Posted March 21, 2013
This annual conference aims at keeping migration practitioners, judges and civil servants up-to-date by providing an overview of the latest policy developments, legislative initiatives and case law in this field. A particular focus this year will be placed on the implementation of the Returns Directive. Registration is now open, and details of the conference, including the programme are available at: https://www.era.int/cgi-bin/cms?_SID=0c5c1a149b5b6c85e868491137e37baddb65d70700233481316472&_sprache=en&_persistant_variant=/Our%20programme/Browse%20by%20type/Annual%20conferences&_bereich=artikel&_aktion=detail&idartikel=123480
Posted March 07, 2013
Our government colleague within the School of Law and Government, Dr Iain McMenamin, has written a book on the financing of political parties which was launched last night in the Royal Irish Academy by the Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn. Prof Brian MacCraith, the President of DCU, also spoke at the launch and Iain (in the middle) is pictured here with Prof MacCraith and Minister Quinn.
Iain’s book, entitled “If Money Talks, What Does it Say? Corruption and Business Financing of Political Parties”, is published by Oxford University Press and his research thereon was supported by the Irish Research Council. Congratulations to Iain!
Posted February 27, 2013
As discussions on a deal to replace the Croke Park public sector agreement went down to the wire, Dr Doherty appeared a number of times on RTE Radio 1’s Drivetime with Mary Wilson show, as well as on The Week in Politcs and Primetime. You can access Dr Doherty’s previous writings on social partnership and public sector reform here.
Posted February 05, 2013
The DCU Socio-Legal Studies Review is now accepting submissions for its second volume. The Journal is looking to build on its successful first edition which is currently available on our website http://sociolegalstudiesreview.ie/ . The review is a peer-reviewed law journal, which focuses on socio-legal scholarly work, both national and international. This is the only such review in Ireland and offers a unique platform for work by scholars and practitioners in this area.
Socio-Legal studies encompass the study of law in society. This includes empirical and theoretical research both at the national and international level, focusing on the social, cultural and economic context in which laws are made and enforced.
Submissions are welcome on a broad range of legal issues, which evaluate the impact of legal rules on the society in which they operate and consider the influence of society on the development of law. We accept submissions, including articles, casenotes and recent legislative and judicial updates from undergraduate and postgraduate students, practitioners trainees and lecturers.
The guideline length for submissions is 4000 to 6000 words for articles, and 2000 words for casenotes and updates.
Please include the name of the author, and details of professional or student status and contact details in the body of the email. As the peer-review process is anonymous, we ask you not to include your personal details on the submission itself.
Posted January 16, 2013
On 6 February 2013, Dr Murphy will travel to Oxford to deliver a talk entitled “Towards a Human Rights-Based Paradigm of Integration? Assessing the Contribution of International Human Rights Law”. Details of the talk are available at http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/event=12103
Posted January 15, 2013
In advance of three days of hearings on the issue of abortion which were held by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children last week, the Head of the School of Law and Government at DCU, Prof Gary Murphy, wrote an article for the Irish Examiner in which he predicted “much heat and little light” and he examined the political context of the progression of the abortion debate over the past 20 years, since the X case. While, in the event, the proceedings were generally perhaps more dignified than Prof Murphy had predicted, his concerns about the lack of power of the committee to make recommendations or to speed the introduction of legislation in this area seem well-founded as the Government has now suggested that the Bill relating to abortion will not be published until after Easter. You can read Prof Murphy’s article here.
Posted January 11, 2013
Three members of the Socio-Legal Research Centre have featured in the national news media in the past week: Drs Clíodhna Murphy, Roderic O’ Gorman, and Adam McAuley.
The Irish Times published an article by Dr Clíodhna Murphy on Monday relating to forced labour, particularly in the context of migrant workers including domestic workers. The article is available here.
Dr Roderic O’Gorman wrote a column for thejournal.ie today in which he discusses the introduction of legislation allowing for civil partnerships in Ireland, his role in the development of the legislation, and its impact to date. This column can be viewed here.
And finally, Dr Adam McAuley has been sharing his expert views on the decision of the High Court on Marie Fleming’s case in relation to the right to die with a number of news outlets including the RTE Six One News of yesterday evening, Drivetime on RTE Radio 1,TodayFM, Clare FM and the Evening Herald. The RTE News clip is available here (Dr McAuley at 05.45).
Posted January 11, 2013
Congratulations to Dr Mark Coen who successfully defended his doctoral thesis, entitled “Presumed Competent? An Analysis of the Irish Criminal Jury” in December 2012. The thesis argues that the approach of the judiciaries of Ireland and England and Wales to the criminal jury may be theorised as the application of what is, in effect, a presumption of competence. In addition, the thesis argues that the jury should not be treated in this way for a variety of reasons, including its non-expert composition, the secrecy rule attaching to its deliberations and the fact that no reasons are given for its verdict.
Posted November 20, 2012
Rebecca Townsend, one of the first graduates of the BCL (Law and Society) degree, was presented with the DCU Chancellor’s Medal during the graduation ceremony held on Tuesday November 6th 2012. This is the highest honour the University can bestow on an undergraduate student. Pictures are available here. Rebecca had no idea that she had been nominated for this award but she was more than deserving of it. What follows is the citation read by Dr John Doyle, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at DCU prior to the Medal being formally presented to Rebecca by the Chancellor of DCU, Senator Martin McAleese:
The Chancellor’s Medal is awarded only where there is an outstanding candidate who has achieved excellence in both the academic and extra curricular domains. In the very first graduating class of the BCL(Law and Society) degree I am delighted to say that there is such a candidate: Rebecca Townsend.
Rebecca has graduated today with a First Class Honours degree in Law. Her academic ability is unquestionable and is further evidenced through her final-year dissertation on Adoption Law. This was an excellent piece of work on a complex area of law. Rebecca examined not only the specifics of adoption law, but the societal impact of that law, or, more specifically, the effect of the absence of legal provision for adoption in certain circumstances on the lives of real people. Rebecca’s research and academic writing style was comparable to that in peer-reviewed journals. The dissertation was awarded First Class Honours and staff members of the School of Law and Government have recommended that Rebecca submit it for publication.
Rebecca also excelled in the “Placement” module in final year of the BCL(Law and Society) degree, where selected students take up internships in law-related workplaces. Rebecca was placed with the ISPCC and that organisation was most impressed by her. They found that Rebecca had excellent interpersonal, organisational and research skills. They said that she worked very well using her initiative and produced a research brief for them which was of a high quality.
Academic excellence is not enough for the award of the Chancellor’s medal, however. The winner must also have achieved excellence in the extra-curricular field. Rebecca has done so. She has been involved with a number of University sporting clubs, including DCU Surf and Sail and DCU Women’s Rugby Club. She has served on club committees and represented the University in sporting competitions. However, Rebecca’s most impressive extra-curricular achievement from her time here is the establishment of the DCU Free Legal Advice Centre, or DCU FLAC.
Rebecca co-founded FLAC and acted as Co-Chairperson of the Centre in its inaugural year. She was ably assisted by her final year colleague Elaine Marum, and they led a group of enthusiastic volunteers. It is no mean feat to get a Centre like this up and running but Rebecca was not afraid to take on this challenge. She made contact with the national FLAC group and steered the formation of the DCU branch from beginning to end. She researched the viability of having FLAC on campus, developed the project and drew up a Constitution for the Centre. Rebecca spearheaded the establishment of the Centre, organised initial training sessions for participants, co-ordinated with external speakers and practitioners and got the Centre off to an excellent start.
During its inaugural year, FLAC established a “Know Your Rights Week” on campus and also created a “Student Legal Rights Handbook” which will be of use to DCU students for years to come. It also held clinics which students or others with legal queries could attend for information.
The establishment of DCU FLAC is a milestone in the history of the University and, in particular, in the life of the School of Law and Government. Rebecca has created a legacy for students who will follow in her stead and her determination to make this happen should be an example to all such students in terms of what can be achieved when one puts one’s mind to it.
As the School of Law and Government is particularly eager to foster in its law students an understanding of the interaction between society and the law, and to create law graduates with an interest in addressing difficulties within society and an understanding of all aspects of society, Rebecca seems proof that the School is achieving its aims.
