway) at +353-91-495626. Funded by the Irish Research Council.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

European and International Perspectives Online Seminar Friday 17 September 2021   10.00 am – 5.00 pm  Irish Council for Civil LibertiesWhitaker Institute and School of Law,National University of Ireland GalwaySchool of Law, University of Limerick Funded by the Irish Research Council ‌ 9.30 Login 10.00 Session 1 – Judicial Education and Training in Ireland Chair: Dr Laura Cahillane, UL Doireann Ansbro, ICCL: International Standards in Judicial Education and Training Prof Paul McCutcheon, UL: Review of Judicial Studies Institute 2003 Dr Rónán Kennedy, NUI Galway: Review of Judicial Studies Committee 2019 The Hon Mr Justice Richard Humphreys, High Court of Ireland: Judicial Education and Training in Ireland – A Judge’s View 11.30 Break 11.45 Session 2 – Judicial Skills and Judgecraft Chair: Her Honour Judge Rosemary Horgan, Circuit Court of Ireland Prof Cheryl Thomas, UCL: Judicial Training in the UK Mr Justice Gerard Tangenberg, SSR: The Place of Skills in Judicial Education Ms Justice Adèle Kent, National Judicial Institute of Canada: Teaching Judicial Skills 13.15 Lunch 14.15 Session 3 – Developing Judicial Skills in Ireland Chair: Dr Rónán Kennedy, NUI Galway Dr Niamh Howlin & Dr Mark Coen, UCD: Skills Acquisition and Development among Judges of the Circuit Criminal and Central Criminal Courts Dr Rachel Cahill-O'Callaghan, Cardiff University: Values and Bias: Refining Decision Making Through Education Dr Jennifer Schweppe and Prof Amanda Haynes, UL: “It takes the gleam off the harp”: The Need for Training to Address Judicial Prejudice  15.15 Break 15.30 Session 4 – Trauma-Informed Judging Chair: Dr Rachel Cahill-O'Callaghan, Cardiff University  Dr Jane Mulcahy, UL: Towards a Neurodevelopmentally Aware, Trauma-Responsive Judiciary in Ireland Saoirse Enright, UL: Judging the Judges: Adopting a Trauma-Responsive Approach to Judicial Decision-Making Mr Tom O’Malley, NUI Galway: The Role of Intermediaries in the Investigation and Trial of Sexual Offences 16.30 Conclusions, Final Discussion, and Next Steps 17.00 Close Registration is now open for this event – please sign up at  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvdeyoqzIvGtKxKbDD_KCPjwLEucn6D7xE Enquiries to: ronan.m.kennedy@nuigalway.ie or to Rónán Kennedy (Law School, National University of Ireland Galway) at +353-91-495626. Funded by the Irish Research Council.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Today sees the publication of Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries: A Campaign for Justice (Bloomsbury 2021), co-authored by Dr Maeve O’Rourke of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and Claire McGettrick (IRC postgraduate research scholar, UCD), Assoc. Prof. Katherine O’Donnell (School of Philosophy, UCD), Assoc. Prof. James M Smith (English Department, Boston College) and Mari Steed (co-founder, Justice for Magdalenes Research & Adoption Rights Alliance). The authors are members of the voluntary Justice for Magdalenes Research group.  The book is accompanied by an online archive of its sources, available at www.jfmresearch.com/bookarchive/. Publication was supported by the NUI Galway Moore Institute Grant-in-Aid of Publication Fund. All royalties will be donated to Empowering People in Care (EPIC).  The writing of Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries was prompted by survivors’ expression of their desire that the truth of their experiences is told, that the history of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries is taught in schools and colleges, and that what they and the women who are now deceased have suffered is never allowed to happen again.  The book provides a detailed account of life in the Magdalene institutions through the use of survivor testimony and numerous other sources. It chronicles and analyses the strategies of the voluntary ‘Justice for Magdalenes’ campaign which contributed to achieving the State’s apology and establishment of a ‘redress’ scheme in 2013. Extending to the present-day, the book addresses the deep-seated culture and practices within numerous arms of the State that have led to continuing human rights abuses towards survivors and relatives of the deceased. In particular, the book critiques the State’s methods of investigation, its approaches to providing ‘redress’, and its resistance to truth-telling and to the disclosure of records. The book concludes by considering the need for ‘transformative’ reparations, transitional justice, and a new approach to protecting constitutional and human rights as the Irish State enters its second century of independence.  Reviews of Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries: A Campaign for Justice include:   This brave book is an archive of an unfinished movement, a survey of the continuing harms of so-called 'historical abuse', and a set of demands for law reform and political change. In places, it is also a love letter to those who survived Ireland's Magdalene laundries. In devastating detail, it shows how Irish politicians, professionals and members of religious orders have resisted demands that these women be recognised as victims of human rights abuse. More than a description of Justice for Magdalenes' campaigning and research, it is an important challenge to official histories and excuses that stubbornly carry undeserved weight in Irish public discourse.   Máiréad Enright, University of Birmingham  The campaign for justice for the girls and women incarcerated in Magdalene laundries is one of the greatest acts of truth-telling in the recent history of Ireland. The walls of institutional denial have had to be demolished slowly and painfully, brick by brick. The experiences of those most involved in this task, so vividly detailed in this vital book, tell us so much, not just about a history that was shamefully obscured, but about the imperative for every society to really know itself. In helping the survivors to reclaim their dignity, this indispensable book also helps the rest of us to reclaim the true meaning of shared citizenship and common humanity.  Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times Journalist and Orwell Prize winner  It is impossible to describe the toxic fog of shame, distortion and indifference these writers worked through so the truth of the Magdalen Laundries could be seen in a proper light. No one wanted to know. They are my heroes.  Anne Enright, Author and winner of the 2007 Booker Prize 

