Law Lecturer Appointed by Government to Working Group on Asylum

Law Lecturer Appointed by Government to Working Group on Asylum-image

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dr Ciara Smyth, Director of the Doctoral Programme in the School of Law, NUI Galway, has been appointed to the government’s Working Group on Asylum.  The Working Group, which is convened by the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, and chaired by retired High Court judge, Mr Justice Bryan McMahon, is to recommend to Government what improvements should be made to the State’s existing direct provision and protection processes for asylum seekers in the short and longer term. The establishment of the Working Group comes in response to mounting criticism of delays in the Irish asylum procedure and the conditions in which asylum seekers are required to live while they await the outcome of their asylum applications.  Other members of the Working Group include: Sue Conlan, Chief Executive of the Irish Refugee Council and Sophie Magennis, Head of UNHCR in Ireland. Dr Ciara Smyth has been working in the asylum field for over fifteen years, both as a practitioner and as an academic.  She teaches Immigration Law, International Human Rights and International Law in the School of Law, NUI Galway, and Refugee Law in the Irish Centre for Human Rights.  She has been involved in training of staff in the asylum institutions, has conducted master-classes for barristers, solicitors and asylum decision-makers on various aspects of refugee law, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Refugee Council.  She has just published a monograph with Routledge on  European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child. Last year Ciara was presented with a prestigious Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award in Tilburg for her PhD thesis on ‘The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of the Child: An Exploration of Meaning and Compliance’, which she completed at Leiden University.Welcoming the announcement of Dr Smyth’s appointment to the new Working Group, the Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, Professor Donncha O’Connell, said: “This is a well-deserved recognition of Ciara Smyth’s standing as a leading Irish and European scholar on asylum and related matters. I have no doubt that she will make an invaluable contribution to the Working Group which will be chaired by Judge McMahon who was, previously, a part-time Professor in the School of Law at NUI Galway.”

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Irish Centre for Human Rights and ICCL win top EU Rights contract

Irish Centre for Human Rights and ICCL win top EU Rights contract-image

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), NUI Galway, in close collaboration with project partner the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has won a major EU contract for Irish Law and Social Data Research and will become Ireland’s new national focal point for the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). This is the first time that the prestigious FRANET-Ireland contract for data collection and research services on fundamental rights issues in Ireland has been awarded to an Irish University-led bid.FRANET is the FRA’s multidisciplinary research network. It is composed of contractors in each EU Member State who provide relevant data to FRA on fundamental rights issues, to facilitate the Agency’s comparative analyses. This work of the FRA then informs EU policy and initiatives across the EU member States.The ICHR/ICCL project has assembled a team of Ireland’s leading human rights and social science experts, located at academic institutions and in civil society.Professor Michael O’Flaherty, the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, who becomes the FRANET Senior Expert for Ireland, commented: “We are very pleased to take on this contract that will generate crucial findings for the strengthening of fundamental rights in Ireland and across the EU. We are particularly pleased to partner with the ICCL and with Ireland’s top specialists to undertake this ground-breaking work.”Mark Kelly, the Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, who becomes the FRANET Senior Legal Expert for Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the ICHR to ensure that the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency has legally accurate and up-to-date information about the state of human rights in Ireland. We also look forward to spreading the word about the important evidence-based research published by the FRA.”Research will focus on a number of thematic areas. These include: access to justice; victims of crime, including compensation to victims; respect for private life and protection of personal data; Roma integration; judicial cooperation; rights of the child; discrimination; asylum, immigration and borders; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance.

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Careers in Law Week 2014

Careers in Law Week 2014-image

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Careers in Law Week 2014 takes place on the week commencing Monday 29th September 2014. This is an initiative by the School of Law in conjunction with the Career Development Centre. Students are strongly encouraged to to attend as many of these events as possible and while they are open to all law students, it is especially important that those nearing the completion of their degrees attend in large numbers.The Careers in Law Week is an invaluable opportunity for students to begin to understand the environment in which they will compete with graduates from this and other institutions. Law Week begins with Monday's Law Firms’ Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall for which afternoon lectures have been cancelled. The format for the Law Firms Fair is as follows: Venue: The View 12:00 – 1:45pm:  Arthur Cox Mock Group Interviews (lunch provided by Arthur Cox) Venue: Section B, Bailey Allen Hall 2:00pm: Welcome and Introduction by Mr. John Hannon, Career Development Centre and Prof. Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law 2:10pm: Mason Hayes & Curran: A Day in the life of a trainee 2:25pm: William Fry: Preparing to qualify: How to get the most out of your time as a trainee 2:45pm: Matheson: How to succeed in FE1s 3:00pm: A&L Goodbody: Career Progression in a Corporate Law Firm 3:15pm: RDJ Glynn: Which Post Grad/LLM 3:30pm: Maples and Calder: How to stand out in your application 3:50pm: Arthur Cox: How to succeed at interview Venue: Section C, Bailey Allen Hall 4:30pm – 5:30pm: Law Firms’ Fair and Reception In addition to the Law Firms’ Fair there will be a number of other events: On Tuesday 30th September there will be a seminar on qualifying as a Barrister in Ireland from 5-6p.m. in The Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. On Wednesday 1st October there will be a seminar on qualifying in the U.K./U.S. from 5-6p.m. in the Careers Seminar Room, Arts Building. On Thursday 2nd October there will a seminar on ‘Alternative Careers with a Law Degree’ from 1-2p.m. in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. You can download a flyer for Law Week for easy referral: Careers in Law Week 2014

