News and Views
UCC conference to explore Ireland’s new laws on sexual offences
UCC Law Society is today (October 31) hosting its annual conference, this year titled The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017: Reforming the Law to Reform in Attitude, at the University’s Aula Maxima.
The only student-run professional law conference in Ireland and the first to explore the new Act, the event aims to educate attendees on the newly-enacted laws with a view to reforming attitudes towards them.
Now in its 17th year, the conference features an exciting line-up of speakers and provides the opportunity for students, legal professionals and academics to engage with this topical subject matter.
Speakers include Noeline Blackwell, chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre; and Tom O’Malley, a Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway and a member of the Irish Law Reform Commission.
Louise Crowley, Vice Dean and Senior Lecturer, UCC School of Law, will discuss developing sexual violence prevention programmes at third level institutions. Dr Crowley recently introduced a compulsory five-credit module on bystander intervention for all first-year law and nursing students at UCC on a pilot basis.
Niamh Ni Dhomhnaill will be speaking briefly about her own experience as a victim of sexual violence, in terms of what can be done better; her research on the experience of disclosing sexual violence, the need for a second Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI) report and other perspectives, including LGBTQIA+ experiences of disclosing sexual violence.
Dr Pádraig Mac Neela, Lecturer in the School of Psychology at NUIG, will discuss sexual consent workshops in third-level institutions, while Jennifer McCarthy Flynn of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NCWI) will talk about the the project Ending Sexual Harassment and Violence in Third Level Education (ESHTE), the NWCI's work on the issue of gender-based violence, and the Istanbul Convention in the context of reforming law to reform attitudes.
Backed by William Fry as its title sponsor, the Conference will run over two sessions from 9:00-14:00, covering topics relevant to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 and will be chaired by Dr Catherine O’Sullivan, lecturer at UCC’s School of Law and a Director of the Sexual Violence Centre Cork, and Síona Cahill, Vice President for Equality and Citizenship, Union of Students in Ireland (USI).