Rebecca is held in very high regard amongst both fellow students and staff. She is very personable and gets on well with people from all walks of life. Rebecca took on a leadership role within the student body and has displayed her excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with people, to lead, and to encourage those around her. The Staff of the School of Law and Government are very proud of her achievements. Rebecca has ploughed a very fine furrow in which other students will hopefully follow.
Outside of the University Rebecca has been involved in many impressive activities too and her selfless, outward-looking nature is evidenced by her volunteer work with the charity CARI (Children at Risk in Ireland). This charity, amongst other things, provides professional child-centred therapy, counselling and support services to children who have experienced child sexual abuse and their non-abusing family members/carers. As a volunteer, Rebecca has participated in and hosted a number of fundraising events and collections for this worthwhile cause.
She has also coached children’s basketball and other sports, and she herself has played basketball, soccer and Olympic handball, and been involved in athletics and cross country running. Rebecca holds a brown belt in karate and has won a variety of karate championships.
Rebecca Townsend is an outstanding candidate for the Chancellor’s Medal and a deserving winner. She has been an outstanding student of this University for the past three years, from her academic ability and achievements, to her sporting engagements, her external charity work and her ground-breaking establishment of DCU FLAC. Rebecca is not only an impressive student, and now DCU graduate, she is generous and eager to provide services to others. The service-to-others approach adopted by Rebecca in every aspect of her life is admirable, and worthy of praise. Rebecca does not do these things for praise, but her efforts, and indeed success, are surely praise-worthy. Today we congratulate Rebecca and heartily wish her every success in her future endeavours.
Posted November 20, 2012
On Tuesday Nov 6th, the first cohort of BCL (Law and Society) students graduated. Before the formal University conferring ceremony took place in The Helix, the School of Law and Government and the Socio-Legal Research Centre hosted a celebratory prize-giving event. All graduates and their guests were invited to attend and this proved a most enjoyable event.
Prizes were awarded to a number of students:
Jacki McDonagh was awarded the prize for Best Academic Performance in Final Year of the BCL(Law and Society) degree. This prize was sponsored by Arthur Cox solicitors, and Jane Babb from Arthur Cox presented it to Jacki.
Kevin Coombes was awarded the prize for Best Academic Performance in Second Year of the BCL(Law and Society) degree. This prize, a netbook, was sponsored by A&L Goodbody solicitors, and Clodagh Collier and Alan Roberts from A&L Goodbody came to the event to present it to Kevin.
Prizes were also awarded for the Best Academic Performance in the Equality and Discrimination Law module. These prizes were sponsored by Marguerite Bolger SC and Cliona Kimber BL, authors of Sex Discrimination Law, and were presented to Fiona Downey (a graduate of the BA in Economics, Politics and Law) and Lyndsey Snedker (BCL(Law and Society)). Cliona Kimber was present to meet with Fiona and Lyndsey and present them with their prizes.
A number of photographs taken at the event are available here.
Posted November 16, 2012
The Socio-Legal Research Centre, DCU, held the fourth in its annual “Law on…” seminar series on Wednesday of this week. Following previous explorations of the Law on… Film, Celebrity, and Risk, this year’s seminar focused on the Law on… Police Accountability. There were three speakers: Damien McCarthy, Chairman of the Legal Assistance Scheme and former President of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Kieran Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Garda Síóchána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), and Dr Barry Vaughan, National Economic and Social Council (NESC).
What follows is a brief outline of the presentations delivered by each speaker.
Damien McCarthy, Garda Representative Association
Mr McCarthy began proceedings by giving an overview of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the manner in which the complaints process works thereunder. He spoke about a number of provisions of the Act, including s.88. In relation to that particular provision, Mr McCarthy explained that where a complaint is deemed inadmissible a Garda will be informed that there was a complaint made but will not be given the name of the complainant or told the content of the complaint. This, he said, is believed by many members of the Garda Síochána to be unfair. He suggested that the continuance of s.88 in this manner creates suspicion and interferes with trust.
Mr McCarthy also spoke about what he called the “lease-back” of certain investigations from GSOC to the Garda Síochána. He noted that the ICCL has criticised the high levels of such “lease-back” as disappointing.
Mr McCarthy noted that gardaí have co-operated with GSOC investigations and powers provided under the 2005 Act to arrest a garda and bring him/her to a designated Garda station have not had to be invoked since 2007. He further noted that the vast majority of complaints made to GSOC do not allege criminality.
Mr McCarthy then considered whether or not GSOC is effective as a dispute resolution mechanism. He considered that its effectiveness could be improved by restoring trust in the body within the garda ranks. Inclusiveness, Mr McCarthy said, is a key ingredient in ensuring that GSOC represents an effective resolution process. He further suggested that gardaí are more amenable to external investigation, rather than the “lease-back” procedure, which is reminiscent of the former Garda Complaints Board.
Mr McCarthy noted that conflict is an occupational hazard of policing and that policing is confrontational by nature. In other professions, conflict is sought to be avoided, whereas in the Garda Síochána there is no option but to encounter conflict, often in the context of violence, drugs and alcohol. In this regard it was observed that a more effective garda, patrolling out on the street, might generate more complaints than one who perhaps does not engage so much. This presents something of a challenge.
Mr McCarthy noted the existence of s.110, which allows for the prosecution of persons giving false or misleading information to GSOC as part of a complaint or investigation, but he lamented the lack of prosecutions under this section. He was concerned about abuse of the complaints system, which might particularly arise where an individual was themselves facing prosecution.
Mr McCarthy also made mention of s.109 which allows for a judicial inquiry into conduct of designated officers of GSOC. He suggested that this provision provides for a very high-level inquiry and is akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. He further noted that there was an unsuccessful attempt to invoke the section last year, and that no further appeal is possible against the decision of the Minister for Justice to refuse to request the Chief Justice to appoint a superior court judge to conduct an inquiry.
Mr McCarthy concluded by stating that gardaí, in general, have welcomed the concept of external investigation and have embraced GSOC, but there are some outstanding issues which continue to cause concern.
Kieran Fitzgerald – GSOC Commissioner
Mr Fitzgerald began by acknowledging that GSOC was initially embraced by the GRA and that the GRA have actively participated and engaged with GSOC. He went on to state that independence is the most important attribute of GSOC; it is independent of government, and not answerable to the Minister for Justice. Although the budget of GSOC does officially fall under the Department of Justice, once the overall budget has been allocated it is up to GSOC to decide how to operate it.
Mr McCarthy explained that the work of GSOC in terms of complaints can be largely separated in to two categories: disciplinary matters and criminal matters. On the basis of this distinction, the relevant legislation leads to different paths. The remit of GSOC begins largely when a complaint is received or referred to them. If it is found that the Disciplinary Regulations of the Garda Síochána have been breached, then the matter is forwarded to the Garda Commissioner, as provided for under the Act. The internal disciplinary procedures of the Garda Síochána then take effect and a sanction may be applied. GSOC can make recommendations, but does not have the power to sanction in this scenario. This is true, according to Mr Fitzgerald, of most other ombudsman bodies in other jurisdictions.
If GSOC find that a criminal offence has been committed, a file is forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the DPP takes the matter from there.
Mr Fitzgerald stated that, since opening, GSOC has received an average of between 2000 and 2500 complaints per year. Each complaint might include a number of allegations, so the yearly number of allegations is closer to 5000. He noted that complaints can be submitted by any person, except a member of the Garda Síochána, and that complaints can be submitted by children, so long as GSOC are of the opinion that the child can give an intelligible account. In most circumstances involving a child or a vulnerable adult, a guardian or other appropriate third party may be required to be present. One can also make a complaint on behalf of another, in certain circumstances. A proximity rule applies, e.g. a person viewing something on the television or online which they have not actually witnessed themselves would most likely not be able to lodge a complaint even though those matters may have disturbed them. Someone present and witnessing the matter, without directly being involved, might be eligible to complain however.