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Opportunity to Learn “Street Law” with Georgetown Law Professor Richard Roe

Opportunity to Learn “Street Law” with Georgetown Law Professor Richard Roe-image

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Up to two current law students can attend a free, weekend-long workshop being facilitated by Professor Richard Roe of Georgetown Law School.  Professor Roe is one of the world’s leading experts on “street law,” which is an approach to teaching practical law in the community using interactive teaching methodologies.  The workshop will take place on the weekend of 10-12 October at Blackhall Place in Dublin.  Participants will include students from Irish and UK law schools, as well as recent law school graduates now attending the Professional Practice Course I in Blackhall Place.  Last year’s participants indicated that the workshop “boosted their confidence, knowledge and presentation skills.”  Interested students should contact Larry Donnelly (larry.donnelly@nuigalway.ie) as soon as possible.

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Two Doctoral Scholarships in the School of Law

Two Doctoral Scholarships in the School of Law-image

Monday, 15 September 2014

The School of Law at NUI Galway is currently accepting applications for two Doctoral Scholarships. Applications are sought from students who intend to pursue doctoral-level research on topics related to either: (a) European Human Rights, and/or (b) Constitutional Law Applications are particularly encouraged from but not confined to those interested in any of the following areas: the domestic application of international human rights law; the role of the Ombudsman in the area of human rights; public interest litigation and public interest law; processes of constitutional reform; or the right to equality. The successful students will be supervised by Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law. These Scholarships will commence before the end of 2014 and are available for a period of four years, subject to satisfactory performance. Scholarships comprise an annual stipend of €16,000 inclusive of University tuition fees (accordingly a student receives a tax-free scholarship of approximately €11,755 per annum). The holder of a Scholarship is expected to reside in Galway, Ireland and, under the guidance of Professor O’Connell, will engage in a reasonable amount of research and research support, teaching and administrative tasks in the School of Law, NUI Galway, in addition to pursuing his or her own doctoral research. Those interested in applying should submit the following: • A covering letter• A curriculum vitae• Two letters of reference from academics familiar with the work of theapplicant• A statement of the proposed doctoral research topic (1,000 words). These materials must be sent to donncha.oconnell@nuigalway.ie by 5pm on 30th September, 2014. Full information and instructions on how to apply can be found here: Two Doctoral Scholarships at the School of Law

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Legal Research in the Seychelles

Legal Research in the Seychelles-image

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Yvonne Francis a student on our LL.M in Public Law recently visited the Seychelles having being selected as a Judicial Research Assistant to work with the Court of Appeal in the Seychelles. Yvonne undertook legal research for Judge Mathilda Twomey on the law of criminal defamation and bail in July and spent two weeks earlier this month observing court proceedings in the Seychelles and engaging in other legal research opportunities.

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Irish Centre for Human Rights Welcomes Professor’s Appointment by UN

 Irish Centre for Human Rights Welcomes Professor’s Appointment by UN-image

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has welcomed the appointment of its Honorary Chairman, Professor William Schabas, to a new UN Commission of Inquiry.  The independent Commission of Inquiry will investigate purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip since the conflict began on 13 June.Professor Schabas will head up the three-person commission, details of which were announced last night (11 August). The Canadian is renowned for his work on international criminal and human rights law, and was Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway from 2000 to 2009 prior to the appointment of Professor Michael O’Flaherty to the post. He served on the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission until 2004, and was also a member of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in Human Rights.The Commission aims to establish the facts and circumstances of violations and crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible. It will also make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways to protect civilians against any further assaults.Commenting on the appointment, Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, who recently returned from the region, said: “I cannot think of a more qualified person to lead this Inquiry. The Inquiry will play a vital role in establishing the facts and identifying those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. This is a most important step in ensuring all those responsible for violations are held accountable.”