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

 Research Assistant – Part Time (.19FTE)Judicial Education and Conduct in Twenty-First Century Ireland School of LawRef. No. NUIG-RES 169-21 ** Download full job advertisment here: Job Advert RES 169 21 ** Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a part-time fixed-term .19FTE position as a Research Assistant with the School of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. This position is funded by the Irish Research Council and is available from 1 September 2021 to contract end date of 30 November 2021.  With funding from the Irish Research Council, and in collaboration with the Trust For Civil Liberties, Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Dr Rónán Kennedy of NUI Galway and Dr Laura Cahillane of the University of Limerick will be convening two seminars. The first, to take place in October 2021, will explore judicial conduct arrangements in Ireland. This seminar will examine the system which is established by the 2019 Act to deal with complaints of judicial misconduct. In particular, it will concentrate on the forthcoming guidelines on conduct and ethics and on informal resolution of complaints, the definition of misconduct, the form of reprimands and admonishments, and the interaction between the Council and the Oireachtas on removal motions. It will also compare this to best practice in other jurisdictions to determine whether the reforms introduced by the Oireachtas adequately provide for both accountability and transparency while also protecting the paramount principle of judicial independence.  The second, in November 2021, will rigorously benchmark judicial education and training in Ireland against best practice in other jurisdictions in order to move beyond the challenges of the past and the present. It will focus on the place of skills in judicial education, the role of technology and blended learning, judicial independence, judicial well-being or resilience, and how judicial education should respond to changes in Irish society. It will look at how this can integrate with work underway in Europe and internationally, where a great deal of work is being done to modernise judicial education and training. Following peer review, papers may be published in a special issue of the Irish Judicial Studies Journal. Job Description: The successful candidate will collate and analyse discussion during the two seminars, and develop a literature review for the subsequent report. Duties: Collecting, analysing and documenting information presented at the two seminars Conducting literature and database searches on judicial education and training and judicial conduct and ethics; interpreting and presenting the findings of the literature searches as appropriate for the project report Qualifications/Skills required:  Essential Requirements:  Master’s degree in Law Legal research skills Legal writing skills Report writing skills Project management skills Desirable Requirements:  Experience with peer-reviewed publishing Detailed knowledge of Irish legal system Detailed understanding of legal frameworks governing Irish judiciary Knowledge of literature of judicial education and judicial conduct Employment permit restrictions apply for this category of post  Salary: €26,609 to €35,922 per annum pro rata for shorter and/or part-time contracts  Start date: Position is available from 1 September 2021.  Continuing Professional Development/Training: NUI Galway provides continuing professional development supports for all researchers seeking to build their own career pathways either within or beyond academia.  Researchers are encouraged to engage with our Researcher Development Centre (RDC) upon commencing employment - see www.nuigalway.ie/rdc for further information. Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway For information on moving to Ireland please see www.euraxess.ie Further information about the School of Law is available at //www.nuigalway.ie/business-public-policy-law/school-of-law/  Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to: Dr Rónán Kennedy  Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Dr Ronán Kennedy, ronan.m.kennedy@nuigalway.ie Please put reference number NUIG-RES-169-21 in subject line of e-mail application. Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm Friday 3 September 2021 Interviews are planned to be held on Thursday 9 September 2021 We reserve the right to re-advertise or extend the closing date for this post. National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer. All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Yesterday the Government made a decision to approve the heads of bill to amend the Mental Health Act 2001.  Recently Dr Mary Keys, Dr Catriona Moloney, Dr Fiona Morrisey and Dr Charles O’Mahony made a submission to the Department of Health on this draft legislation.  In their submission they discussed how the Mental Health Act 2001 is at odds with Ireland’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  They argue that a cultural shift is needed to realise the rights in the CRPD, and align with the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, and the Mental Health Amendment Act 2018. The submission can be downloaded here: Submission to the Department of Health on the Mental Health Act 2001 Dr Mary Keys is a leading authority on mental health law and policy. She was a lecturer in the School of Law, NUI Galway from 1999 until early retirement in 2014. She was awarded a Ph.D. by the Cardiff University Law School, University of Wales, in 2006 on the topic of human rights and mental health law. Her main research focus is on mental health law and policy. Mary served two terms as a member of the Mental Health Commission, having been appointed as the representative of the public interest. Prior to becoming a full-time member of staff in the School of Law she worked as a psychiatric social worker in the mental health services in Ireland and in the United Kingdom. She was a founding member of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway. Her research explores mental health, regional and international human rights law. Mary chaired a subcommittee of the Mental Health Commission, which prepared its submission on the Review of the Mental Health Act 2001. Mary’s expertise is regularly drawn upon by governmental and non-governmental bodies seeking her advice on complex legal issues in the areas such as mental health law and policy, health law and policy and legal capacity. Mary has played an important role in advocating for the human rights of service users, ex-users, and survivors of psychiatry in Ireland. Dr Catriona Moloney has lectured in Disability Law at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland Galway and at the University of Limerick. Catriona has a Bachelor of Civil Law and an LLM in Public Law. She was awarded her PhD entitled “Empowering Children and Young People: An Access to Justice Assessment of Mental Health Law and Policy” for which she was awarded a School of Law (NUIG) Scholarship to undertake this research. Catriona was a full-time legal researcher for the Law Reform Commission from 2008–2010 where she worked on the Commission’s statue law restatement programme. Catriona was also a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School’s Project on Disability during the summer of 2013. She was appointed to the Board of EPIC (Empowering Young People in Care) in 2014, EPIC advocates at a national and local level for the rights of young people in and with care experience. In April 2018 she was appointed to a panel of Research and Policy Specialists on matters related to children’s rights and welfare at the Ombudsman for Children’s Office. Dr Fiona Morrissey is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Centre for Disability Law & Policy, School of Law at NUI Galway. Dr Morrissey is a Disability Law Research/Training Consultant who has worked with the World Health Organisation on the development and delivery of the QualityRights training and e-learning programme. This UN programme supports countries to develop and implement human rights-based capacity, supported decision-making and mental health laws, policies, and practices in line with UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Fiona has extensive knowledge of and expertise in Irish mental health law and has been recently appointed as a Lay Member of the Mental Health Tribunals by the Mental Health Commission. Dr Charles O’Mahony is a lecturer in the School of Law at NUI Galway. He was Head of the School of Law from 2017-2021. He completed a PhD at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway entitled “Diversion: A Comparative Study of Law and Policy Relating to Defendants and Offenders with Mental Health Problems and Intellectual Disability”. Charles was elected as President of the Irish Association of Law Teachers (IALT) from 2014-2016. He previously worked as Amnesty International Ireland’s Legal Officer on its mental health campaign and as a legal researcher for the Law Reform Commission of Ireland.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

