Ms Maria Manuela de Almeida Silva

PhD in Law candidate

BA, LLB, LLM

Biography




Maria is a graduate of the National University of Ireland Galway with a Bachelor of Arts (Public and Social Policy), a Bachelor of Law LL.B and a Master of Laws Degree (Public Law) “Access to Justice for Migrants with Limited English Proficiency in the Irish Criminal Courts” awarded a first class honours in 2012.

Originally from Lisbon, she has been living in Galway, Ireland for more than twenty years. Over the last decade, Maria has been assisting migrants including asylum seekers and undocumented accessing justice and healthcare in Ireland. Maria is a founding member and the current chairperson of the only official Portuguese association in Ireland (P.A.I.). She has been involved with various migrant groups, including the Galway City Intercultural Forum (chairperson 2009/ 2012), member of the Ministerial Council on Integration, Connacht/Ulster appointee of the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, Department of Justice and Equality (2009 /2013), the western representative board member for the Integration Centre, Immigrant Network in Dublin (2008 /2010) and currently the chairperson of the Galway County Intercultural Forum since 2012. 

Maria is a trained Portuguese/Spanish interpreter and a member of the Irish Translators and Interpreters Association (ITIA) and since 2006 has been working as a legal interpreter for the Irish justice system in Courts, Gardai stations and with the Irish Probation and Prison Services. Through her voluntary work she also assists legal teams in client consultations and over the years she has been helping many migrants with bringing claims to the Equality Tribunal, Office of the Rights Commissioner and the Irish High Court.

Research

Research Interests

Legal interpreting, Human Rights Law, Immigration Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Sentencing, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Professional Associations

  • Irish Association of Law Teachers (I.A.L.T)
  • Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development (A.C.J.R.D.)
  • Irish Translation & Interpreters Association (I.T.I.A)
  • United Kingdom Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA)

Research Projects

PhD Thesis

"Access to Justice for Minorities with Limited Knowledge of the English Language in the Irish Criminal District Courts"

Other Projects

2016 to date- University of Limerick and H.S.E.  Working Group on “A model to support the routine use of trained interpreters in Irish healthcare”
2015 to date - County Galway Resettlement Interagency Group (Resettlement Steering Committee)
2012-2015 - EU FP7 RESTORE Health of Migrants, Implementing migrant care initiatives, beyond language and cultural barriers
2009-2011 - Irish Health Research Board Study ‘Communication in cross cultural general practice consultations: Service user involvement in the development of peer- to-peer guidelines’

Research Publications

  • “Using Participatory Learning & Action research to access and engage with ‘hard to reach’ migrants in primary healthcare research” BMC Health Services Research, BMC series, published 20th January 2016 (co-author)
  • “Involving migrants in the development of guidelines for communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations: a participatory learning and action research project”  BMJ Open Volume 5 Issue 9, published 21st September 2015 (co-author)

Conference Papers and Guest Lectures

  • National Conference on Community Interpreting Research (June 2017) “Irish Criminal Courts and Migrants Language Rights” (forthcoming)
  • L.L.M. (Public Law) Guest Lecture Presentation (March 2017) “Access to Justice for Minorities with Limited Knowledge of the English Language in the Irish Criminal Courts”
  • Master of Health Sciences, School of Nursing & Midwifery Legal Lecture (October 2016) ‘Legal Issues in Advanced Practice”
  • Work in Progress Seminar Series, NUI Galway School of Law (April, 2016) "Facing Criminal Proceedings with Limited English Proficiency in Ireland".
  • L.L.M. (Public Law) Guest Lecture Presentation (February 2016) “Access to Justice for Minorities with Limited Knowledge of the English Language in the Irish Criminal Courts”
  • Irish Association of Law Teachers (IALT) Annual Conference, ‘The Law Lecture: Enhancing Academic Life’,  2015, Salthill, Galway City, Republic of Ireland
  • Socio Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference ‘ Social -legal in culture: the culture of social-legal’ The University of Warwick , United Kingdom, 2015
  • 4th  Community Interpreting Conference, 2014, Dublin City University, Dublin, Republic of Ireland  
  • 2nd Annual Conference Irish Society of Comparative Law,  2013, National University of Ireland, Galway City, Republic of Ireland
  • 2nd  Community Interpreting Conference, 2010,  National University of Ireland, Galway City, Republic of Ireland

 

Teaching Areas

Tort Law
Contract Law