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NUI Galway Law School Launch Formal Exchange with Boston’s Suffolk University Law School

NUI Galway Law School Launch Formal Exchange with Boston’s Suffolk University Law School -image

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

After recently signing a memorandum of understanding to establish formal links, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, Professor Donncha O’Connell, and Dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Professor Camille Nelson, are delighted to announce that students from each institution are currently undertaking a two months placement, gaining a mixture of deeper academic knowledge and vital practical experience on opposite sides of the Atlantic.Professor O’Connell noted:  “The exchange offers an extraordinary opportunity for our students to learn about the US law and legal system in Boston, a vibrant city which is renowned for its universities and cultural life and which has very close ties with Galway and the west of Ireland.” Further, Professor O’Connell commented that: “This student exchange is unique in Irish law schools and reflects the School of Law’s commitment to clinical legal education – the idea that practical, ‘real world’ experience is an important component of legal education, especially as the practice of law in increasingly global in nature. I would like to thank my colleagues, Larry Donnelly, a Boston native who is a graduate of Suffolk Law School, and Dr Conor Hanly, who is leading the School of Law’s internationalisation efforts, for their work in establishing this new relationship and selecting students to take part in the exchange.”The NUI Galway students who are living, working and studying in Boston until the end of July are Ammi Burke, from Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Patrick Munnelly, from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Catherine Corcoran, from Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan and Jacintha Hopkins, from Bohermore, Co. Galway.  They will be working, respectively, in the Massachussetts Appeal Court, the Massachussetts Secretary of State’s Office, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Probate and Family Court.Two Suffolk Law School students are spending the summer in Ireland. Melissa Chen will be working in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, while Ana Mora is working at the Law Reform Commission in Dublin. In addition to their academic work, both students will also be taking part in a variety of cultural activities and tours.Professor Nelson, Dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, said: “Suffolk Law School is delighted to partner with the School of Law at NUI Galway to offer our students this unique experience to learn from and work with public interest advocates engaged in truly compelling work.  Likewise, we very much look forward to hosting and welcoming into our Suffolk Law community students from NUI Galway who will be interning in Boston this summer as part of the program. As a school, we greatly value these international exchanges.  The enrichment they bring to our student and faculty life cannot be underestimated.”

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A Franco-Irish discussion on marriage equality at NUI Galway

A Franco-Irish discussion on marriage equality at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 28 April 2014

The School of Law at NUI Galway, in association with the French embassy in Ireland, hosted a Franco-Irish discussion on marriage equality on April 25th.The keynote speaker was Erwann Binet, deputy of the French National Assembly. Deputy Binet was the rapporteur for the French “mariage pour tous” (marriage equality) bill in 2013 and spoke on the political challenges faced in passing the bill through the French parliament.Whereas marriage equality was legislated for in France without a referendum – despite significant political and public opposition – the Irish government has committed to holding a referendum to legalise same-sex marriage in 2015, as it believes that the Constitution in its current form would prevent this from being introduced through ordinary legislation. More than three quarters of the members of the Constitutional Convention recommended that the Constitution should be amended for provide for marriage equality for same-sex couples. Parallel to the debate on marriage rights, there has been move towards legislative reform concerning assisted reproduction and adoption rights in both countries.In this light, this event, chaired by Dr. Eoin Daly, provided an insight on the shared experience of Ireland and France in undertaking legislative and constitutional reform in controversial areas of family law. The respondent was Dr. Lucy-Ann Buckley of the School of Law, who discussed how similar challenges are being faced in Ireland both in relation to marriage equality and family law reform.

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NUI Galway’s 6th International Disability Law Summer School, the Biggest Worldwide, Opens for Registration

NUI Galway’s 6th International Disability Law Summer School, the Biggest Worldwide, Opens for Registration-image

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The 6th International Disability Law Summer School, hosted by NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, will take place from the 16-20 June 2014. Registration is now open for the biggest such Summer School in the world, with a focus on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Entitled ‘Access to Justice and Political Participation’, it will focus on facilitating access to justice for all and encouraging political participation. The aim of the five-day Summer School is to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to help them translate the generalities of the UN Convention into tangible reform for persons with disabilities.Over 100 delegates from 38 countries are expected to attend this year’s event. The participants include persons with disabilities, their families, civil society groups as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. The faculty will include senior academics, practitioners, advocates and policy makers from around the world. Most of the speakers have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the UN Convention. Others are advocates for change and reform.The keynote speaker for the Summer School will be Amita Dhanda, Professor of Law and Head of the Centre for Disability Studies, NALSAR, University of Law, Hyderabad, India, who has published extensively on the legal position of persons with mental disabilities. Dr Dhanda has also actively engaged in the work of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee negotiating the UN Convention.Mr Donal Toolan, founder member of the Forum for People with Disabilities will respond to the keynote address. Most presentations will either be given by, or responded to, by disabled activists from around the world. A notable feature of the annual Summer School is a Moot Court exercise based on the UN Convention.Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Deputy Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, said, “Above all, the School belongs to people with disabilities and their allies and is structured in such a way as to enable people explore for themselves the relevance of the Convention in their own lives and in the process of change. It sees people with disabilities as agents of change whether in Ireland, Kenya or India. It sees people with disabilities as providers and advocates for solutions – instead of as problems.”The Summer School is in part supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies, The Soros-Open Society Institute, The Department of Foreign Affairs (Irish Aid), The FP7 Marie Curie DREAM project of the European Union and NUI Galway.Registration for the Summer School is now open and will cost €330. Further information is available at www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp or phone Niamh Lally on 091 494270. Participant accessibility (physical or communicational) requests and enquiries are welcomed.