One funded PhD position is available to work on a doctoral thesis in the area of surrogacy and assisted reproduction. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Dr Brian Tobin, School of Law, NUI Galway.   It is open to the candidate to define the precise scope of their proposed PhD, but it should fit, broadly, within the following parameters:   Irish policy makers are currently struggling with the question of how best to regulate surrogacy arrangements and various complex methods of assisted human reproduction, and there is currently no international consensus regarding the appropriate regulation of these assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs). This PhD research will be law reform-oriented in that it will critically engage with surrogacy/ART law reform processes taking place in Ireland, the EU and internationally, but it will also critically analyse the legal and ethical concerns oft-associated with these methods of assisted human reproduction and explore how domestic/international legal regulation that assuages these concerns yet achieves an equitable balance between the legal position of intended parents, surrogates, donors and the surrogate-born or donor-conceived child might best be achieved.   Entry criteria Essential:   A minimum 2:1 Honours (or equivalent grade) UG and/or PG Degree in law or law and another discipline.   Desirable: A 1st Class Honours (or equivalent grade) UG and/or PG Degree in law or law and another discipline.   Candidates will ideally have completed Family Law/ Child and Family Law/ an equivalent course as part of their UG/PG Degree.   Funding: The scholarship is funded for a maximum of 4 years. It will cover full fees for the successful candidate, in addition to a stipend of €18,500 per annum. Nevertheless, the successful candidate will be expected to apply for Irish Research Council (IRC) and NUI Galway scholarships in the first year of their degree. Application Interested candidates should complete this Proposal Form: Surrogacy and Assisted Reproduction Proposal Form, and submit it, along with a CV and an academic writing sample (e.g. article, course essay, dissertation) by 5pm, 13th August 2021 to brian.tobin@nuigalway.ie with 'Child and Family Law PhD Scholarship' in the email's subject line.   Informal inquiries can be sent to the same address. Candidates may be invited to interview. Expected start date: September 2021 (but this is negotiable).  

Thursday, 8 July 2021

One funded PhD position is available to work on a doctoral thesis in the area of Artificial Intelligence and the Technological Disruption of Law. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Dr John Danaher, School of Law .   It is open to the candidate to define the precise scope of their proposed PhD, but it should fit, broadly, within the parameters of the following project description:   Project Description: There is increasing anxiety among researchers and civil society about how AI and related technologies are threatening our existing normative systems. Recent ethical and legal debates about autonomous weapons, driverless vehicles, sentencing algorithms, and the algorithmic curation of news are just the tip of the iceberg in this respect. Most contributors to these debates take our current legal and moral norms as a given and use them to evaluate and critique technological developments. The goal of such contributors is to make technology more compatible with our existing norms, not vice versa. Consider, as an example of this, the EU’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence. In 2019, they produced a report that developed principles for creating ethically trustworthy AI. They did this by working from existing principles concerning trustworthiness and transparency. This has now been translated into a proposed regulatory framework for ensuring trustworthy AI through licencing and auditing of high-risk AI applications. What these contributions seem to overlook is the potential for AI and related technologies to radically transform our existing moral and legal systems. As new technologies give us new powers and opportunities for action, and as we become more accustomed to their role in our lives, we often modify or alter our commitment to our existing norms. This has happened repeatedly in the past and is likely to happen again in the future. What significance does this have for the current policy debates about AI and law? This PhD project should address this neglected perspective on the relationship between AI and law. It should consider the mechanisms through which AI can disrupt normative reasoning and catalyse future legal-moral changes. It should consider the implications this has for legal reform and governance. Law is often accused of lagging behind technological innovation. By taking the neglected perspective it may be possible to better anticipate and plan for future legal-moral reforms. Representative research questions could include:  What is the historical relationship between technology and legal-moral reform? Is there a common pattern to such technological disruption of law? How are AI and related technologies currently disrupting normative beliefs and practices? How is this likely to change in the future? What is the appropriate methodology for studying and planning for future legal-moral reforms? What are the implications of technological disruption for processes of legal reform and governance? Entry criteria   Essential: A minimum 2:1 Honours (or equivalent grade) UG and/or PG Degree in law or a related discipline (philosophy, social science etc).    Desirable:   A 1st Class Honours (or equivalent grade) UG and/or PG Degree in law or a related discipline (philosophy, social science etc).   Funding: The scholarship is funded for a maximum of 4 years. It will cover full fees for the successful candidate, in addition to a stipend of €18,500 per annum. Nevertheless, the successful candidate will be expected to apply for Irish Research Council (IRC) and NUI Galway scholarships in the first year of their degree.  Application Interested candidates should complete this Proposal Form: AI and the Technological Disruption of Law Proposal Form, and submit a CV and an academic writing sample (e.g. article, course essay, dissertation) by 5pm, 13th August 2021 to john.danaher@nuigalway.ie. Informal inquiries can be sent to the same address. Candidates may be invited to interview.  

