The Law Research Centre is the main platform through which legal scholars within the School of Law & Government of Dublin City University (DCU) undertake their research, debate scholarship and push knowledge beyond existing boundaries.
In terms of methodology, the Law Research Centre embraces an interdisciplinary approach to law, which moves beyond a pure doctrinal, black-letter analysis of the law and rather explores the development of the law in its political, social and economic and technological contexts. In particular, building on the synergies within the School of Law & Government, the Law Research Centre fosters an holistic approach to legal research, which seeks to highlight the multiple ways in which law is influenced by, and influences, other disciplines.
In terms of outlook, the Law Research Centre promotes a transnational, cross-border perspective of legal research, which puts at the heart of its analysis the study of European, comparative and international law – also as a way to enrich understanding of national law. In particular, leveraging Ireland’s role as a member state at the heart of the European Union (EU), the Law Research Centre dedicates particular attention to developments occurring in EU law, and their ever greater impact on all branches of domestic law, in Ireland and beyond.
In terms of focus, the Law Research Centre embraces broadly all areas of the law – spanning from public to private law – reflecting the multiple research interests of the lawyers that work within the School of Law & Government, and the role of the Law Research Centre as the umbrella unit bringing together the community of legal scholars at DCU. Yet, the Law Research Centre cultivates a special interest for European law & governance, human rights, constitutionalism & regulation, criminal justice, ethics & transitional justice, as well as law, technology & innovation, including law and genetics and data protection and privacy law.
In fact, the research carried out by the Law Research Centre is structured around several research clusters, where legal scholars affiliated to the Centre have developed externally-funded projects and partnerships, a list of which is reported here.
- EU law & governance. This cluster, which is led by Prof. Federico Fabbrini, and involves also Dr. Ronan Condon, Dr. Goran Dominioni, Dr. Edoardo Celeste, Dr. Janine Silga and Dr. Niall Moran, focuses on legal and policy developments occurring in EU law, including Brexit, Economic & Monetary Union, the rule of law, migration, and the Green Deal. Prof. Federico Fabbrini is the Founding Director of the DCU Brexit Institute and the PI of the Jean Monnet Network BRIDGE (“Brexit Research and Interchange on Differentiated Governance in Europe”), funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme.
- Law, Technology & Innovation. This cluster, which is spearheaded by Dr. Edoardo Celeste, and involves also Prof. Federico Fabbrini, Dr. John Quinn, Dr. Roisin Costello, and Kevin O'Sullivan focuses on data protection law, privacy law and technological developments. Dr. Edoardo Celeste is the co-PI of Cross DPN (“Cross Data Protection Network”), funded by the IRC-ESCR UK-Ireland Networking Grant and the recipient of a Facebook Research grant for a project on “Digital Constitutionalism”. The activities of this research cluster can be followed at www.lawandtech.ie.
- Criminal Justice. This cluster, which is spearheaded by Prof. Yvonne Daly, focuses on criminal law and procedure, as well as with the connected rights of criminal suspects and police reform. Dr. Yvonne Daly leads the DCU partner team of the EU-funded SUPRALAT (“Strengthening suspect's right in pre-trial proceedings through practice-oriented training for lawyers”) project, which is led by the University of Maastricht.
- Human Rights. This cluster, which involves in a way or another most of the scholars in the Law Research Centre focuses on the protection of fundamental rights in Ireland, Europe and globally. Dr. Tanya Ni Mhuirthile is the PI of the “Intersex Mapping” project, which is funded by the Irish Research Council and is the DCU lead on INIA (Intersex: New Interdisciplinary Approaches) which is funded by the European Commission.