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NUI Galway Hosts Events Across Campus to Highlight Disability Awareness Week

NUI Galway Hosts Events Across Campus to Highlight Disability Awareness Week -image

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Students of the LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy programme, along with staff of NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, recently held the a Disability Awareness Week - Access All AreasFunded through the EXPLORE project at NUI Galway, the week saw a range of inter-disciplinary events organised all over campus with the aim of raising awareness around disability, diversity and equality in access to higher education and inclusion in society. More specifically, this project aimed at increasing staff, student and public awareness about people with disabilities, with a view to combating stereotypes and promoting the contributions of people with disabilities through a campus-wide awareness week.At the beginning of the week the innovative 'Going to College' Project was showcased. This is a pioneering education initiative supporting the full inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities into NUI Galway. Students currently enrolled at NUI Galway as part of this project, as well as their mentors spoke and shared their experiences.An Employability Seminar was organised on the second day of the week. At the morning seminar attendees, mostly students, heard from representatives from local, national and international organizations working to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. The seminar also addressed issues such as disability awareness within the corporate environment. Speakers included Pauline Dwyer of Employability Galway, Claire Hurley from the NUI Galway Career Development Office, a representative from the Association for Higher Education Access & Disability, and members from the Kanchi initiative, a social enterprise that works with businesses to encourage the employment of persons with disabilities.Highlights during the week included: a seminar on ‘Mental Illness or Psychosocial disability- What’s the difference?’; an Introduction to Irish Sign Language class, a Disability Awareness Workshop; a Disability Equality e-learning module, designed by the National Disability Authority; and a tandem cycle event around campus, organised by the Galway Visually Impaired Activity Club. Students also presented the outcomes of their Accessibility Audit of NUI Galway.The cast of the Blue Teapot Theatre Company also spoke about the recent production, ‘Sanctuary’, a poignant, funny and bittersweet play that explores the lives and relationships of people with intellectual disabilities and the obstacles they must overcome to be together.PhD Candidate Siobhán Purcell of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences at NUI Galway discussed how disability is represented in the Irish literary tradition, particularly exploring the works of Joyce and Beckett.The Awareness Week was an opportunity for the LLM students to apply what they have learnt in practice and work towards dismantling the barriers to inclusion and participation faced by persons with disabilities. The week was effective and meaningful in terms of introducing the disability friendly environment in the college. The Disability Support Office and local organisations also significantly contributed to the week which will be repeated on an annual basis.Throughout the week, the students manned a stand to provide information about the week and from which they also made a film asking students to comment on what disability meant to them. The video is available to view at https://www.dropbox.com/s/gmo1762o53umfjw/WhatDoesDisabilityMean.m4v

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New Book on ‘Contemporary Housing Issues in a Globalized World’ presented to Minister Jan O’ Sullivan at NUI Galway

New Book on ‘Contemporary Housing Issues in a Globalized World’ presented to Minister Jan O’ Sullivan at NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Jan O’Sullivan, TD, Minister of State, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government with special responsibility for Housing and Planning was at NUI Galway this week to receive a copy of Contemporary Housing Issues in a Globalized World, edited by School of Law Lecturer, by Dr Padraic Kenna.The globalization of housing finance led to the global financial crisis, which has created new barriers to adequate and affordable housing. It presents major challenges for current housing law and policy, as well as for the development of housing rights. This book examines and discusses key contemporary housing issues in the context of today’s globalized housing systems.The book takes up the challenge of developing a new paradigm, working towards the possibility of an alternative future. Revolving around three themes of writing by diverse contributors, each chapter sets out a clear and developed approach to contemporary housing issues.The first major theme considers the crisis in mortgage market regulation, the development of mortgage securitization and comparisons between Spain and Ireland, two countries at the centre of the global housing market crisis.The second theme is housing rights within the architecture of European human rights, within national constitutions, and those arising from new international instruments, with their particular relevance for persons with disabilities and developing economies.The third theme incorporates an examination of responses to the decline and regeneration of inner cities, legal issues around squatting in developed economies, and changes in tenure patterns away from home-ownership.Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and of the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil said “The deregulation, liberalization and internationalization of finance have had major implications for housing and urban developments throughout the world. The ‘financialization’ of housing has been accompanied by the conceptual transformation of adequate housing from a social good into a commodity, and financial asset and housing markets are increasingly regulated so as to promote financial rather than social aspects of housing.”Ms Rolnik continued, “This book analyses how this process has impacted on violations of the right to adequate housing in different countries and regions. More than understanding the situation, the book offers alternatives and perspectives, crucial in the current housing crisis.”This topical book will be valuable to those who are interested in law, housing rights and human rights, policy-making and globalization. It is published by Ashgate (UK) and can be ordered here. 