Thursday, 29 April 2021

- No EU State Aid Related Obstacles - Executive Summary available here: Executive SummaryFull Report available here: Full Report Research being launched today (Thursday 29th April 2021), Commissioned by the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) and produced by Professor Padraic Kenna, at the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy, NUI Galway, confirms that state support in new cost rental housing is in line with EU rules known as services of general economic interest (SGEI), which are decided by Member States, such as Ireland. The report, Supporting the Irish Housing System to Address Housing Market Failure, indicates that State support for cost rental will not distort the housing market, but will contribute to a properly functioning housing system. It outlines how the EU SGEI framework, and the specific conditions that are applied to individual Member States, enable them to support their housing systems to address housing market failure. Highlighting the gap in the market supply of affordable rented housing in Ireland, this report clears the way for larger scale state support in a cost rental scheme, which is badly need to address crippling rents in the private rented sector. The Irish Government will legislate on the terms and conditions of any cost rental programme in the forthcoming Affordable Housing Bill. Speaking at today’s launch Dr Donal McManus, ICSH Chief Executive says, “Our sector has been calling for cost rental housing for a number of years to embed affordability in our housing system. The 2020 Programme for Government commits to a cost rental model that creates affordability for tenants and a long term sustainable model for the construction and management of homes. 390 cost rental home have been approved this year by the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, to be delivered by three AHBs. Building on this, and as part of the Government’s forthcoming ‘Housing For All’ policy initiative, we would support the recommendation in Professor Kenna’s report that the Government should introduce a multi-annual cost rental programme to ensure continuous delivery of cost rental housing over the coming years. This research provides a comprehensive view on how EU SGEIs operate in the housing sector and identifies that the public policy objective of meeting citizens' housing needs, where this need is not being met by the market, is one of a number of reasons as to why cost rental housing is consistent with EU SGEI rules.” SGEIs, such as social and affordable housing activities deliver outcomes in the overall public interest that would not be supplied by the market without public intervention. The concept of a service of general economic interest is an evolving notion that depends, among other things, on the needs of citizens, technological and market developments and social and political preferences in the Member State concerned. Irish state support in this area has been recognised as an SGEI in EU law for over twenty years. Author of the report, Professor Padraic Kenna, of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy NUI Galway, says “An affordable and good-quality home is essential for every person’s well-being and social participation. Reliance on markets has largely failed to ensure adequate and affordable rented housing, even for households in secure and well paid employment. In Ireland, It is widely acknowledged that many private sector rents are unaffordable, except for a small proportion of the population, and this constitutes a market failure. The two elements that are required for a Member State to make lawful use of SGEIs are economic activity and market failure. AHBs should have a key role in delivery and management as it chimes with their non-profit mission; they are managing homes not real estate assets, and there is no conflict between the interests of shareholders and tenants. AHBs are in it for the long-term and there is no leakage of state investment. To ensure that these cost rental homes remain truly affordable, this model must be large-scale and long-term. To protect State investment, safeguards are needed to ensure that these homes don't become part of an offshore fund’s ‘asset portfolio’. Equally, tenant purchase would completely undermine the economic basis of the cost rental model in Ireland.” Dr McManus added, “AHBs are entrusted by local authorities to provide accommodation, which is in line with their non-profit Articles of Association and charitable status. This has been accepted by the European Commission as meeting the criteria for social housing SGEIs. The Affordable Housing Bill 2020 sets out a new legislative basis for cost rental delivery in Ireland. And the Cost Rental Equity Loan (CREL) scheme, announced in Budget 2021, will see the Department make €35 million in loan funding available to Approved Housing Bodies for the purpose of providing cost rental housing. Cost rental schemes, with currently proposed rents of €1,200 per month, will facilitate those in the income deciles who cannot afford to rent in the private market. However, to achieve affordable rents of €1,200 per month requires State Aid. Current cost rental housing plans include 50 units at Enniskerry Road, County Dublin, 306 units at Shanganagh Co. Dublin and a planned cost rental scheme of 400 units at St. Michael’s Estate, Dublin 8. However, in the context of approximately 340,000 private tenancies in Ireland, a multi-annual cost rental delivery programme is required to ensure that this form of tenure is scaled-up to meet the housing affordability needs of Irish households.” Notes Defining Social Housing at EU Level: There is no universally accepted definition of social housing and it is not officially defined across Europe. Two models have been identified, mainly based on the allocation criteria. Universal approaches assume public responsibility for providing everyone with decent, affordable housing, while targeted approaches assume that social housing is only directed to those whose demand is not satisfied by the market. Four general features of social housing can be identified that vary between different national systems: Tenure: Social housing is mainly provided for rent, but in some countries also for sale, intermediate tenure or shared ownership (i.e. to buy                a share and pay a rent for the remainder).Provision: Different providers of social housing exist, ranging from authorities, non-profit associations and companies to cooperatives, for-      profit developers and investors.Beneficiaries: In some countries social housing is directed to all citizens and high income ceilings should guarantee a mix among beneficiaries. In others, it is a targeted service and low income ceilings ensure that only the most vulnerable groups are eligible. Besides income ceilings, other criteria such as housing conditions, homelessness, unhealthy accommodation, over-occupation and forced cohabitation can play a role and prioritise certain target groups such as youths, elderly, disabled persons, families with many children, ethnic minorities or refugees.Funding arrangements: The social housing sector mainly relies on public funds in some countries, while in others on credits raised on the finance market. Different sources are used for social housing projects, ranging from private loans, mortgages and private funds to public grants and loans. In addition, municipalities often contribute by offering land at reduced prices or even for free. Defining Cost Rental Housing: The term ‘cost rental’ has been defined as ‘all rental housing, irrespective of ownership, the rents of which cover only actual incurred costs of a stock of dwellings’. Cost rental housing is based on the principle of ‘maturation’ – i.e. the loans on earlier stock will have reduced over time, or have been paid off, and the costs of new developments can be pooled (cross-subsidised) over the total stock (or particular parts of it), resulting in a small increase in rents overall. The predominant source of finance can be secured through private borrowing, but the equity in (and security of charges on) the overall stock may result in lower borrowing costs. There may also be an element of public subsidy, or State Aid, free or cheap land, public guarantees on borrowing, interest subsidies, and housing benefits for tenants, in order to keep the rent levels at affordable levels. But maturation is the key in facilitating lower pooled rents, which still must cover management and maintenance costs. Interpreting SGEIs: The exceptions to EU rules on competition and other areas which SGEIs enjoy “can apply only if the services in question enjoy, in advance and by legal act, have been attributed a mission of general interest.” It is necessary to make explicit at the national level, that a particular activity is categorised as an SGEI, in order to apply the rules on eligible State Aid. Competition Commissioner Vestager, in 2017, stated that to be an SGEI, “social housing must respond to a public need: the provision of accommodation to disadvantaged citizens or socially less advantaged groups who due to solvency constraints are unable to obtain housing at market conditions. Member States may not define a social housing SGEI so broadly that it manifestly goes beyond responding to this public need.” However she adds, “The scope and organization of SGEIs differ significantly from one Member State to another, depending on the history, the culture of public intervention and the economic and social conditions prevailing in each Member State.” This offers a wider scope for social housing as an SGEI. In the recent 2018 Dutch CJEU case, AHBs in Ireland were defined in terms of SGEI or public service criteria, emphasising the not-for profit element. Defining Housing Affordability: 35% of net household income is a legally defined metric of affordability in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. However, affordable rents (at 35% of net income) in average private housing in Dublin in 2019/2020 were out of reach of Income Deciles 1–9. In Galway, those in Income Deciles 1–8 could not afford private sector rents. In the rest of the country, those in Income Deciles 1–7 could not access affordable housing in the private rented sector. Average private sector rents per month are currently not affordable for Income Deciles 1 (Weekly affordable rent at €74.57) to 8 (Weekly affordable rent at €224.62) in Dublin. This demonstrates that there is a significant requirement for increased affordable rental housing to cater for all those excluded from the private rented market. Cost rental housing should clearly target those households who are excluded from the private rented sector, or who cannot access housing at affordable rents, especially those in Income Deciles 4–8. 2019 Average net disposable income per week Weekly affordable rent at 35% net income Income Decile 1 € 213.05 € 74.57 Income Decile 2  € 284.34 € 99.52 Income Decile 3  € 330.51 € 115.68 Income Decile 4  € 374.70 € 131.15 Income Decile 5  € 428.91 € 150.06 Income Decile 6  € 491.00 € 171.85 Income Decile 7  € 556.81 € 194.88 Income Decile 8  € 641.76 € 224.62 Income Decile 9  € 767.18 € 268.51 Income Decile 10  € 1,266.16 € 443.16 Executive Summary available here: Executive Summary Full Report available here: Full Report    

