Dr Ciara Smyth

PhD, LL.M, LL.B, B.A.

Contact Details

Lecturer Above The Bar
Law
403
Tower 2
Arts/Sciences Building

T: 091 492937
E: ciara.m.smyth@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

Dr. Ciara Smyth researches in the area of international, European and Irish refugee law and she is particularly interested in how refugee law and human rights law interact.  For the past number of years her research focus has been on the Common European Asylum System and her book, European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child (Routledge, 2014), explores the extent to which the European regional system of refugee protection is consistent with the rights of the child.  She is currently undertaking a comparative analysis of international and regional norms concerning the immigration detention of children.  

Before joining NUI Galway, Ciara worked for a number of non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations in Ireland and abroad, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She continues to play an active role in civil society and in the influencing of public policy.  From 2012-2015 she was a member - and variously Vice Chair and Acting Chair - of the Board of Directors of the Irish Refugee Council. In 2014 she was nominated by the Minister of Justice and Equality, Ms. Francis Fitzgerald, to the McMahon Working Group which was tasked with recommending improvements to the Irish asylum process. In 2016 she appeared before the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee to give expert evidence on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU.  She also regularly contributes to media discussions on matters relating to immigration, asylum and human rights in Ireland and the UK.
 

Ciara holds a PhD from Leiden University, the Netherlands, for which she was awarded a Max Van Der Stoel Human Rights award in 2013; an LL.M in Human Rights (with distinction) from Queen's University Belfast; and an LL.B and B.A. from NUI Galway. 
 

Ciara teaches two undergraduate courses, Public International Law and International Protection of Human Rights, and two postgraduate courses, Immigration Law and Refugee Law, the latter at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. She is also the Director of the PhD Programme in the School of Law and co-Vice Dean for Graduate Studies for the College of Business, Public Policy and Law. 

Research Interests

Ciara researches in the area of asylum, immigration and citizenship.  She is particularly interested in how asylum law and human rights law intersect.  She has spent the past number of years focusing on the EU Common European Asylum System and whether it is compatible with the rights of the child in international law.

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2016) 'Chronicle of a Reform Process: the Irish Working Group on Protection'
Ciara Smyth (2016) 'Chronicle of a Reform Process: the Irish Working Group on Protection'. Journal of Refugee Studies, 29 (3):388-410 [DOI] [Details]
(2015) 'The Best Interests of the Child in the Expulsion and First-entry Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights: How Principled is the Court's Use of the Principle?'
Ciara Smyth (2015) 'The Best Interests of the Child in the Expulsion and First-entry Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights: How Principled is the Court's Use of the Principle?'. European Journal of Migration and Law, 17 (1):70-103 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Is the Right of the Child to Liberty Safeguarded in the Common European Asylum System?'
Ciara Smyth (2013) 'Is the Right of the Child to Liberty Safeguarded in the Common European Asylum System?'. European Journal of Migration and Law, 15 (2):111-136 [DOI] [Details]
(2010) 'Why is it So Difficult to Promote a Rights-Based Approach to Immigration?'
Ciara Smyth (2010) 'Why is it So Difficult to Promote a Rights-Based Approach to Immigration?'. Irish Human Rights Law Review, 1 (1):83-110 [Details]
(2005) 'Refugee Status Determination of Separated Children: International Developments and the Irish Response, Part II - The Asylum Procedure''
Ciara Smyth (2005) 'Refugee Status Determination of Separated Children: International Developments and the Irish Response, Part II - The Asylum Procedure''. Irish Journal Of Family Law, 21 (2) [Details]
(2005) 'Refugee Status Determination of Separated Children: International Developments and the Irish Response, Part I - The Refugee Definition''
Ciara Smyth (2005) 'Refugee Status Determination of Separated Children: International Developments and the Irish Response, Part I - The Refugee Definition''. Irish Journal Of Family Law, 1 (15) [Details]
(1999) 'Does the Statute of the International Criminal Court Deal Adequately with the Problem of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict? A Critique and Recommendations for the Future'
Ciara Smyth (1999) 'Does the Statute of the International Criminal Court Deal Adequately with the Problem of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict? A Critique and Recommendations for the Future'. Occasional Paper Queen'S University Belfast, (8):1-70 [Details]