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Supreme Court Judge to Deliver School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture at NUI Galway

Supreme Court Judge to Deliver School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly of the Supreme Court and formerly Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union will deliver the School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture 2014 on Friday, 4 April at 8pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway.The title of his lecture will be The National Judge and the European Union and Anna-Louise Hinds, Lecturer in European Law at NUIG and Co-editor of the Irish Journal of European Law, will formally respond to his paper.Previous speakers in the School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture series 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; and Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court. The event is held on an annual basis to mark the end of the academic year and is open to students and graduates of the School of Law, NUI Galway as well as interested members of the public.In announcing this event, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUIG said: “Mr. Justice Fennelly is a judge of the highest renown who is recognised for the rigour and consistency of his judgments. His expertise in the area of European Law, in particular, is widely acknowledged. It is a great honour for the School of Law at NUI Galway to have him deliver our Annual Distinguished Lecture on a topic of great importance not just to lawyers but to all European citizens.”Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly undertook a degree in Economics at University College Dublin and completed his Bar studies at King's Inns. He practised at the Irish Bar from 1966 to 1995 and worked principally in commercial and constitutional cases, with a particular interest in the growing field of European Community (including Competition) Law. He was Chairman of the Bar Council of Ireland for 1990 and 1991 and was the first Irish lawyer to be appointed as Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ, now CJEU), where he served from 1995 to 2000. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland in October 2000.He is a Bencher of the Honorable Society of King's Inns and of the Middle Temple in London. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Academy of European Law at Trier, Germany, Chairman of the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL) and President of the Irish Society for European Law and was President in 2004 of FIDE (Fédération Internationale de Droit Européenne). He has written many articles concerning the law of the European Union, with particular interest in its constitutional aspects.

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Irish Centre for Human Rights Play Key Role In Landmark Resolution Adopted On Human Rights

Irish Centre for Human Rights Play Key Role In Landmark Resolution Adopted On Human Rights -image

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Irish Government paves the way for major reform in international structures that oversee the human rights record of UN member-states.Last month the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution on human rights that was built in large part based on the research of Professor Michael O'Flaherty from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. The ‘Dublin Process’ document sets out to strengthen and enhance the efficiency structures of the UN Human Rights treaty body system.This resolution marks a defining moment in a treaty body reform process that began in Dublin in 2009 and paves the way for the delivery of enhanced resources to this long-neglected part of the UN human rights system and re-affirms the independence of treaty bodies and their membership.One such example of upholding human rights in a meaningful way among States and civil societies was the international attention and subsequent Irish Human Rights Commission report published in June 2013, for human rights violations in the Magdalene Laundries and redress for the Magdalene women based on human rights abuses.The UN human rights oversight mechanism, known as the treaty body system, has been beset with longstanding and deeply ingrained inefficiencies and other impediments to effectiveness, all of which have undermined its capacity to do its job of getting governments to uphold the human rights of their peoples.Repeated efforts to reform the system had only very limited success and the problems continued to multiply. In response, on the invitation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Professor O'Flaherty, in 2009, convened an expert group in Dublin to set out a road map for a new reform process that would deliver meaningful results.There followed a set of consultations around the world that were drawn together in 100 recommendations adopted at a second meeting in 2011, convened in Dublin by Professor Michael O'Flaherty. Those recommendations were then put before the UN General assembly by means of a report submitted to it by the High Commissioner.The subsequent two-year debate, in which Professor O'Flaherty participated in an expert capacity, was brought to a conclusion with the historic resolution on the 11th February 2014.Professor O'Flaherty, Director of NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights, said, "This is a defining moment in a treaty body reform process that got underway in Dublin in 2009. Remarkably, it does so with some success, paving the way for the delivery of enhanced resources to the long neglected sector and re-affirming the independence of the treaty bodies and their membership. The pathway to the adoption of the resolution was also notable, comprising a multi-stakeholder engagement that was exceptional in terms of UN human rights diplomatic practice. The Dublin Process will serve as a template of how other intractable problems of the UN Human rights system can be tackled in an effective way. The Irish government deserves great credit for its steadfast support for the process."The ‘Dublin Process’ led by Professor O’Flaherty was at the heart of the landmark resolution adopted last month by the UN General Assembly. The process began in Dublin in 2009 and ended two years later in Dublin. The project was supported by the Irish Government, who played an important role alongside the UN General Assembly in bringing paving the way for this resolution of the treaty body system, under the leadership of Professor O’Flaherty. It highlights the impact that the Irish Centre for Human Rights is making and that their University-based work is resulting in a very meaningful strengthening of UN Human Rights.For more information on the process Professor O'Flaherty discusses it in a recent blog post at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/news/-professor-oflaherty-on-strengthening-of-the-un-human-rights-treaty-body-system.html

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NUI Galway Conference to Discuss the Right to Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities

NUI Galway Conference to Discuss the Right to Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities-image