Thursday, 15 April 2021

The School of Law is delighted to announce the academic promotions of three staff members Dr Shivaun Quinlivan, Dr Rónán Kennedy and Professor Padraic Kenna. The academic promotions recognise staff member’s teaching and research excellence. Dr Shivaun Quinlivan promoted to Senior Lecturer ‌Dr Shivaun Quinlivan, Senior Lecturer at the School of Law is the Vice-Dean for Equality Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Business, Public Policy and Law. Her research focuses primarily on the right to equality with a particular focus on the right to education for people with disabilities: see De Beco, G., Quinlivan, S., & Lord, J. (Eds.). (2019). The Right to Inclusive Education in International Human Rights Law (Cambridge University Press). Dr Quinlivan acted as an expert advisor to the States of Guernsey in relation to the development of new multi-ground equality legislation from 2018-2020. In 2016-2017 she was an O’Brien Residential fellow in the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism in McGill University in Canada.  With Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley she co-leads two inclusive learning projects at NUI Galway: an undergraduate project funded by the NUI Galway Student Project Fund, and a postgraduate project funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Read Dr Shivaun Quinlivan’s full profile   Dr Rónán Kennedy promoted to Senior Lecturer  ‌Dr Rónán Kennedy, Senior Lecturer at the School of Law researches and teaches environmental law, information technology law, and the intersections between these. Rónán is a former member of the Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency and previously worked as Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Justice of Ireland, Mr Justice Ronan Keane. In 2020 Rónán was awarded a SFI Public Service Fellowship for the research paper “Algorithms, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in the Irish Legal Services Market”. The research paper examines the availability and growth of “lawtech” in an advisory paper for the Oireachtas Library & Research Service. Other recent publications which he co-authored include 'When is a Plan Not a Plan? The Supreme Court Decision in 'Climate Case Ireland'' and 'De-camouflaging Chameleons: Requiring Transparency for Consumer Protection in the Internet of Things'. Read Dr Rónán Kennedy’s full profile   Professor Padraic Kenna promoted to Personal Professor Professor Padraic Kenna is Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at the School of Law, NUI Galway. He researches, writes and lectures in housing and property law and policy. Padraic publishes widely in housing, human rights and property law journals and books, providing a critical analysis of contemporary law and policy. He has extensive experience of working in housing development and advocacy in both the statutory and non-governmental sectors.    Padraic’s recent publications on housing and housing rights at Irish and European level include a set of Briefing Papers on ‘Integrating EU Charter Housing Rights into EU Economic Governance and Supervision’ and ‘A Lost Decade - Study on Mortgage Possession Court Lists in Ireland.’ Read Professor Padraic Kenna’s full profile

Monday, 22 February 2021

NUI Galway’s Student Law Society have unveiled their programme of events to mark their 100th Anniversary which takes place from 1-8 March. LawSoc is  one of the oldest and pre-eminent societies in Ireland and fosters unity amongst students, providing them with a social outlet. To mark the centenary, the society are hosting a series of virtual events featuring some of the most respected legal minds in the country. The virtual event over the course of the week will feature guests including: The Honourable Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice of Ireland, President of the Supreme Court; Dr Tom Courtney, Author of ‘The Law of Companies’, FE1 Company Law Examiner, and NUI Galway Alumnus; and NUI Galway alumni representatives from A&L Goodbody Solicitors; and Frank Greaney,Courts Correspondent for Newstalk/Today FM, multi-award winning Journalist and NUI Galway Alumnus. On Monday, 8 March, LawSoc marks the end of the Centenary celebrations with a Webinar marking ‘International Women’s Day, with guests Michele O’Boyle,2020 President of the Law Society of Ireland; Maura McNally, Chair of the Bar Council of Ireland; andAnne Marie McMahon, Deputy Commissioner of An Garda Síochána. The event will be moderated by NUI Galway law lecturer, Ursula Connolly. Niamh Lynch, Auditor of the Law Society said; “During such unprecedented times for the world over, I am reminded of the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that “so often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune. We are delighted to launching our LawSoc100 Centenary Celebrations. We  hope that the celebrations will allow us an opportunity to reflect on the last 100 years of the Law Society, which has grown to become one of the largest societies in NUI Galway, and indeed one of the oldest in the Country. “We also hope that the celebration events will show the adaptability, perseverance and tenacity of the Society in reaching this significant milestone – traits which we aspire to in the present times. The past 100 years have taught us that adaptability and catering to changing times are assets which have become embedded into the values of the Society. Here, at LawSoc, we hope our attempt at embracing persistence throughout these challenging times, will result in good fortune for the society and its members. We stand at such a significant time in history and we intend to reflect that through our recent developments of further expansion into the digital world, examples being from our podcast ‘The Legal Lens with NUI Galway’s Law Society’; to our monthly LawSoc Gazette Newsletters; to these very celebrations. I hope you enjoy the Centenary Celebrations, and that you can join us as we journey the new chapter of our Society’s history.” Patrick McWalter, Vice-Auditor of the Law Society commented: “At the very core of LawSoc’s character is the desire for community, debate, engagement, and kinship – it is for this reason that we are more determined than ever before to ensure that we mark this momentous occasion- given that our community is now physically further apart than ever before. The Law Ball is the highlight of every Law Student’s calendar in NUI GALWAY, and for that reason we will be hosting our online Law Ball – let it never be said that a hidden virus stopped us from marking our Centenary in style. “We, as a society, are honoured to be joined by some of the brightest legal minds in the country for our celebrations, and we know that our members – past and present – will find these events both stimulating and engaging. As we stand at the end point of our first centenary, and as we look towards our next 100 years as a Society, we hope as a Society to proudly carry the baton from the previous ninety-nine committees, and to look towards the hundred years knowing that there is nothing that can weather the desire for citizenship, debate, and most of all, togetherness with our friends, colleagues and members.” President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh commented on the Centenary: “The Society encapsulates what NUI Galway is about – here for our Students, for civic Society, in terms of social justice, human rights and how we maintain good society more generally. The Law Society encapsulates values of respect for each other, excellence, openness and sustainability. The 100th Anniversary is significant in that the Society has sustained the student traditions over the years – a place I remember as one of oratory and  welcome. The Law Society starts a new century now, and in doing so we recognise the importance of law in Society, especially for those most vulnerable in Society who very often need the protection of law.” All events take place online, and registration is essential. Registration is first come first served via Eventbrite. Students are also invited to the Virtual Law Ball, on Friday, 5 March. For more information see NUI Galway Law Society Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn pages. Events include: The Honourable Mr Justice Frank Clarke Chief Justice of Ireland, President of the Supreme Court Monday, 1 March, 5-6pm Free Registration: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/141820399633 Dr Tom Courtney Author of ‘The Law of Companies’, FE1 Company Law Examiner, NUI Galway Alumnus. “The Conflicting Interests of Company Directors” Tuesday, 2 March, 5-6pm Free Registration : https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/141723000309 A&L Goodbody Solicitors, Dublin Brian O'Malley, Partner; Bríd Nic Suibhne, Senior Associate, Employment; Eugenée Mulhern, Senior Adviser, Corporate and M&A; Eoghan Kenny, Senior Manager, Data Projects Back to the Future: How an International Law Firm has evolved over 100 years, and is preparing for the next 100. Wednesday, 3 March, 5-6pm Free Registration: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/141854820587 Frank Greaney, Courts Correspondent for Newstalk/Today FM, multi-award winning Journalist and NUI Galway Alumnus. “Media and the Law” Thursday, 4 March, 5-6pm Registration: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/141727036381 The Roaring 20’s, at a distance – The Virtual LawSoc Law Ball featuring cocktail making demonstrations, Comedian and MC Tom O’Mahony from Damo & Ivor, Republic of Telly and Irish Pictorial Weekly, Spot Prizes and lots more. Friday, 5 March, 7-9pm Tickets €10 from SocsBox website, (redeemable against your cocktail ingredients). https://cutt.ly/Ck4G4AA Women in Law : “Celebrating International Women’s Day” Michele O’Boyle 2020 President of the Law Society of Ireland, Maura McNally (Chair of the Bar Council of Ireland) and Anne Marie McMahon, Deputy Commissioner of An Garda Síochána Moderated by Ursula Connolly, School of Law, NUI Galway. Monday, 8 March 2020, 5-6pm Registration coming https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/NUI Galway-lawsoc-celebrates-international-womens-day-tickets-142226387955 -Ends-.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