Mr Fitzgerald stated that GSOC does not exonerate individuals, though gardaí sometimes claim that that is what has occurred when a complaint is not proceeded with. He stated that GSOC either substantiates a complaint or it does not; it does not exonerate. Most often, he stated, a complaint will not be substantiated due to a lack of evidence. In a “he said/she said” scenario, it is difficult to progress the complaint.
In relation to what Mr McCarthy had described as “lease-back”, Mr Fitzgerald stated that this occurs with less serious complaints. In relation to any suggestion that GSOC should investigate all complaints themselves, Mr Fitzgerald contended that complaints of the lowest level often involve “service” issues, or “public service” issues rather than a crime or more serious breach. In cases of “neglect of duty” Mr Fitzgerald suggested that complainants usually want action, rather than necessarily wanting disciplinary or other sanctions; the complainant wants to be heard and to get a reaction. Mr Fitzgerald did suggest, however, that responsibility for matters such as this, from a managerial perspective, should devolve closer to the frontline, to sergeants, for example, rather than to superintendents.
In terms of allegations of criminal behaviour, Mr Fitzgerald agreed that many of these do not result in prosecutions. However, the fact that prosecution does not occur does not necessarily mean that the allegation was maliciously made or false or misleading. In relation so s.110, Mr Fitzgerald pointed out that there have been prosecutions for providing false or misleading information knowingly. Sometimes, however, it is not that the person has knowingly given false or misleading information, but that their perception of the event is different from the actuality. Section 110, he said, is used sparingly, and carefully, with evidence of a breach of its terms.
Mr Fitzgerald went on to characterise GSOC as a cog in the machine of Ireland’s response to Art 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to life). He said that this imposes a negative obligation, such that the Garda Síochána will not take life unless absolutely necessary, but also a positive obligation such that an effective investigation will take place if a member of the Garda Síochána is involved in a fatal incident. To date, GSOC has investigated 99 deaths, many of which relate to road traffic incidents rather than all stemming from deaths in custody. Mr Fitzgerald noted that the Act makes no distinction between whether or not a garda is on duty, in terms of GSOC’s obligation to investigate. He stated that Art 2 allows, enables and in fact pressurises GSOC, from its case-law, to look at systemic issues, not just the individual incident itself.
Mr Fitzgerald then spoke to the fact that there was one Commission in place from the start of GSOC and this was replaced in December 2011 by Mr Fitzgerald and his colleagues. He considered that while the first Commission was tasked with establishing GSOC and getting it off the ground, the new Commission has a different mission which will involve looking very hard at how GSOC can try to effect cultural change (with the Gardaí becoming public servants and providing public service), address systemic issues and systemic improvement, and work collaboratively with the Garda Síóchána and other relevant bodies.
Dr Barry Vaughan, NESC
Dr Vaughan began by admitting that he does not really believe in the notion of law and accountability! He then went on to discuss issues of regulation and oversight, broadening the discussion to a certain extent and drawing on comparative bodies in other areas of public life and public service, such as the regulation of nursing homes and hospitals. He queried where regulation should be located, considering the options of top-down regulation, as opposed to bottom-up regulation.
Dr Vaughan noted the need for oversight of garda activities and referred to the past, in particular referencing issues such as the “heavy gang” in the 1970s and the Kerry Babies case. He noted, however, the need for balance. He spoke about the regulatory pyramid concept, put forward by John Braithwaite which provides for a combination of persuasion and punishment: if one does not co-operate, one is moved up along the pyramid. In Braithwaite’s parlance, Dr Vaughan referred to speaking softly but carrying a big stick of sanctions.
Dr Vaughan considered that a formal state body should not be relied upon to do all of the regulatory work or investigate every incident. He suggested that “service complaints” are not amenable to judicial-like intervention. He spoke about the need for meta-regulation and noted the various bodies created by the 2005 Act. Dr Vaughan suggested that we should engage in smart regulation, with a system of accountability where different bodies work within a structure in a linked-up fashion. These bodies include GSOC, the Garda Inspectorate, any internal standards body and joint policing committees.
Dr Vaughan drew on the work of Samuel Walker in the U.S. which suggests that a focus on individual behaviour and discipline does little to produce better institutional behaviour because the institution tends to go into the “few bad apples” defensive mode and fails to address general policy/practice failings.
In relation to the suggestion that more active or effective gardaí are likely to attract more complaints, Dr Vaughan suggested that they ought to be compared on a peer basis.
Dr Vaughan, who had earlier referred to GSOC as a quasi-independent body noted that the Minister for Justice can refuse to allow a public policy investigation proposed by GSOC and that this impedes the ability of that body to address systemic issues. Broader issues do need probing. One example given by Dr Vaughan, picking up on the statistics on garda involvement in fatal road traffic incidents which had been referenced by Mr Fitzgerald, was that we need to know whether or not the gardaí are involved in an unusually high number of such incidents, and if so, why?
Dr Vaughan considered that the 2005 Act provides all of the parts necessary for a valuable oversight/regulation of the Garda Síóchána, but a greater level of liaison is needed between the differing bodies created thereunder, and indeed the Department of Justice and Equality.
He concluded by stating “We have the tools, the job is still to be done.”
Posted November 13, 2012
DCU’s Final Year team in the National Moot Court Competition 2012, were narrowly beaten by a team from UCD in the Criminal Courts of Justice on Saturday last. The team made it through two preliminary rounds and the semi-final (defeating another DCU team on the way) as far as the final, which was presided over by The Honourable Mr Justice John Hedigan (High Court judge and Judge in Residence in the School of Law and Government, DCU), Dr Maura Kelly (Matheson solicitors, who sponsored the event) and Dr Noelle Higgins (Irish Centre for Human Rights). The problem question related to Judicial Review of a probation order handed down to a man in arrears on his maintenance payments in the District Court. The probation order included a condition to the effect that the probationer should not beget any more children for a period of two years, so that no more children would be born into circumstances of “economic abandonment”.
The Final Year team , Adam Assahli, Conall Shaw and Donna McNamara, did the School of Law and Government, the Socio-Legal Research Centre and DCU proud. Adam Assahli, Chairperson of DCU Law Society, was awarded the prize for Best Speaker.
Congratulations also to the other DCU participants: Kelly Lynch, Seán Byrne and Kevin Charbel (BCL2) who made it to semi-final stage and Shaunagh Byrne, Niall Williams and Rebecca O’Sullivan (BCL2) who also ably represented the University.
Additional pictures of the event are available here.
Posted November 02, 2012
Clíodhna Murphy presented a paper at and participated in the EU-China Human Rights Seminar at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, on 30-31 October.
The EU-China Human Rights Seminar is an EU-funded project which brings together Chinese and European academics, NGOs and government officials to analyse human rights practices and developments in both regions.
The overall objective of the EU-China Human Rights Project is to strengthen the realisation of human rights in China and to support China in its efforts to align its human rights policy with international norms.
Clíodhna’s paper addressed “Labour Standards and Labour Disputes: The Case of Migrant Domestic Workers in Europe”
Posted October 24, 2012
This Thursday, October 25th, between 7pm and 8pm, tune your radio to Near FM 90.3 to listen to the weekly legal show “The Brief”. This week, Dr Yvonne Daly of the Socio-Legal Research Centre within the School of Law and Government here at DCU will be the academic guest on the panel.
If you cannot tune in on the day, a podcast will follow here: http://nearfm.ie/the-brief/
Posted October 21, 2012
The Socio-Legal Research Centre at Dublin City University will host the fourth in its “The Law on…” seminar series on Wednesday November 14th 2012 at 6.30pm.
The theme of this seminar will be “The Law on…Police Accountability” and it will focus on the oversight of the Garda Síochána by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.
The speakers at the seminar will be Garda Ombudsman Commissioner Kieran FitzGerald, former President of the Garda Representative Association Damien McCarthy and Dr Barry Vaughan of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC).
Certification of attendance for the purposes of the CPD scheme will be available to attendees on request (2 hours).
Speakers at the Seminar
Mr Damien McCarthy is an operational Garda in Dublin’s south inner city. He is a former president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) and current member of the GRA’s Central Executive. He chairs the association’s legal assistance scheme that assists members facing disciplinary or legal proceedings arising out of their conduct at work.
Mr McCarthy has recently completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution at Trinity College Dublin. He specifically focused on the role of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.
