Shaping Society News

UCC School of Law Year in Review

21 Dec 2018

2018 saw the School of Law make headlines on both the national and international stage.

2018 has provided everyone involved with the School of Law at University College Cork with many memorable moments and highlights.

Together, our faculty, students and alumni have demonstrated why the School continues to be ranked among the top 150 law schools in the world by shaping society through research and their contribution to the legal profession.

Indeed, throughout 2018, the School played host to a number of high profile conferences and events where some of the leading authorities in their respective fields offered expert opinion and analysis.


Brexit: Likely Outcomes and New Realities for Ireland:

Organised by Declan Walsh, this seminar took place in March. Speakers included two adjunct professors at the School – Judge Anthony Collins of the General Court of the European Union and Dr. Vincent Power, Head of EU, Competition & Procurement Group at A&L Goodbody – as well as MEP for Ireland South, Deirdre Clune and Dr Mary C. Murphy of the UCC Dept of Government and Politics. 

The event examined the likely legal and practical outcomes of Brexit and considered solutions as to how individuals and businesses can mitigate the effects of Brexit on their everyday work and life.

Declan Walsh stands along side Dr Vincent Power, Deirdre Clune MEP, Dr Mary C. Murphy, and Judge Anthony M Collins ahead of our Brexit Seminar


Law & Environment Conference 2018:

The 16th Annual Law & Environment Conference was hosted in April by Professor Owen McIntyre with the title “Towards Environmental Responsibility, Accountability and Liability”.  Comprising of two plenary sessions and 31 parallel sessions over the course of the day, this event marks one of the biggest conferences undertaken by the School each year. 

Topics this year ranged from Marine Environmental Law and Just Transistion to a Low-Carbon Economy to Effective Enforcement of Environmental Liabilities and Developments in Climate Litigation.  The diversity of subjects and the ongoing strong interest in this event among legal practitioners, academics and environmental activists is reflective of the key position occupied by the School in matters of Environmental Law.

The closing event of the 2018 Law & Environment Conference was the launch of the new Centre for Law and Environment based at the School of Law in UCC.  The Centre is co-directed by Professor Owen McIntyre and Dr. Áine Ryall and draws together research, teaching and policy work relating to law and the environment. Based in the School of Law, the Centre supports and promotes a wide range of high-impact research activity in Environmental, Marine, Climate, Energy and Natural Resources Law.

Dr Bjørn-Oliver Magsig, Dr Aine Ryall and Professor Owen McIntyre and joined by Professor Ursula Kilkelly and Vice Admiral Mark Mellet at the llaunch of the Centre for Law and the Environment

Symposium to launch Centre for Children’s Rights and Family Law at School of Law:

To mark the launch of the new Centre for Children’s Rights and Family Law, the School of Law at UCC played host to a group of distinguished international scholars in these fields, including visiting Fulbright scholar and international children’s rights expert Professor Jonathan Todres. 

Over two days, the subjects discussed at the Workshop ranged from the rights of children to participate in decision-making to equal civil partnerships and the construction of the cohabitant and further to law reform in New Zealand and Australia. 

Another highlight of the event was the public lecture delivered by Professor John Eekelaar of Oxford University who is Adjunct Professor at the School of Law.  A world-renowned family law scholar, Professor Eekelaar’s address ‘Family Law and Identity’ covered a variety of issues including identity discourses, gender and ancestry. 

The entire event was extremely successful with participants at the Workshop welcoming the feedback received from colleagues and expressing great interest in attending similar events in the future. 

A key outcome from the two-day launch was the strengthening of relationships with colleagues and institutions around the world undertaking research in areas of particular interest to scholars here in UCC.

 Professor Ursula Kilkelly and Dr Conor O'Mahony celebrate the launch of the Centre for Children's Rights and Family Law at UCC

IMHLA Conference 2018:

The Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, School of Law, University College Cork and Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association held their 2018 conference on Mental Health Law and Capacity Law in UCC on Saturday 12 May 2018. 

Topics discussed included Recent Developments in Mental Health Law, Dealing with Capacity Issues in Practice, and Children and the Mental Health Act 2001.

Dr Darius Whelan alongside organisers and contributors at the Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association


My Lawyer My Rights Conference in Dublin June 2018:

As part of a pan-European project called My Lawyer My Rights, which seeks to improve access to lawyers for young people, a national seminar was held in Dublin to bring together lawyers, judges and those working with children in conflict with the law in order to share the results of the project and to discuss best practice in the area.


Positive Youth Justice Roundtable & Public Lecture in Dublin September 2018:

A smaller, more directed academic roundtable was jointly hosted by Prof Ursula Kilkelly, Dr Katharina Swirak (Dept. of Sociology, UCC), and Prof Mary Rogan at TCD to examine Irish youth justice policy and practice which has made major strides over the past 15 years. Professor Stephen Case of Loughborough University addressed the seminar, sharing his research on positive youth justice frameworks and also delivered a public lecture on the topic, drawing on the Children First, Offender Second model that he has developed with Professor Kevin Haines.


SAGE Advocacy/School of Law seminar on Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act Commencement:

The School of Law hosted a seminar with Sage Advocacy aimed at those working with vulnerable people and older people in preparation for commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015. 

The seminar was intended to help people to learn about the principles of the legislation; challenge assumptions about capacity and decision-making and to develop skills to support decision-making.


CCJHR Annual Distinguished Lecture 2018 - Professor Rhona Smith:

The UN Human Rights Committee Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, delivered a lecture titled “The centrality of human rights in creating durable peace, stability and development: lessons from Cambodia”. 

Prof Smith’s address concerned human rights in Cambodia, which have been under pressure in the past two years amid misuse of the justice system to prosecute political opposition and human rights activists and widespread corruption within the political system.


Alumni Event Brussels October 2018 – The School of Law recently held its inaugural Alumni and Friends event in Brussels:

Kindly hosted by H.E. Helena Nolan, Ambassador of Ireland to Belgium, Professor Ursula Kilkelly welcomed graduates and other supporters of the School to the Irish Embassy in Brussels for an informal reception. The event provided a rare opportunity to reconnect with some of the many graduates working in diverse organisations and institutions in Brussels and who are at various stages of their career.


School of Law Alumni Reception, Dublin, December 2018:

For the fourth year, the Dean of the School welcomed alumni to an informal reception at the Spencer Hotel in Dublin.  

A now-regular feature of the School calendar, the gathering is a wonderful chance to update alumni on developments and progress by the School in the past year and to hear of the successes and career progression of our students. 

Over 70 graduates were in attendance to hear a short address by Her Honour Rosemary Horgan, President of the High Court. 

Judge Horgan, herself an alumnus of the School, shared her thoughts on Access to Justice in the District Court, the busiest Court network in the country and where most people are likely to come into contact with the courts system. 

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