Books

  Year Publication
(2014) European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child.
Ciara Smyth (2014) European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child. Oxford: Routledge. [DOI] [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(2017) 'Migration, Refugees and Children's Rights'
Ciara Smyth (2017) 'Migration, Refugees and Children's Rights' In: International Children's Rights Law. New York: Springer Publishers. [Details]
(2017) 'The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights Relevant to Child Migrants'
Ciara Smyth (2017) 'The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights Relevant to Child Migrants' In: Handbook on Migration and Childhood. Northampton MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. [Details]
(2014) 'Children, Direct Provision and the European Convention on Human Rights'
Ciara Smyth (2014) 'Children, Direct Provision and the European Convention on Human Rights' In: Ireland and the European Convention on Human Rights, 60 Years and Beyond. London: Bloomsbury. [Details]
(2012) 'The Best Interests of the Immigrant Child in the European Courts: Problems and Prospects'
Ciara Smyth (2012) 'The Best Interests of the Immigrant Child in the European Courts: Problems and Prospects' In: Het Kind in het Immigratierecht. The Hague: Publicatiereeks Instituut voor Immigratierecht. [Details]
(2006) 'The Irish Citizenship Referendum 2004: A Solution in Search of a Problem?'
Ciara Smyth & Donncha O'Connell (2006) 'The Irish Citizenship Referendum 2004: A Solution in Search of a Problem?' In: Migration, Diasporas and Legal Systems. London and New York: Routledge Cavendish. [Details]
(2003) 'Citizenship and the Irish Constitution'
Ciara Smyth & Donncha O'Connell (2003) 'Citizenship and the Irish Constitution' In: Sanctuary in Ireland, Perspectives on Asylum Law and Policy. Dublin, Ireland: Institute of Public Administration. [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
(2016) (Dis) Locating Comparative Law
Ciara Smyth (2016) Europe's Role in the Current Refugee 'Crisis' (Dis) Locating Comparative Law Irish Society of Comparative Law Annual Conference 2016, NUI Galway, [Details]
(2014) Protection of Unaccompanied Minors and Separated Children in Ireland and Europe (Workshop)
Ciara Smyth (2014) How to Integrate the Best Interests of the Child into Refugee Status Determination Protection of Unaccompanied Minors and Separated Children in Ireland and Europe (Workshop) Dublin Castle, [Details]
(2015) Conflict, Climate Change and Displacement
Ciara Smyth (2015) Europe's Response to the Current Refugee Crisis Conflict, Climate Change and Displacement The Mary Robinson Centre, Ballina, [Details]
(2014) European Union Asylum Law
Ciara Smyth (2014) The Best Interests of the Child and the Common European Asylum System European Union Asylum Law Dublin, [Details]
(2013) The European Convention on Human Rights and Ireland: 60 Years and Beyond
Ciara Smyth (2013) Is the Treatment of Asylum-Seeking Children in Direct Provision Contrary to the ECHR? The European Convention on Human Rights and Ireland: 60 Years and Beyond University College Dublin, [Details]
(2012) The Rights of the Immigrant Child
Ciara Smyth (2012) The Best Interests of the Child in the European Courts: Problems and Prospects The Rights of the Immigrant Child Leiden University, The Netherlands, [Details]
(2007) North-South Roundtable Discussion on Immigration
Ciara Smyth (2007) Overview of EU and Irish Legislation and Policy on Immigration North-South Roundtable Discussion on Immigration Dundalk, [Details]
(2007) New Rules for the New Irish
Ciara Smyth (2007) Protection Aspects of the Immigration, Protection and Residence Bill New Rules for the New Irish Law Society of Ireland, Dublin, [Details]
(2005) The Future for Refugee Law in Ireland
Ciara Smyth (2005) The Future for Subsidiary Protection in Ireland The Future for Refugee Law in Ireland Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, [Details]
(2005) Citizens, Non-Citizens and Voting Rights in Europe
Ciara Smyth (2005) The Right to Vote and Participate in Local Elections: Citizens' Right or Human Right? Citizens, Non-Citizens and Voting Rights in Europe University of Edinburgh, Scotland, [Details]
(2005) Parnell Summer School
Ciara Smyth (2005) How the Law in Ireland Perceives Immigrants Parnell Summer School Avondale, Co. Wicklow, [Details]
(2004) The Challenge of Migration to Legal Systems
Ciara Smyth and Donncha O'Connell (2004) The Irish Citizenship Referendum: Two Solutions in Search of a Problem The Challenge of Migration to Legal Systems Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, [Details]

Published Reports

  Year Publication
(2015) Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers.
Working Group on Protection (2015) Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers. Government Publications, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2003) Advocacy Paper No. 3: The Citizenship Referendum, Issues, Observations and Concerns.
Ciara Smyth (2003) Advocacy Paper No. 3: The Citizenship Referendum, Issues, Observations and Concerns. National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, Dublin, Ireland. [ARAN Link] [Details]

Book Review

  Year Publication
(2016) The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, A Commentary.
Ciara Smyth (2016) The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, A Commentary. Book Review [ARAN Link] [Details]

Report

  Year Publication
(2008) National Report (Ireland) on the Domestic Implementation of EC Immigration and Asylum Directives: Directive on Family Reunification, Directive on Victims of Trafficking, Directive on Mutual Recognition of Expulsion Decisions, Odysseus Network (for the European Commission).
Ciara Smyth (2008) National Report (Ireland) on the Domestic Implementation of EC Immigration and Asylum Directives: Directive on Family Reunification, Directive on Victims of Trafficking, Directive on Mutual Recognition of Expulsion Decisions, Odysseus Network (for the European Commission). Report [Details]

Teaching Interests

Public International Law with a particular focus on international and European refugee law, human rights law and immigration law.