Garda Ombudsman Commissioner Kieran FitzGerald was appointed to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission on 12th December 2011.
He previously served as Head of Communications and Research for the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. He has been a producer, reporter and researcher with RTÉ and he has worked on programmes that included The Late Late Show, Prime Time and Liveline. He was News and Current Affairs Journalist of the Year in 1999.
Dr Barry Vaughan is a policy analyst at the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) and is currently seconded to the Department of the Taoiseach to work on issues relating to public service reform.
He has worked as a criminologist in a number of third-level institutions in the UK and Ireland. He has co-authored two books on criminal justice issues, Crime, Punishment and the Search for Order in Ireland (IPA 2004) and Terrorism, Rights and the Rule of Law (Willan, 2008). In 2012 he produced a report for NESC entitled Policing and the Seach for Continuous Improvement which examines the efficacy of the institutions and processes established under the Garda Síochána Act 2005.
Posted October 16, 2012
The conference will bring together academics, NGOs and government officials, among others, to discuss these issues on European Anti-Trafficking Day. Dr Murphy’s presentation will focus on employment and migration law regimes for migrant domestic workers in Ireland, France and the UK.
Posted October 08, 2012
The Socio-Legal Research Centre in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University is pleased to announce that, in association with Matheson Ormsby Prentice solicitors, it will host the National Moot Court Competition 2012 for undergraduate law students in the Criminal Courts Complex, Parkgate Street, in Dublin on Saturday November 10, 2012.
This year’s competition focuses on constitutional law, the European Convention on Human Rights, and family law.
The purpose of the National Moot Court Competition 2012 is to give students a greater understanding of how law operates in practice and to provide them with an opportunity to develop their mooting skills and to apply the law in a formal court setting.
There will be two parts to the Competition; a written submission, due on Friday November 2, 2012 and oral presentations, which will take place on Saturday November 10, 2012 in the Criminal Courts of Justice complex in Dublin.
For the written submission, students must draft two memoranda, outlining the arguments to be made on behalf of (1) the Applicant and (2) the Respondent. Each document should be no longer than 2,500 words
For the problem question and further information email nationalmoot[at]gmail.com
Posted October 05, 2012
Michael Doherty was one of the speakers at the ELAI/UCD Current Fundamental Issues in Employment Law Conference held on September 28-29 2012. Dr Doherty’s presentation focused on the recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommendation in relation to Irish law on collective bargaining. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton also spoke about the ILO recommendation and the Conference featured contributions from Professor Keith Ewing of King’s College London and Renate Hornung-Draus, managing director of the German Confederation of Employers.
Posted October 05, 2012
Event Begins: Sat November 10, 2012 - 11:42am
Event Ends: Sat November 10, 2012 - 10:41am
The National Moot Court Competition 2012 , hosted by the Socio-Legal Research Centre and School of Law and Government at DCU, and sponsored by Matheson Ormsby Prentice solicitors, will take place on Saturday November 10th 2012 in the Criminal Courts of Justice complex, Dublin.
The problem question was released today, October 5th, and the competition is open to all those studying law at third level on the island of Ireland. Further information is available by emailing nationalmoot[at]gmail.com.
Posted October 04, 2012
Members of the Socio-Legal Research Centre have featured in a number of media outlets in recent weeks.
On Tuesday September 11th, Dr Yvonne Daly was a panelist on Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3, considering whether or not trials should be televised.
Dr Michael Doherty joined Seán Moncrieff in the Newstalk studio on September 20th to go through some of the stories of the day. They discussed the Croke Park agreement, amongst other things.
On Monday September 24th the Irish Times featured a profile of the Ballymun Community Law Centre. Dr Olivia Smith, a Director of the Centre, was highlighted as one of a number of leading academics who support the Centre and its impressive education programme, on which Dr Smith has given introductory course on the Equality Law. See the article here.
Posted March 28, 2012
A European Commission-funded study on the protection of the rights of posted workers, on which Dr Doherty acted as the National Expert for Ireland, has been published. The study, Complementary study on the legal aspects of the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services in the European Union (2012), was funded by the Commission to inform new legislative proposals on the effective implementation of Directive 96/71 on the posting of workers. These have now been published and can be accessed here.
Posted March 23, 2012
Event Begins: Wed March 28, 2012 - 8:00pm
The Inaugural DCU Moot Court Grand Final will take place on Wednesday next, March 28th from 7-9pm in The Gallery on the top floor of The Helix Theatre on the DCU campus. This prestigious event will see four of the top mooters from the BA in Economics, Politics and Law take on four of the top mooters from BCL (Law and Society) in a fierce battle for the glory and honour of either degree!! The event is kindly sponsored by Matheson Ormsby Prentice solicitors.
The “court” will be presided over by the Honourable Mr Justice John Hedigan of the High Court along with Dr Adam McAuley and Majella Twomey BL. The problem question relates to criminal law and touches on a number of significant issues including common design, duress, causation and the right to a fair trial.
Posted November 24, 2011
The “Law on…Risk” seminar, hosted by the SLRC on Thursday November 22nd, was a most interesting event with three excellent speakers giving a very clear account of the area and emerging issues of note.
Mark Wilson, Regional Manager with the Probation Service, began proceedings by highlighting the work carried out by the Probation Service with offenders both in prison and in the community. He spoke about the need to engage in risk assessment and the necessary effort to achieve a balance of focus in terms of offenders needs on the one hand and the needs of the community on the other. Mark outlined the development of risk assessment techniques and spoke about the tools utilised by the Probation Service in various different contexts, e.g. in relation to juvenile offenders, sex offenders and others. The need for inter-agency involvement in addressing the needs of offenders and the needs of the community was clear and the benefits of specific risk assessment tools in creating common language and uniformity of assessment, among other things, were underlined.
Kris Gledhill, from the University of Auckland, then stepped back to question the practice of risk assessment from the perspective of the need for due process in the criminal justice system. He spoke about contrasting human rights from the viewpoint of victims and potential victims and from the viewpoint of defendants. In terms of victims and potential victims, Kris pointed to the right to life (ICCPR Art 6/ECHR Art 2) and the right to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment (ICCPR Art 7/ECHR Art 3). In relation to defendants, he noted the right to liberty (ICCPR Art 9/ECHR Art 5) and the right to privacy. While he considered that the rights to life, bodily integrity and autonomy include obligations on the State to protect citizens from risks, and therefore risk assessment is an important part of the framework of the human rights structure, he questioned the position of due process, which is required by rights such as the right to liberty, privacy and so on, in that framework in the context of risk assessment procedures. Kris outlined a number of notable cases and developments in various jurisdictions including the UK, the US and New Zealand and he referred to history and the anthropological criminology of Cesare Lombroso to sound a warning note in relation to the breadth of reliance on risk assessment within the criminal process.
The third speaker was Áine Hynes, partner with St John solicitors and chairperson of the Irish Mental Health Lawyers’ Association. Áine discussed risk assessment primarily in the context of the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 which allows for persons deemed unfit to be tried or found “not guilty by reason of insanity” at trial to be detained in the Central Mental Hospital. She spoke about the operation of the Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board, particularly in terms of its power to determine whether or not a patient is still in need of in-patient treatment in a designated centre, i.e. the Central Mental Hospital, or should be discharged, with conditions or without. Áine then outlined the situation which arose in JB v Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board, Ireland and the Attorney General relating to the failure of the 2006 Act to provide for enforcement of any conditions attached to a discharge. This case ultimately led to the enactment of amending legislation, the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2010.
Many thanks are due to all three speakers whose participation was central to the success of the evening and who raised many interesting and thought-provoking issues for those in attendance. Sincere thanks are also due to the Honourable Mr Justice Roderick Murphy, Judge in Residence at the School of Law and Government, DCU, for chairing the event, and to all of those who came along and took part in the discussion after the formal presentations were complete.