NUI Galway academic examines use of software, tech and AI in justice system as part of SFI Public Service Fellowship The rapid development and increased use of software and technology for legal services and in the courts could reduce costs and improve access to justice but deepen the digital divide and strengthen existing biases in the justice system, research from NUI Galway has cautioned. Dr Rónán Kennedy, lecturer in the University’s School of Law, examined the availability and growth of “lawtech” in an advisory paper for the Oireachtas Library & Research Service. Dr Kennedy was awarded a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Public Service Fellowship to carry out the research as part of the Spotlight series, which gives TDs and Senators in-depth briefings on a single policy issue or topic.  The research paper “Algorithms, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in the Irish Legal Services Market”, outlined the pros and cons of increased use of software and technology in the legal sector. Dr Kennedy said: “Lawtech has been part of a wave of change and innovation in the legal services market, globally and in Ireland. It could save consumers and businesses money and time, and be a sector for economic growth.  “However, it is not a silver bullet to solve the problem of access to justice. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used more by lawyers and courts, it could lead to fairer outcomes or repeat existing biases.” The research paper noted: Lawtech could reduce costs and provide better access to justice by making it easier for lawyers to create standard documents or allowing people to access legal information and advice online, including through automated apps. It could worsen the digital divide in society and solidify existing biases in the legal system, by preventing those without IT skills from accessing legal services or by relying on historical data which is prejudiced. Areas for immediate legislative intervention include expansion of the validity of digital signatures for uses such as wills or legal proceedings, and the admissibility of digital recordings in court. Members of the Oireachtas could consider longer-term policy questions, such as whether AI professions should be regulated or how to manage the use of AI by lawyers and judges. The Oireachtas and Government may need to explore whether some legislation should be “born digital”’ - written both in a human language and computer language from the outset. Dr Kennedy’s research noted that AI software programs may also “learn” to discriminate in ways that are illegal, focusing on characteristics that are proxies for social class, race or gender such as home address or height. “It is unlikely that AI can or will ever replace humans, but it may allow faster, cheaper, and fairer judging. However, if this software is not carefully designed, it could make prejudice even more difficult to remove from the justice system,” he said.  Dr Kennedy said: “The paper explores technology which is already bringing about significant transformation in legal practice and in the courts, and may change it radically in the future. “The SFI Public Interest Fellowship provided a very interesting opportunity to learn more about how the Oireachtas operates, the important work of legislators, and how researchers can contribute to the development of policy.  “My findings raise important questions that lawmakers and everyone involved in legal services should consider. The pandemic has shown how useful technology can be, but we need to have a debate about how we manage tools like remote court hearings and AI assistants for lawyers and judges to ensure that all of the impacts are positive.” The Spotlight paper, published by the Oireachtas Library and Research Service, is available to read at www.oireachtas.ie/en/how-parliament-is-run/houses-of-the-oireachtas-service/library-and-research-service/for-researchers/researcher-in-residence-ronan-kennedy/.  Dr Kennedy’s publication emanated from research supported in part by a research grant from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under Grant Number 19/PSF/7665. He is one of six researchers seconded to the Houses of the Oireachtas Library & Research Services as part of the SFI public service fellowship programme. 