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability and Law Policy will ask “Is it time for the US landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, to be applied to children with disabilities?”  On the 60th Anniversary of the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Centre for Disability and Law Policy at NUI Galway in association with Leuven Institute for Human Rights and Critical Studies (LIHRICS) will host a conference to discuss the Concept of the Right to Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities, on Saturday 22nd February in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway from 9.15am to 5pm.Sixty years after the landmark case, separate educational provision is still the norm for many children with disabilities throughout Europe, where parents of disabled children are not being provided with access to mainstream schools and staff, which have the capacity to meet the needs and provide appropriate education for disabled children. In 2006 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Article 24 entered into force recognizing the right to education for people with disabilities, and the right it recognizes is the right to an effective and inclusive education.The conference will discuss the concept of inclusive education, what is meant by inclusive education and what can lawyers do to ensure that the right to inclusive education becomes a reality for all. It will look at the particular legal tools that could be used to further the right to education for people with disabilities, and will raise the question, “Is it time for the decision taken at the case of Brown v. Board of Education, be applied to children with disabilities?” This unique conference will bring together academics and practitioners from the fields of law and education as well as parents who, because of their circumstances had to become advocates and litigants on behalf of their children.The US Supreme Court stated, “In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he or she is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms…Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”Shivaun Quinlivan, Director LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, School of Law, NUI Galway commented “As Ireland prepares to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) we ask the question, are we ready? To attempt to answer that question we have set out a programme which we hope covers the aspects of concern and offers potential solutions.”  Conference attendees will hear about the background and history behind the negotiations and the drafting of Article 24 of the UNCRPD from Professor Arlene Kanter from Syracuse University. Professor Michael Shevlin from Trinity College Dublin will discuss ‘Inclusive Education’ and what it means, while Dr. Gauthier de Beco from KU Leuven will discuss the content of Article 24 and what obligations it imposes on State parties. This session is followed by a Q&A and lunch. Mr. Luk Zerderloo from the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) willpresent an‘Overview of Inclusive Education in Europe’.In a session on teaching, primary school Principal, Mr. Cóilín O’Coigligh will present a case study on the challenges to inclusion that exist in the Irish context today. This is followed by Mr. Richard Rieser from the World of Inclusion who has recently completed a review for UNICEF on preparing teachers for children with disabilities from an inclusive perspective.  This will be followed by a Q&A session.The conference will then address the issue of litigating the right to education, Mr. James McNabb a parent of a child with a disability will discuss his story of litigating against the Department of Education to ensure that his son accessed an appropriate education. This is followed by Lycette Nelson, the Litigation Director from Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC) who will discuss ‘Strategic Litigation and the Right to Education.’ This is followed by a Q&A session.Finally Professor Gerry Whyte from Trinity College Dublin who has written the seminal work on the topic of “Social Inclusion and the Legal System: Public Interest Law in Ireland” will act as Rapporteur for the conference. Separatelya Student Conference will take place on Friday 21st February from 5pm to 7pm, the event is free to all and students will address issues related to Article 24 of the UNCRPD.  The Friday event is split into two panels, the first panel will discuss, “Discreet Issues in respect of Inclusive Education” addressing issues such as inclusive education, early intervention and reasonable accommodation. The second panel will discuss the “Implementation of Article 24 UNCRPD in Various Jurisdictions”. The students will focus on their countries of origin, including, China, Kenya, Nepal and Uganda. For further details on the conference, speakers and registration visit www.conference.ie

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Conference to Discuss the Right to Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities

New Ombudsman Peter Tyndall Delivers His First Public Lecture at NUI Galway

New Ombudsman Peter Tyndall Delivers His First Public Lecture at NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Newly Appointed Ombudsman & Information Commissioner, Peter Tyndall delivers his first public lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the LL.M in Public Law at NUI GalwayThe newly appointed Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, Peter Tyndall delivered his first public lecture since taking up office at NUI Galway. The lecture, hosted by the School of Law to mark the first ten years of its LL.M in Public Law, took place on Wednesday 19th February at 8pm at the Aula Maxima (lower).The event was chaired by the former Supreme Court judge, Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness, Chairperson of Udarás na hOllscoile and Adjunct Professor of Law at NUI Galway, who has been associated with the LL.M in Public Law since its inception. The title of Mr. Tyndall’s lecture was: ‘The Ombudsman and Information Commissioner: Delivering Fairness and Transparency’.Speaking at the announcement of the event, Ms Marie McGonagle, Director of the LL.M in Public Law said, “We are delighted to welcome the new Ombudsman and Information Commissioner to NUI Galway to this the first event to mark the 10th anniversary year of the LLM in Public Law. Given the strong public service and public interest law focus of the LL.M, it is fitting that our graduates and current students should have this wonderful opportunity to hear and reflect on the important role recently taken up by the new Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, and to appreciate his goals and the challenges his office faces.”Mr. Tyndall received his warrant of appointment as Ombudsman and Information Commissioner from President Michael D. Higgins on 2nd December 2013. Mr Tyndall succeeded Ms Emily O’Reilly and will also serve as Commissioner for Environmental Information, and as an ex-officio member of the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments, the Referendum Commission and the Constituency Commission. You can find videos of the event on our YouTube channel.