Posted November 22, 2011
Hearty congratulations are due to DCU students Conall Shaw (BCL2), Lisa Duke (EPL2) and Cian Fallon (BCL2) who were awarded second prize in the recent National Moot Court Competition, held in the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin’s city centre. They battled their way impressively through two preliminary rounds and a tough semi-final to the Grand Final, presided over by the Honourable Mr Justice Roderick Murphy of the High Court, Dr Simon Mills B.L., and Dr Noel McGrath. In the final they were ultimately beaten by a UCD team consisting of Matthew Morrow, Neal Flynn and Brian McCormick.
Well done to each of the sixteen teams who took part in the competition, representing DCU, UCD, TCD, UL, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, Waterford IT and GCD. The Moot problem was a complex one dealing with the issue of “wrongful life” and the level of preparation and poise displayed by the participants was superb.
Posted November 04, 2011
The Socio-Legal Research Centre at Dublin City University will host the third in its “Law on…” seminar series on Thursday November 17th 2011 at 6.30pm.
The theme of this seminar will be “Law on…Risk” and it will focus on risk assessment in the criminal process in the context of mentally disordered offenders, persons seeking parole and temporary release.
The seminar will be chaired by The Honourable Mr Justice Roderick Murphy of the High Court (Judge in Residence at the School of Law and Government, DCU) and it will be addressed by Kris Gledhill, Lecturer in Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, Áine Hynes, Chairperson of the Irish Mental Health Lawyers’ Association and Mark Wilson, Probation Service.
Certification of attendance for the purposes of the CPD scheme will be available to attendees on request (2 hours).
See speaker profiles and further information below.
Measures designed to prevent individuals committing future crimes are increasingly part of legal regimes in common law jurisdictions, typically made in relation to sexual offenders or violent offenders and typically imposed on the basis of evidence that the offender poses a risk of further offending that is unacceptable. These measures may be in the form of community monitoring or restrictions, or both; but they may also extend to preventive detention. In addition, questions of early release on parole or of release from a psychiatric hospital are increasingly becoming dominated by the question of whether the prisoner or patient poses too great of a risk to be released. One of the many questions arising is the extent to which courts are alert to the difficulties of making such assessments and the rigour of the process followed.
Kris is interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in developing a comparative text on this issue, namely a text with chapters that deal with the extent to which risk assessment is becoming a central part of the criminal justice regime in the various common law jurisdictions and descriptions given of the procedural regime that ensures due process and the extent to which the courts are taking their roles seriously.
Áine Hynes is a partner in St. John Solicitors. She is Chair of the Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association, and of the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association Mental Health and Capacity Committee. She also sits on the Law Society Task force on Mental Health and Capacity.
Aine has represented clients detained under the Mental Health Act 2001 and under the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 since November 2006. She acted in the first cases to be reviewed under the legislation. Aine has been involved in significant high court cases taken under Article 40 of the Constitution and with reference to Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights relating to the lawful detention of patients.
She has also acted in Judicial Review proceedings on behalf of detained patients, most notably the case of JB v Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board, Ireland and the Attorney General (judgment available here). This case concerned the refusal of the Review Board to order a conditional discharge from the Central Mental Hospital in circumstances where the patient no longer required medication or in-patient treatment. The Review Board considered that it could not order a conditional discharge from the Central Mental Hospital in circumstances where the patient no longer required medication or in-patient treatment as the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act did not allow for a recall to the Central Mental Hospital in the event of a breach of the conditions of discharge. The case ultimately resulted in the amendment of the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006.
Áine’s presentation will focus on the balance between an individual’s right to release versus the public interest. She will refer to cases in which she has acted to illustrate how the balance has been struck in those particular cases. Áine will also address the issue of risk in the context of patients detained in the Central Mental Hospital on the basis of sexual offending. She will illustrate the difficulties encountered by those patients seeking release where the patient is considered to pose too great a risk to be released.
Mark Wilson is the Operational Regional Manager for the Probation Service for Dublin North and the North East. He has extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of risk assessment in probation work, especially in relation to high risk offenders generally, sex offenders, life sentence prisoners, parole, post-custody supervision, and the wider range of risk assessment procedures and structures used by the Probation Service. Mark has held lead strategic responsibilities in this area on behalf of the Probation Service, including forging critical interagency and international links. His presentation at the Law on Risk seminar will be based on his experience and expertise.
Posted November 01, 2011
Dr Noel McGrath will be delivering a paper entitled ‘From First in Time to First to File: New Rules for the Efficient Determination of Priority’ at the Irish Corporate Law Forum’s forthcoming evening seminar on 9th November 2011. The seminar will take place at the Royal Irish Academy.
The Irish Corporate Law Forum promotes the discussion of legal issues of practical and academic concern relating to corporate law in Ireland. As befits the nature of a Forum, ICLF seminars and conferences aim to promote discussion and debate and provide timely guidance on a wide range of topical subjects such as directors’ duties, restriction and disqualification of directors, case law developments, EU directives and regulations and the reform of Irish company law.
Details of the seminar can be found here
Posted August 06, 2011
Event Begins: Mon August 29, 2011 - 5:00pm
The Socio-Legal Research Centre, DCU will host an event, with the view to potentially establishing an Irish Socio-Legal Studies Network on August 29th at 5pm in HG17, the Nursing Building, DCU.
Professor Rebecca Wallace from Robert Gordon University and Detective Superintendent Noel Clarke from the Garda Anti-Human Trafficking Unit will address the topics of trafficking of children and separated children. These talks will be followed by a short reception.
The Nursing Building is the first building on the left when you enter the Collins Avenue Entrance to DCU. Parking will be available in the multi-storey carpark on campus, which is a 2 minute walk from the Nursing Building (see the campus map here).
We hope you can join us in DCU for this event and some discussion about the possible establishment of an Irish socio-legal studies network.
Any queries in relation to this event should be directed to Dr. Noelle Higgins: noelle.higgins[at]dcu.ie
Those with an interest in socio-legal studies are encouraged to join the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) -‘where law meets the social sciences and humanities’.
Posted July 21, 2011
Dr Doherty is to act as national expert for Ireland in a new EU Commission-backed study which examines existing mechanisms to protect the rights of workers involved in subcontracting processes.
The study, led by the University of Gent’s Faculty of Law, is going to formulate recommendations for potential improvements (by way of EU legislation or otherwise) in the protection of workers’ rights in the framework of subcontracting and outsourcing, including in cross-border situations.
Posted July 05, 2011
More informaiton on the work of the organisation can be found at http://www.iccl.ie/.
Posted June 28, 2011
A new text, edited by Prof Monika Schlachter (University of Trier), and featuring a chapter co-authored by Dr Michael Doherty (with Dr Des Ryan of Trinity College Dublin) has been published. The Prohibition of Age Discrimination in Labour Relations is based on a collection of papers presented to the XVIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law, which took place in Washington D.C., USA in July 2010.
Prof Schlachter holds the chair in civil, labour and international law at the University of Trier and is Director of Legal Studies at The Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Community.
Posted June 03, 2011
Dr Yvonne Daly has been awarded a DCU Career Start Fellowship enabling her to undertake a three-year socio-legal research project on the pre-trial right to silence in police investigations and courtroom evidence in Ireland. The funding granted to Dr Daly will allow her to carry out an empirical analysis of the extent to which suspects seek to rely on their right to silence under garda interrogation and the use which is made of any such silence at trial. Legislative provisions allowing for inferences to be drawn against the accused at trial based on his/her silence during police interrogation will be a central focus of the research and the project will seek to assess the effect in practice of inference-drawing provisions on garda investigations, on lawyers representing suspects, on suspect rights, and on trial verdicts.
Posted May 20, 2011
Dr Doherty is to act as national expert for Ireland in a new EU Commission-backed study to examine any questions and difficulties which might arise in practical application of the posting of workers legislation, as well as in its enforcement in practice. The Commission intends the project, led by University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Law, to complement an earlier study on the legal aspects of workers in the framework of the provision of services in the European Union (VT/2009/063).