Friday, 18 December 2020

TrialWatch Fairness Report Shows Flaws in Indonesia’s Blasphemy Law Courts’ Treatment of Individuals with Disabilities Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, is a member of Clooney Foundation for Justice’s TrialWatch ‘experts panel’. He has authored a report for the TrialWatch initiative, which was published today.  The press release and full report are available here. The TrialWatch Fairness Report written by Dr O’Mahony found that Indonesia’s prosecution of Suzethe Margaret earlier this year for blasphemy violated the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Ms Margaret is a woman who experiences psychosocial disability who was prosecuted for blasphemy as a result of entering a Mosque, carrying a dog, wearing shoes and having an altercation with the Mosque’s caretaker while she was unwell.  The report concludes that Indonesia’s blasphemy law permits convictions “on the basis of ‘subjective feelings of offensiveness’” and is inconsistent with the rights to freedom of expression and religion, as well as with non-discrimination norms.  TrialWatch experts assign a grade of A, B, C, D, or F to the trial reflecting their view of whether and the extent to which the trial complied with relevant international human rights law.  Dr. O’Mahony gave the proceedings a grade of “C.”  This trial took place against the backdrop of efforts to expand Indonesia’s blasphemy law and this is not the first time the law has been used to prosecute persons who experience psychosocial disability in Indonesia. In his assessment of the trial, Dr. O’Mahony said: “While I welcome the fact that Ms. Margaret was not convicted, the court’s failure to adequately assess the supports Ms. Margaret needed and the absence of reasonable accommodations made her a spectator at her own trial. Indonesia needs to do more to ensure those involved with the criminal justice system are trained to provide equal access to justice for persons with disabilities.” The Clooney Foundation for Justice now call on the Indonesian government to repeal its blasphemy law; it further calls on Indonesia to take the steps necessary to ensure respect for the rights of persons with disabilities in line with its obligations under the UN Convention in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Clooney Foundation for Justice's TrialWatch initiative monitors and grades the fairness of trials of vulnerable people around the world, including journalists, women and girls, religious minorities, LGBTQ persons, and human rights defenders. Using this data, TrialWatch advocates for victims and is developing a Global Justice Ranking measuring national courts’ compliance with international human rights standards.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Chief Justice Dr Mathilda Twomey, who has recently been appointed Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway’s School of Law, has been awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights. Chief Justice Twomey is one of 15 people to receive this prestigious annual award which marks Human Rights Day and recognises the efforts of all those who work endlessly to advance the causes of human rights and the rule of law. The award commends Chief Justice Twomey’s work in the protection of minors. Earlier this year, Chief Justice Twomey was appointed as Chairperson of the Child Law Reform Committee. In this role she has led the committee’s work in identifying and reviewing the laws of Seychelles to prevent and punish child abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation.  This work seeks to strengthen the legal protection offered to children in accordance with the Constitution of Seychelles, and with international and regional human rights law. Chief Justice Dr Mathilda Twomey said: “I am humbled by the award. I head a small group of women who have more than me worked tirelessly to bring reform to the law regarding the abuse of children in its multifarious forms. They are the unsung and unseen heroes.  It is to them that I offer this award.   However, I will use this prize and my platform to continue to champion the rights of the most vulnerable persons in society.” Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to see the Chief Justice Twomey receive this prestigious award for her work on promoting the human rights of children.  This recognises a lifetime of public service and advocacy promoting and defending human rights and the rule of law. Chief Justice Twomey is joining NUI Galway as an Adjunct Professor in Law and we are looking forward to her contribution to teaching and research in the School of Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights.” Chief Justice Twomey was the first female judge in the history of the Seychelles. As a member of the Constitutional Commission, she helped draft the country’s new constitution between 1992 and 1993. She also served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Seychelles from August 2015 to September 2020.  She is an alumna of NUI Galway’s School of Law having completed both an LLM and a PhD. She received both a James Hardiman Scholarship from NUI Galway and an Irish Research Council Scholarship, by the Government of Ireland to support her PhD entitled ‘Legal métissage in a micro jurisdiction: the mixing of Common Law and Civil Law in Seychelles’. In 2016 NUI Galway awarded Chief Justice Twomey an Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government in recognition of her contribution to scholarship and her significant achievements throughout her distinguished career. Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “Congratulations to Chief Justice Twomey on this award, which recognises her enormous contribution in the promotion and protection of child rights and human rights. Throughout her career, in the judiciary, the legal profession and in academia, Chief Justice Twomey has worked tirelessly to promote access to justice, accountability for human rights abuses, and women’s empowerment. We are delighted that our students and colleagues will have the opportunity to benefit from her immense experience, expertise and deep commitment to human rights.” -Ends-

Friday, 11 December 2020

Model emergency housing legislation addresses rented and mortgaged housing, migrant and refugee housing, housing for people with disabilities and those facing homelessness Dr Padraic Kenna from the School of Law in NUI Galway, has drafted Model Emergency Housing Legislation on housing rights with the Open Society Justice Initiative in New York, and international housing rights experts. The Model Emergency Housing Legislation is based on existing laws around the world, but builds on these to include housing rights for all. It can be used by human rights advocates and legislators to integrate the universally recognised right to housing into a binding national law.   To coincide with the release of the model legislation, the launch of a new report ‘Protecting the Right to Housing during the COVID-19 Crisis’ examines the measures taken by countries across the world in relation to housing during the pandemic. In March 2020, Ireland took immediate action to deal with the risk to human life and public health posed by COVID-19. Emergency legislation to prevent the spread of the disease and mitigate its adverse economic consequences included a rent freeze and a ban on evictions. Guidance for protecting homeless and vulnerable groups was issued in April. In line with European Banking Authority Guidelines, mortgage lenders in Ireland vowed to defer legal proceedings and repossessions against borrowers in default, and to extend payment holidays to homeowners hit by the pandemic. While medical advances will now, hopefully, protect people from the disease, it is generally accepted that the adverse economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue for some time. Just as there has been amazing progress in medicine, now is also the time to make progress in developing housing rights. Emergency measures on housing rights must be extended and developed to ensure the right to adequate housing for all. Dr Padraic Kenna, Senior Lecturer in Law, and Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at the School of Law, NUI Galway, said: “Many countries have implemented legislation to prevent evictions and rent rises during the COVID-19 pandemic. We now need to build on those housing rights protections in the context of the economic consequences of the pandemic. “This model emergency housing legislation addresses rented and mortgaged housing, but also housing rights protection for people in informal and temporary settlements, migrant and refugee housing, housing for people with disabilities and those facing homelessness. These are often the people who are most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 due to poor sanitation and overcrowding.” Marguerite Angelari, J.D., Senior Legal Officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative, involved in the drafting of the model legislation, said: “Governments must now take a comprehensive legislative approach to protecting the right to housing until the public health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is over. We hope this model legislation will act as a catalyst for the acceptance of comprehensive legislation to ensure the right to housing is protected.” Economic hardship, globally, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted housing for millions around the world, accelerating homelessness, evictions, and the loss of home ownership. Even before the pandemic, approximately 1.8 billion people globally lived in what international bodies characterised as “grossly inadequate” housing conditions and homelessness. Adequate housing is a key factor affecting a person’s likelihood of being severely impacted by COVID-19, including their ability to socially distance and access clean water and sanitation. Leilani Farha, Global Director for The Shift, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, and 2020 Open Society Foundations Fellow, said: “COVID-19 has laid bare the global housing crisis. The proliferation of homelessness, and inadequate, overcrowded, and unaffordable housing is the result of governments having prioritized housing as a means for financial investors to generate profit rather than treating it as a basic necessity and a human right. Governments must ensure domestic legislation protects housing as a human right in a manner consistent with their international human rights obligations.” The Model Emergency Housing Legislation is available here: https://bit.ly/2Lk5tmJ To read the report ‘Protecting the Right to Housing during the COVID-19 Crisis’ is available here: https://bit.ly/3lUvdTn For more about the Open Society Justice Initiative, visit: https://www.justiceinitiative.org/