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NUIG Internal Moot Court Final 2014

NUIG Internal Moot Court Final 2014-image

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Moot Court Module final took place on Saturday 1 February with the victorious team of Daniel Doyle and Liam King narrowly overcoming Mary Ann Sullivan and Maggie MacAoghusa in a tense final moot which exhibited everything that is positive about mooting before an initial bench comprising of Gerry Burke BL, Ronan Murphy Solicitor and Maria Dillon Solicitor and Mr. Justice Henry Abbott in the Final. The School would like to thank all four judges, in particular Mr. Justice Abbott who travelled down from Dublin, for their time and effort. Special tribute to the sixteen mooters for their application, effort and enthusiasm over the last five months which culminated in some fantastic mooting.   Thanks to all the members of staff who so generously gave of their time, in particular Ursula Ni Chonghaile for drafting the interesting Moot fact pattern, Tom O’Malley for giving guest lectures and Rónán Kennedy who was kind enough to address the Class and give them critical feedback in relation to their draft submissions. The team mentors were Diarmuid Griffin, Charles O’Mahony, Nicola Murphy, Dr. Noelle Higgins, Shivaun Quinlivan, Thomas Mc Donagh, Dr. Joe McGrath and Larry Donnelly with Noelle and Nicola’s teams battling in the final and Noelle’s team emerging victorious.

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New School of Law Doctoral Fellowships Announced

New School of Law Doctoral Fellowships Announced-image

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The School of Law at NUI Galway (and its specialised research centres: the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Centre for Housing Law, Rights & Policy and the Marine Law & Ocean Policy Centre) are currently accepting applications for a number of Doctoral Fellowships from prospective full-time or existing full-time doctoral students. The fellowships provide PhD funding for a maximum of two years. Applications are welcome in any area of law. The School has a thrivingcommunity of doctoral researchers, with a particular emphasis on international human rights law and disability law and policy as well as other areas such as housing law and policy and marine law. These Fellowships are available for the academic year 2013/2014 and will commence immediately upon award. Full details are available in the files below: Doctoral Fellowship Announcement 2014 PhD Fellowships - Conditions of Tenure

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The Galway Platform on Human Rights in Irish Foreign Policy, facilitated by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights

 The Galway Platform on Human Rights in Irish Foreign Policy, facilitated by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights-image

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has brought together 23 of Ireland’s leading human rights groups to adopt a common vision for human rights in Irish Foreign Policy.The Galway Platform on Human Rights in Irish Foreign Policy sets out the basic human rights standards and practices by which Ireland should be held to account in its dealings with other countries, as well as in its activities at EU and UN levels.The Galway Platform contains 47 specific observations and proposals to government in the context of the current consultation on a review of Irish Foreign Policy being undertaken by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. These are realistic and measured recommendations intended to ensure that Ireland holds true to the human rights commitments that it has freely entered into.The protection of human rights is integral to Ireland’s foreign policy and Ireland now has the opportunity to significantly enhance its capacity to promote and protect human rights worldwide as well as at home. The recommendations also emphasise the need for human rights to be mainstreamed across every aspect of foreign policy. For instance, the Galway Platform states that, “it would be unacceptable for the State to undertake any action that is inconsistent with the human rights standards by which it is held to account.”Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway said, “We are delighted that so many important human rights groups were able to come to Galway and agree on this wide-ranging road map for human rights in Irish Foreign Policy. Although the government is already getting a lot right when it comes to the promotion of human rights internationally, no one would dispute that it can do so much more. The Irish Centre for Human Rights and the other signatories are putting the Galway Platform recommendations to government so that Ireland can be an international champion of human rights to make us proud.”The Galway Platform has been signed by:Amnesty International Ireland, Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights at University College Cork, Centre for Disability Law & Policy at National University of Ireland, Galway, Children's Rights Alliance, Community Workers’ Co-operative, Department of Applied Social Studies, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), Front Line Defenders, Gay & Lesbian Equality Network, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Irish Penal Reform Trust, Irish Refugee Council, Liberia Solidarity Group, National Assembly of the Baha’is of Ireland, National Women's Council of Ireland, Northern Ireland Human Rights Consortium, Pavee Point, Social Justice Ireland, Trocaire, University College Dublin, Human Rights Network and Women’s Human Rights Alliance.