Posted May 16, 2011
A number of SLRC members were among the nominees for the DCU President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. This award recognises outstanding contributions to DCU’s Teaching and Learning mission on the part of members of staff. SLRC members nominated were:
Posted April 12, 2011
Event Begins: Tue April 12, 2011 - 9:26pm
Event Ends: Wed April 20, 2011 - 9:26pm
Posted March 25, 2011
Students from both BCL Law and Society and BA Economics, Politics and Law will be representing the School of Law and Government in the Thomas A. Finlay Moot Court IV Competition on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th March, which is being held at University College, Dublin. Good luck to all three teams: Elaine Marum and Emma Slattery (BCL2); Adam Assahli and Conor Campbell (BCL1); Anna Murphy (BCL2) and Lisa Duke (EPL1).
Posted March 25, 2011
Dr Elaine Dewhurst and Dr Noelle Higgins have recently been appointed as legal advisors to the Mexican Embassy.
Posted March 08, 2011
Dr Doherty has been invited by the European Commission to attend the dissemination conference of the Industrial Relations in Europe 2010 report, which will take place on 17-18th March 2011 at the Bloom Hotel, Rue Royale 250, Brussels.
Every two years the European Commission- DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion- produces an Industrial Relations in Europe
report, which provides an overview of industrial relations developments in Europe for the previous two-year period. The 2010 edition is the sixth report in the series and was launched on 3 March 2011.
The aim of this conference is to present and discuss the issues raised in the report with an audience of social partners, academics and representatives of the Member States. Around 150 participants have been invited to the conference, which will consist of four panel
sessions each devoted to one aspect of the report, but will not necessarily correspond to the individual chapters. The conference, as the report itself, will focus on a review of industrial relations in times of economic crisis and on the role of social dialogue in
achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Posted March 04, 2011
The aim of this one-day research symposium is to bring together ongoing research on employment, unemployment, inequality and living conditions in Ireland today; it places the Irish experience in some comparative context; it aims to stimulate further research. Dr Doherty will present a paper on the Crisis and Collapse of Social Partnership in Ireland.
Posted February 18, 2011
A new text, edited by former MEP Jan Cremers, and featuring a chapter by Dr Michael Doherty will shortly be published. In Search of Cheap Labour in Europe: Working and Living Conditions of Posted Workers is the result of a Europe wide study, funded by the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities).
The research project, commissioned by the European social partners in the construction industry, focused on the practical implementation and effects in the construction sector of the Posted Workers Directive (Directive 96/71), which has recently generated a voluminous amount of literature, owing to its central role in key European Court of Justice decisions on collective bargaining rights (the so-called ‘Laval Quartet’ judgments).
Dr Doherty was the national expert for Ireland on the project. The book will be formally launched at the University of Westminster in London on February 25th, where the London branch of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) meets.
Posted February 14, 2011
DCU in partnership with Bangor University and the Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management has been successful in winning approval for their project “Winning in Tendering” under the Ireland Wales Interreg 4A scheme. The 3 year project has a budget of 4.2 million euro. Dr. Paul Davis of DCU Business School will be heading up the DCU elements and Dr Michael Doherty of SLRC will be Co-Principal Investigator on the Irish side. The project is a strategic project aimed at transforming the public tendering experience of Small Indigenous Suppliers in the Ireland / Wales region. The project will address skills gaps of SISs and Public Procurers which inhibit the region’s competiveness and sustainable development.
Posted February 14, 2011
Dr. Dewhurst will preside over the National Board of Review of the competition and over the oral rounds of the competition to be held on Saturday 5th March 2011.
Posted February 14, 2011
Annually, teams from over 40 universities compete in the national rounds, with the successfully teams going on to represent their countries in the international rounds held at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Dr. Higgins will serve alongside other leading international law experts.
Posted February 14, 2011
On Thursday 3rd March 2011, 20 BCL students will attend specially arranged meetings with the Law Society of Ireland, Kings’ Inns and A&L Goodbody Solicitors. The first stop on the tour if the Law Society of Ireland, the training body for solicitors in Ireland, where the students will attend a lecture in Criminal Litigation, followed by a discussion on the path to becoming a solicitor. This will be followed by a trip to the Kings Inns, where the students will receive a tour of this historic educational establishment and a talk on the life of a barrister. The students will also get to meet those involved in the education of barristers in Ireland. The students will then move on to A&L Goodbody for a tour of the legal offices and for a meeting with Ireland’s leading legal minds. The students will also have an opportunity to visit the Four Courts / Criminal Courts Complex during the day.
Posted February 14, 2011
Teams from the University of Heidelberg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, University of Copenhagen, Leiden University, Universidade do Minho - Escola de Direito, Boston College Law School, Osnabrueck, University of Amsterdam, American University, University of Florence, Universidad San Pablo and Yeditepe University - Istanbul – Turkey will take part in the Regional Finals to be held on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th February 2011. The Finals will be hosted in the Helix, DCU, with the Grand Final to be held in the Criminal Courts of Justice. The event is sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, Law Society of Ireland and A&L Goodbody Solicitors. Dr. Elaine Dewhurst and Dr. Noelle Higgins of SLRC and Mr. Jonathan Tomkin BL of the Irish Centre for European Law are responsible for the organisation of the competition.
Posted February 14, 2011
Event Begins: Tue February 22, 2011 - 6:15pm
Event Ends: Tue February 22, 2011 - 10:00pm
Posted February 14, 2011
Dr. Noelle Higgins has been invited to judge the written rounds of the Irish National Finals of Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Now in its 52nd year, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world’s largest moot court competition, with participants from over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Thousands of law students from around the world will work all year long on this season’s Jessup Problem, which will address the legality of the use of unmanned drones and international anti-corruption law. The national final will be held in Dublin on Saturday 18th February 2011.
Posted February 14, 2011
Posted February 14, 2011
The funds will be used to further develop the moot court programme. The successful application by made by Dr. Noelle Higgins, who is also responsible, along with Dr. Elaine Dewhurst, for the organisation of the Regional Finals of the European Law Moot Court Competition.
Posted December 16, 2010
Law staff from the Socio-Legal Research Centre, School of Law and Government, DCU and the School of Law, University College Dublin at the CHIULS launch. Pictured: Professor Imelda Maher (UCD), Arran Dowling-Hussey BL (DCU), Dr Michael Doherty (DCU), Anthony Kerr (UCD), Dr Eoin Daly (DCU)
Posted December 14, 2010
The Socio-Legal Research Centre, School of Law & Government, Dublin City University hosted the formal launch of the Committee of Heads of Irish Law Schools on Tuesday 14th December 2010. The Committee of Heads of Irish Law Schools was formally launched by the Attorney General for the Republic of Ireland, Paul Gallagher SC and the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin QC. It was announced by the Attorneys during the launch that this was the first official occasion that the Attorneys from both legal jurisdictions in Ireland had formally launched a committee together.
The Attorney General for Ireland, Paul Gallagher SC commenced proceedings and formally announced Professor Steve Hedley, University College Cork as the inaugural Chairman of the Committee of Heads of Irish Law Schools. Paul Gallagher welcomed the initiative of the Committee as a means for representing and promoting the interests of university schools and departments which teach and research law on the island of Ireland. The Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin QC, was equally supportive of the establishment of the Committee of Heads of Irish Law Schools particularly given the unique relationship between both legal jurisdictions in respect of Irish legal education and research. John Larkin QC welcomed Professor Colin Harvey, Queen’s University Belfast, as the first Vice-Chair of the Committee.
All Heads of Law Schools within the University sector of Higher Education on the island of Ireland are represented on this Committee:
• Dublin City University
• National University of Ireland, Galway
• National University of Ireland, Maynooth
• Queen’s University, Belfast
• Trinity College, Dublin
• University College, Cork
• University College, Dublin
• University of Limerick
• University of Ulster
Posted December 02, 2010
Three SLRC members- Dr Noelle Higgins, Dr Brenda Daly and Dr Elaine Dewhurst, presented papers at the Irish Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference in Limerick (held on Nov 26-28th 2010). The papers presented were:
Dr Noelle Higgins: “The Legal Protection of the Irish Language”
Dr Brenda Daly: “Time for Change? How will Ireland’s membership of the Council of Europe impact Irish Abortion Law”
Dr Elaine Dewhurst: “In and Out: Thirty Years of Migration Law in Ireland”
At the IALT AGM on Nov 28th, Dr Michael Doherty was elected President of the Association for 2010-11 and Dr Noel McGrath was elected Treasurer.