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, the Hon. Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan, delivered NUI Galway’s School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture 2020 on  Thursday, 3 December. During his lecture, “Re-examining McGee, Norris and the X case”, Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan discussed and reflected upon these seminal Irish constitutional law cases and recent constitutional reform. A full recording of the event, held virtually over Zoom can be watched back on Youtube: https://youtu.be/lZwSxsn1E6U The full text of the lecture: Annual Distinguished Lecture 2020 The School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture was chaired by Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children. Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “The School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture plays an important role in further enriching our students’ learning experience. There are many important lessons to be learned in this year’s lecture “Re-examining McGee, Norris and the X case” including an opportunity to re-consider these important judgments from a comparative, legal and social perspective.” The Hon. Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan is a renowned legal scholar and has served as Advocate General of the European Court of Justice since 2018. Previously Mr. Justice Hogan was a former Judge of the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Ireland. Now in its tenth year, previous speakers of the Lecture have 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; Judge Síofra O'Leary of the European Court of Human Rights; and Justice Leona Theron of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Dr. Róisín Mulgrew was invited by the Academy of European Law to host a session during their online conference on 'The European Prison Rules as a Standard Setter for European Prison Conditions'. Dr. Mulgrew delivered a seminar on 'The Council of Europe's 2012 Recommendation concerning foreign prisoners: the need for specialised standards and challenges in implementation' on 30th November. This professional development course was attended by judges, prosecutors, lawyers, prison and probation staff, as officials from human rights oversight departments from EU Member States.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Global law firm DLA Piper has today announced the launch of the Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholarship in partnership with NUI Galway School of Law. The new scholarship, which is named after Terry O’Malley, Chairman Emeritus (US), will provide funding and support to students in financial need studying in the University’s award-winning School of Law. As well as the scholarship, which will provide support to successful students over the course of their degree, a separate annual Terence O’Malley DLA Piper bursary will be awarded to the student achieving the highest grade in the University’s new Law and Innovation module. As part of the partnership, Mr. O’Malley, who has family roots in the West of Ireland, will also host an annual lecture with law students at the University. Commenting on the announcement, Terry O’Malley, Chairman Emeritus, DLA Piper said: “Ireland holds a special place in my heart, and I am delighted to be associated with this awards programme. I look forward to helping develop this programme in the coming years.” David Carthy, Country Managing Partner Ireland, DLA Piper said: “NUI Galway’s School of Law is ranked 85th in the world for Law in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject,  and we are proud to partner with the school to support deserving students as they pursue their studies in law. At DLA Piper, we pride ourselves in being an innovative law firm, committed to embracing technology and adapting to meet the needs of global business. We look forward to seeing what innovative thinking the recipients of the annual Terence O’Malley DLA Piper bursary contribute to the industry in the future and we wish all of the students the very best in their studies.” Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law, NUI Galway added: “We are delighted to announce this exciting partnership with DLA Piper, who are recognised as one of the most innovative global law firms. We are very proud of our law students and greatly welcome this scholarship scheme and prize funded by DLA Piper, which will support students in reaching their full potential.” Applications for the scholarship are now open and further details of the scholarship are available at www.nuigalway.ie/dlapiperscholarship.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

The School of Law is pleased to announce that The Hon. Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan, Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, will give the 2020 Annual Distinguished Lecture in Law at 6pm on Thursday the 3rd of December.  This will be a virtual event. The title of the lecture will be “Re-examining McGee, Norris and the X case”.  We have reached the maximum that Zoom can cater for. The event is free to watch the event live on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/nuigalway/posts/10158253271654079 This will be our 10th 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, Judge Síofra O’Leary of the European Court of Human Rights and Justice Leona Theron of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

The project will facilitate and enhance the digital skills and competences of those working in housing and property, real estate, and associated activities across Europe. NUI Galway's Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy (CHLRP) has been successful in its bid for an EU ERASMUS+ funding award of €500,000 with five European partners. Over three years, the project will design and create an international online course for housing and property professionals in the public and private sectors. The modules, materials and learning tools will include PROPTECH – a term which includes blockchain, smart contracts, as well as online transactions and platforms for housing, property and real estate exchange and management. These will enhance digital skills and competences, and produce a skills management tool for housing and real estate operations, based on a mobile micro-learning platform. One part focusses on developing learning tools for professionals managing apartments/condominiums. Dr Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway,, said: "This award recognises the European perspective of our work at NUI Galway, and makes our expertise and knowledge of housing and property issues available to an EU-wide audience. Our European and Irish housing and property law expertise at NUI Galway was integral to the successful €500,000 bid. The project will develop state of the art online learning tools to enhance learner engagement, motivation and participation. The ultimate training will be available for professionals involved in the housing, property and real estate fields, as well as policymakers." ERASMUS+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport. With a budget of €14.7 billion for 2014-2020 it provides opportunities for over four million participants to study, train, gain experience, and volunteer abroad. In addition to offering grants, Erasmus+ also supports teaching, research, networking and policy debate on EU topics. The European partners in this project with NUI Galway are UNESCO Housing Chair (Spain), University of Silesia (Poland), Union Internationale de la Propriete Immobiliere (Belgium), Infrachain, a.s.b.l. (Luxembourg) and Fundacion Iberioamericana del Conocimiento (Spain). Recently, the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy published a set of Briefing Papers on integrating housing rights into the EU economic governance framework. This is available at //www.nuigalway.ie/chlrp/news/this-time-it-will-be-different.html

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

NUI Galway School of Law has been ranked as 85th in the world for Law in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject. Times Higher Education’s (THE) annual World Subject Rankings cover 11 subject areas, giving an overview of the best places in the world to study a chosen discipline. This ranking for NUI Galway School of Law recognises the School’s innovative approach to teaching law and high quality legal research. In recent years the School has responded to the changing employment market by introducing new programmes and making significant changes to its existing programmes. These changes ensure graduates acquire practical and academic skills to adapt to an ever changing world. The School’s excellence in research is driven by academics within the School and its internationally renowned research centres, Irish Centre for Human Rights, Centre for Disability Law and Policy and Centre for Housing Law, Rights & Policy. Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law, said: “This ranking recognises our commitment to delivering world class teaching and research excellence that informs national and international law reform and public policy development. Colleagues across the School make outstanding contributions through their teaching, guided with the aspiration of creating a better society.” Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “NUI Galway is a world class Law School. Dynamic and engaged, international in its outlook and in all aspects of its teaching, research and policy impact, the School of Law is a wonderful place to study, teach and research law.” View the full list of 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Dr Rónán Kennedy lecturer at NUI Galway School of Law has been awarded an SFI Public Service Fellowship for his project “Algorithms, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in the Irish Legal Services Market”. The project which is hosted by Oireachtas Research & Library Services will examine how information technology is enabling new approaches to legal practice and the work of courts, and how Irish law should respond to the rapid innovation that is taking place. AI-based tools could reduce legal costs and make it easier for individuals to get better-quality legal advice where and when they need it. However, they could also lead to smaller firms being left behind, and the use of AI to assist with judicial decision-making (as already happens in other countries) could take control away from judges and strengthen existing social biases and prejudices. Dr Kennedy said, “This fellowship provides an opportunity to see how the Oireachtas works, and how legislation is written. It will give the Oireachtas a better understanding of the social implications of innovations in science and technology, and will help academics working in those fields to communicate their research in a way that helps legislators develop better policy for very important topics.” Dr Rónán Kennedy is one of 12 researchers who were awarded a SFI Public Service Fellowship today. The SFI Public Service Fellowships were announched by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, see full details here. 


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