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Dr Peter Sutherland to deliver 2014 Dr Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway

Dr Peter Sutherland to deliver 2014 Dr Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 16 January 2014

 ‘European Integration and the Taming of Nationalism’ is the theme of the lecture with a response by Professor Gerard Quinn, NUI Galway School of LawThe 2014 Dr Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Peter Sutherland and hosted at NUI Galway by NUI Chancellor Dr Maurice Manning and President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne. Dr Sutherland will speak on the topic of ‘European Integration and the Taming of Nationalism’ and Prof. Gerard Quinn, School of Law, NUI Galway will respond.Dr Peter Sutherland is Chairman of the London School of Economics and the UN Special Representative for Migration and Development. He served as European Commissioner between 1985 and 1988, having been appointed as Ireland’s Attorney General by Dr Garret FitzGerald in 1981.NUI Chancellor Dr Maurice Manning said 'Nothing delighted Dr Garret FitzGerald more than public discourse and the articulation and defence of ideas. In seeking to honour him, the Senate of the National University of Ireland thought it appropriate to initiate an annual series of lectures in his memory.   This year’s lecture by Peter Sutherland is on a topic that Garret would have found of great interest'. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said “The Dr Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture commemorates one of Ireland’s leading statesman and a former Chancellor of NUI.  We in NUI Galway are honoured to host the 2014 Memorial Lecture and look forward to welcoming Dr Peter Sutherland, a close and long standing friend of Dr FitzGerald, to campus for what promises to be a fascinating and stimulating address.”Professor Gerard Quinn, NUI Galway School of Law, will respond to Dr Sutherland’s view on ‘European Integration and the Taming of Nationalism’. The lecture will be held in the Aula Maxima at 6pm on Friday, 31 January 2014 and is open to the public, who can register at www.conference.ie  Advanced booking is essential as places are limited.The Dr Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture is held annually by the National University of Ireland at constituent colleges. A former Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald was Chancellor of the NUI between 1997 and 2009, and had previously served as a member of the Senate of the University from 1972 until 1997.

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Law School Researcher to Lead €1m Study on Evictions in 28 EU Member States

Law School Researcher to Lead €1m Study on Evictions in 28 EU Member States -image

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Dr Padraic Kenna of the School of Law, NUI Galway will lead a major €1m EU-funded research project on evictions across the 28 European Union (EU) Member States. The research will investigate the national legal frameworks and extent of evictions across Europe. The study will gather data from across the EU and identify both the pan-European factors that lead to the loss of a home and measures to counter homelessnessThe research will identify effective early intervention and preventative measures and create a profile of evicted households, risk factors and risk groups.  Patterns of evictions across all EU Member States will be analysed in the context of diverse structural factors including the economic crisis, welfare systems and legal practices and protections.The project, which will take two years, was awarded following a competitive tendering process by the European Commission. It will examine evictions from mortgaged, rental and other properties, with a focus on the right to housing within the context of national and EU law all areas in which Dr Kenna is a leading European expert.NUI Galway will lead a consortium of University and housing research agencies in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Spain. Dr Kenna, as Research Director/Principal Investigator will lead the network of national experts on housing law and policy across all EU Member States. The researchers will collate national and local data, as well as legal materials for the project’s report to the European Commission.Dr Kenna said, “In Ireland we have a deeply historical sentiment on evictions. Michael Davitt wrote that an eviction was the expression of the power of profit and of property over the right of a family. Today, an eviction represents the collision of basic human rights with property rights, and while the European Union is committed to the protection of human rights, the balance of these interests represents the contemporary fault line between market forces and people’s right to housing.”Measures to prevent homelessness within all EU Member States remain a priority for the European Commission. This project will collate and evaluate the most cost-effective measures which can be advanced to mitigate evictions across the EU. The project team will prepare reports and recommendations for the European Commission on best practice models, to monitor, alleviate and prevent evictions, within the framework of national and EU law and policy.Welcoming the announcement of this award, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said “This is a highly prestigious and worthwhile project led by my colleague, Dr Padraic Kenna. It is a concrete recognition of his standing as a major player in the field of housing law, rights and policy in Europe; and a great boost to his tireless and impactful work in this area at national and international level.”

>> Read full story about Law School Researcher to Lead €1m Study on Evictions in 28 EU Member States

Law School Academic Receives Prestigious Human Rights Award

Law School Academic Receives Prestigious Human Rights Award-image

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Ciara Smyth who was presented with a prestigious Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award in Tilburg recently. Nominated by the Law Faculty Board of Leiden University where she graduated with a doctorate, she received the award for her PhD thesis on 'The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of the Child: An Exploration of Meaning and Compliance'.Commenting on the award, Professor Donncha O'Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: "Dr Smyth's work in the broad areas of asylum an immigration is cutting-edge and engaged. This award is concrete evidence of its rich academic value and impact internationally."The Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award was established in 1995 as an incentive for students and PhD students who have written a thesis or any other academic work in the field of human rights.The award was an initiative of the Law Faculty and Studium Generale of Tilburg University and was joined by the School of Human Rights Research as of 1998.  Since 2002, the Human Rights Award is named after Max van der Stoel, the former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, in honour of his work in that field.

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