Posted December 02, 2010
On Saturday November 20 2010, thirteen nervous teams of undergraduate law students gathered in the Criminal Courts of Justice complex on Parkgate Street, Dublin to contest the National Moot Court Competition 2010, organised by the Socio-Legal Research Centre and the School of Law and Government, DCU with support from the Learning Innovation Unit, DCU.
The teams had already submitted their written documents to the “court” in relation to the case of People (DPP) v Hansel Murphy (loosely based around the age-old fairytale of “Hansel and Gretel” - the materials supplied to students are viewable here) and then battled it out through two tough preliminary rounds, judged by practising barristers. The four teams topping the bill after the preliminary rounds then set their sights on one another in the semi-finals. Ultimately, one team from Trinity College Dublin was to be pitted against the BCL team from Dublin City University in the Grand Final presided over by The Hon Mr Justice Roderick Murphy (judge of the Irish High Court), Mr Michael O’Higgins SC, and Dr Michael Doherty (Socio-Legal Research Centre). In the end, the TCD team was victorious - congratulations to them.
Many congratulations to all of the teams who took part. The amount of preparation which had been put into the submissions was impressive and the standard of legal argument was high.
Many thanks also to the institutions who sent participants and the lecturers who helped in the preparation of teams. The participating institutions were DCU, TCD, UCD, UL, WIT, NUIM and NUIG.
Thanks are also due to the barristers and legal academics who helped out with judging on the day, and particularly to the Grand Final judges.
And well done to the DCU BCL team that finished in second place: Emma Slattery, Elaine Marum and Anna Murphy, and the DCU EPL team who also took part in the event: Brendan McLoughlin, Niamh O’Doherty and Julianne McNicholas.
The Socio-Legal Research Centre within the School of Law and Government at DCU is committed to furthering research in the area of Legal Education and to creating opportunities for students to learn the law in practical and innovative ways. For more information on all of this click here.
Posted December 02, 2010
In 2009, the first Law On… seminar was hosted by the SLRC- “Law on Screen”. The latest seminar in the series proved to be just as successful and informative.
Marie McGonagle (lecturer in Law at NUI Galway and author of Media Law, now in its 3rd edition) kicked off the seminar by discussing the nature of modern celebrity. She noted the “commodificaton” of celebrity, pointing out that often the assertion of privacy rights by those in the public eye is tied to financial or commercial concerns, rather than those related to fundamental rights (as in the Michael Douglas/Catherine Zeta-Jones case). Ms McGonagle also discussed important recent case law from the European Court of Human Rights (especially the existing, and pending, decisions relating to Princess Caroline of Monaco) and the Irish Courts (e.g. the case involving Ruth Hickey, partner of the pantomime star Twink’s ex-husband). In fact, Twink (and her infamous youtube telephone message) was mentioned on a number of occasions by the speakers!
Tony Williams (partner at Simon McAleese Solicitors, a Dublin-based firm widely regarded as Ireland’s leading specialist defamation and media law practice) gave the practitioner’s view. Tony noted that, while media lawyers traditionally dealt with defamation and contempt of court claims, privacy actions were the “coming thing” in the area. The novelty of the actions were making many practitioners and their media clients quite nervous as, while defamation cases usually involve a defendant losing a case for publishing a story that is wrong, a privacy action can be lost even where the defendant gets it right! Tony outlined the key issues in practice, which include who are those entitled to privacy (looking at case law involving “stars” like Naomi Campbell, “innocent parties” like Michelle Herrity, children, such as the Edge’s daughter, and criminals like Larry Murphy); what are private matters (medical issues? sexual matters? personal financial affairs); and what constitutes a private place (noting the increasing use of “long lens photography”)?
Úna Mullally (columnist with the Sunday Tribune and TV presenter) presented a witty and quite acerbic take on contemporary standards in the press. Úna argued that one of the features of contemporary media coverage is a high, often undesirable, degree of complicity between “celebrities” and the media. One example cited of the absurd levels this can reach was the issuing of a press release, pleading for privacy, by Ronan and Yvonne Keating on the announcement of the breakdown of their marriage! Úna also expressed concerns about a decline in journalistic standards, not just amongst some well-known, predominantly US-based, websites (which are often totally unrepentant about publishing what turns out to be scurrilous material) but amongst a growing number of Irish newspapers.
A fitting postscript to the evening was the announcement, as the issues were being debated at the seminar, of the award of €10m in damages in a defamation case taking by a businessman, Donal Kinsella, against his former employer, on the basis of a press release the employer had issued. The question everyone (especially Tony Williams) wanted answered was whether Kinsella’s legal team were working on a percentage fee basis!
See also the Sunday Independent aricle by Prof Colum Kenny (DCU School of Communications) here.
FULL SPEAKER PROFILES
Marie McGonagle (NUI Galway)
Marie McGonagle lectures in Law at NUI Galway. She was Head of the Law School from 2005 until 2008 and has been Director of the LL.M. in Public Law since its inception in 2005. She teaches courses in Media Law and Entertainment Law at undergraduate level, and Communications Law at LL.M. level. Her book, Media Law, is now going into its third edition, and she is also the author of numerous studies, reports and articles on various aspects of Media and Communications Law, particularly in relation to the print and broadcasting media. She has contributed to several studies for the European Commission related to the revision of the Television without Frontiers Directive and was the Irish Government’s nominee to the Focus Group in Brussels examining issues of jurisdiction and content regulation in relation to what has now become the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
More recent work includes articles on defamation and privacy, reports on media pluralism and data retention and a commentary for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the Draft Convention on Access to Official Documents.
Tony Williams (Partner, Simon McAleese solicitors)
Tony Williams is a partner at Simon McAleese Solicitors, a Dublin-based
firm widely regarded as Ireland’s leading specialist defamation and
media law practice. The firm provides pre-publication advice,
post-publication complaint handling and litigation services to an
extensive array of media clients including Independent Newspapers,
Tribune Newspapers, Johnston Press, Mirror Group Newspapers and Today
Tony has a Law Degree from Trinity College Dublin and postgraduate
qualifications from University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of
Technology. He qualified as a Solicitor in Ireland in 1991 and is also
admitted as a Solicitor in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
He has appeared personally as an advocate at all levels of the Irish
Courts and is regularly involved in high profile cases. He has lectured
on legal issues, written articles on legal topics for Ireland’s national
newspapers and features regularly as a legal commentator on Ireland’s
national and independent TV and radio stations. The U.S. legal website
BestLawyers.com named him as its 2010 Dublin Defamation Lawyer of the
Úna Mullally (Sunday Tribune)
Úna Mullally is a journalist with the Sunday Tribune newspaper who writes weekly on news and current affairs, popular culture, and television. She also regularly conducts high-profile interviews and pens opinion pieces for the Tribune.
She graduated with a BA in Journalism from Dublin City University in 2005. She has been a multiple nominee at the Irish Blog Awards in the best personal blog category (UnaRocks blog) and was a co-presenter on TTV, a live evening programme on RTÉ 2 where she presented a slot detailing quirky websites and social networks. Úna is currently filming a second series of the TG4 music programme she presents, Ceol Ar An Imeall. She is also the assistant producer on (and founder of) the Dancing About Architecture free music journalism course (see http://irishmusicjournalism.wordpress.com).
She is a regular contributor to several other media outlets, having appeared on various television shows, such as The Late Late Show, Six One News and News on Two. She has also appeared regularly on Today FM, Newstalk, Phantom 105.2 and RTE Radio.
Úna is currently writing her first book about the impact of the Internet on modern identity.
Posted November 30, 2010
Dr Michael Doherty recently gave a talk on Strike Law at the Ballymun Community Law Centre. The talk was held at the Axis Theatre and was in conjunction with the staging of Strike! The Play. The play tells the story of how, in July 1984, workers at Dunnes Stores on Henry Street went on strike following the suspension of a 21-year-old cashier, Mary Manning, for refusing to handle fruit from South Africa in opposition to the Apartheid regime. The workers remained on strike for two years and nine months.
