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School of Law PhD Researchers take part in Inaugural All-Ireland PhD Law Conference

16 May 2022

Four UCC School of Law PhD researchers took part in the inaugural All-Ireland PhD Law Conference organised by colleagues at NUIG School of Law.  

The Conference took place over two days and brought together PhD researchers from different universities across Ireland. 

In the order in which they presented at the Conference, the participants from UCC School of Law were Alison Hardiman, Rhoda Jennings, Michael James Boland, and Luke Noonan


Alison’s paper argued that in the context of the EU’s ambition for a low carbon energy economy and the need for security of energy supply, the approval process for renewable energy infrastructural developments must integrate environmental protection laws within the climate energy regime to facilitate a streamlined project approval process within Member States. Alison receives funding for her research from EirGrid PLC. 

Rhoda’s paper drew from the example of the COVID-19 pandemic in which scientific advice influenced the Government’s response. Against that background, Rhoda made the case for greater cooperation and transparency at the science-law interface in environmental law making. Rhoda’s research is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency through the Irish Research Council. 

Michael’s paper considered two corporate enforcement cases in Ireland. Using these cases as examples, Michael enquired whether factors other than the law sometimes influence judicial decision-making. Michael receives funding for his research from the Irish Research Council. 

Luke’s paper proposed reforms to the criminal defence of insanity. Luke considered ways in which the defence could be modified to meet the aims of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Luke’s research is funded by the Irish Research Council. 

Reflecting on the event, Alison, Rhoda, Michael, and Luke said: 

We were delighted to take part in the inaugural All-Ireland PhD Law Conference. It was a unique opportunity to engage with PhD colleagues from different universities and to get a sense of the rich doctoral research being undertaken across Ireland. We look forward to similar events in the future. 

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