Posted November 01, 2010
Clarus Press has recently published a new textbook on Irish criminal procedure, co-authored by Dr Yvonne Daly (member of the Socio-Legal Research Centre, DCU), Dr Vicky Conway (QUB) and Jennifer Schweppe (UL). The book, entitled “Irish Criminal Justice: Theory, Process and Procedure”, offers insightful commentary on many features of criminal justice in Ireland, incorporating up-to-date developments in case-law, legislation and relevant human rights law.
The Irish criminal justice system is vast, heavily regulated and intensely litigated. In the last ten years alone there has been a plethora of new legislation introduced, significantly impacting on the operation of the system. Within the criminal process, fundamental human rights and core interests of the community and society as a whole come into sharp conflict. As an area of study, criminal justice and procedure is complex, challenging and stimulating.
“Irish Criminal Justice: Theory, Process and Procedure” provides an accessible yet critical analysis of key themes and stages in the Irish criminal process. It begins with an overview of the theoretical framework of the process, and then analyses key issues from initial arrest to sentence and post-sentencing appeals. Controversial questions such as police powers, the role of the prosecutor, victims’ rights, juvenile justice and miscarriages of justice are also addressed in a comprehensive and engaging manner.
As the first directed textbook on the topic, Irish Criminal Justice: Theory, Process and Procedure will be an essential read for all students of criminal justice and procedure, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As a comprehensive account of the Irish criminal process, it will also be a useful resource for practitioners in the area.
Further information is available here.
Posted October 31, 2010
Dr Michael Doherty recently presented a paper at the Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC 2010): “Industrial Relations and Labour Market Governance during Crisis”. Dr Doherty’s paper was entitled “It Must Have Been Love…But It’s All Over Now. The Crisis and Collapse of Social Partnership In Ireland”.
(from left) Dr Michael Doherty (SLRC/DCU); Dr Manu Mus (University of Ghent, Belgium); Dr Rachel Annand (Keele University, UK); and Dr Ari Nieminen (Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, Finland) at the IREC 2010 conference hosted by the Fafo research institute in Oslo, Norway.
Posted October 28, 2010
Dr. Elaine Dewhurst has been invited by the Chamber of Advocates in Kosova to visit Pristina from 5 – 11 September 2010 in order to lecture in Professional Conduct; International Human Rights Law; and Advocacy and Presentation Skills to Kosovar lawyers.
The ultimate aim of the project is the establishment of an independent pofessional training body for lawyers in Kosova under the auspices of the Chamber of Advocates of Kosova (also known as LCK “Lawyers Chamber of Kosova”), an independent, self-governing body of lawyers.
Posted September 21, 2010
Dr Yvonne Daly will be attending the International Academy of Comparative Law Congress in Washington DC between July 25th and August 1st 2010. The Academy organises an International Congress every four years in order to bring together experts and discuss current problems which face all legal systems.
Both Dr Daly and Dr Michael Doherty of the Socio-Legal Research Centre are National Rapporteurs for the Congress.
They have co-authored the National Reports on “The Exclusionary Rule in Criminal Procedure” (Dr Yvonne Daly and Arnaud Cras of UCD) and on “Age Discrimination in Employment Law” (Dr Michael Doherty and Dr Des Ryan of TCD).
Posted September 21, 2010
Staff members from both the Centre for International Studies (CIS) and the Socio-Legal Research Centre (SLRC) in the School of Law and Government, DCU are currently undertaking a research project, entitled ‘Mediating Peace Agreements: The Capacity of the EU as a Multi-track Mediator’. This project is funded by an IRCHSS / Department of Foreign Affairs grant.
Since the end of the Cold War, mediation has been increasingly used as a conflict resolution tool by various actors, including States, NGOs, regional organisations and the UN. Mediation has been successful in bringing peace to warring parties in various places, such as Aceh, and is currently being employed in an attempt to end numerous conflicts around the world, including in the Philippines, the Sudan and Myanmar. Given the mixture of actors and the disparity of armed conflict situations in which they operate, it is undeniable that international peace mediation is a complex and multifaceted conflict resolution tool.
This project examines the capacity of the EU to function as a multi-track mediator in armed conflict resolution. It analyses the unique nature and characteristics of the EU- its power, leverage, resources, perceived neutrality / bias etc. – and considers its past mediation activities, where it has worked with other Track I actors, i.e. states and other regional actors such as ASEAN and Track II actors, e.g. Non-governmental Organisations, such as the Crisis Management Initiative and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. It focuses on how the EU has harnessed and co-ordinated the resources and capabilities of states, NGOs and other organisations in mediation contexts.
The EU is one of the most powerful economic, political and legal institutions in the world, with a presence in 118 states worldwide. It is therefore uniquely positioned to positively impact on armed conflict situations, and indeed actively promotes the principles of conflict prevention and resolution. (Herrberg, 2009) However, there currently exists a dearth of both theoretical and empirical research on the place of the EU as an actor in conflict mediation efforts (Herrberg, 2008). This project addresses the existing lacunae by firstly undertaking a stock-taking review of the extant literature and policy documentation on the EU as a mediator, and secondly undertaking semi-structured interviews with key personnel involved in EU, State and NGO mediation efforts. The project will also produce in-depth analyses of mediation efforts involving the EU in three case studies, namely Aceh, Cyprus and Georgia.
Findings from this project will strengthen understanding of the EU as an actor in armed conflict mediation and will predict how the EU can optimise its unique position as a mediator in future conflicts.
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR – Dr Noelle Higgins (CIS/SLRC)
ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR – Dr Brenda Daly (CIS/SLRC)
ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR – Dr John Doyle (CIS)
ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR – Area studies advisor (Georgia) Dr Donnacha O’Beachain (CIS)
ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR – Area studies advisor (Cyprus) Dr Apostolos Agnantopoulos (CIS)
RESEARCH ASSISTANT – Dr Máire Braniff
Posted September 21, 2010
Dr Michael Doherty has begun work as the National Expert for Ireland on a research project, commissioned by the European social partners in the construction industry, on the posting of workers. Results from the project will be published later in 2010.
EFBWW project: Improving best practices on the working and living conditions of posted workers. For more information on the EFBWW see their website.
Posted September 21, 2010
Clarus Press are soon to publish “Principles of Irish Employment Law” by two of the Socio-Legal Research Centre lecturers: Dr Brenda Daly and Dr Michael Doherty. The Clarus Press catalogue describes this book as “the first comprehensive and dedicated student text on employment law aimed at the Irish market” and also states that
Principles of Irish Employment Law will be an invaluable resource for students, lawyers and all those interested in the regulation of the employment relationship. Whether by introduction or re-acquaintance, this book will undoubtedly become a leading authority for all those who require a comprehensive yet accessible text for the study of employment law.
The book is to be published in August 2010. Further information including a sample extract and the table of contents are available
Posted September 21, 2010
Dr. Noelle Higgins presented a paper entitled “Targets and Threats: Humanitarian Workers in Conflict Zones” within the Conflict and Security Law subject stream, which she co-convenes annually with Dr. Brenda Daly. Dr. Daly presented a paper, within the same stream, entitled “Tracing the role of the EU as an actor in international conflict mediation”.
Kieran O’Reilly, PhD student, delivered a paper on “Regionalism and Human Rights – The Soviet Model of Human Rights Law and its impact on Human Rights Law in post-Soviet states” in the Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law stream.
Dr. Michael Doherty addressed the Labour Law stream with his presentation entitled “You can lead a horse to water…Statutory Union Recognition Procedures in the Anglo-Saxon World”.
Posted September 21, 2010
On February 20th, 2010 an historic event took place: the School of Law and Government at DCU was for the first time represented in the Irish National Finals of the Philip C. Jessop International Moot Court competition! This competition, which involves a fictional international law dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, runs annually and attracts teams from over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries.
The DCU team comprised of Ciara Lancaster, Alexandra Dinca and Laleh Tarighi, all second-year students on the BA in International Relations. They were supported in their preparation for this competition by Dr. Elaine Dewhurst and Maria McDonald B.L. of the Socio-Legal Research Centre.
Although unsuccessful on the day the team are to be congratulated on the level of effort which they put into this event and on excellently representing the School and the Centre.
The girls are pictured outside the Law Society of Ireland, where the preliminary rounds took place.