News and Views

UCC School of Law welcomes Synnott Family Chair in European Union Law

17 Dec 2020

The School of Law has announced that Professor Dagmar Schiek has this month been appointed to the important and highly anticipated position of Synnott Family Chair in European Union Law.

Professor Schiek’s appointment was made possible thanks to the generous €1,000,000 donation made to the school by alumnus Aidan Synnott (BCL 1985) in 2019.

This donation has not only funded the Chair in European Union (EU) Law, but will also facilitate the creation of a Centre in EU Law, establishing UCC School of Law as a leader in EU Law research and transforming the learning experience and work of our students in this field.

Dagmar Schiek has been a professor of European Union law from 2000 in Germany and the UK. She has been awarded a Jean Monnet ad personam Chair in 2011, a recognition for high level achievements in the field of EU studies partly outside her country of origin. She joins UCC from Queen’s University Belfast, where she directed the Centre of European and Transnational Studies. While at Queen’s, she began to contribute to the Brexit debate, with a focus on how the EU should react to the UK's decision to withdraw from the European Union, in particular with a view to the position of Northern Ireland.

Professor Schiek is active in the University Association of Contemporary European Studies, an individual member of the IUS COMMUNE research school and affiliated to European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance, and a member of the journal advisory boards of the Maastricht Journal of Comparative and European Law, Kritische Justiz (Critical Legal Studies, Germany), and Państwo I Prawo (The State and the Law, Poland). Find out more here: https://www.profschiek.com/

Professor Schiek will also take up the newly created role of Vice-Dean for Research at the School of Law, leading research strategy and all related activities for the School.

Speaking about her appointment and vision for the role, Professor Schiek said:

“This is an exciting time to join University College Cork as a professor of European Union Law. Irish universities may well reap some rewards from “Brexit”: geographically and historically, Ireland has the potential to help providing a bridge from the EU to the United States. As a constitutional democracy with roots in the common law Ireland has huge potential to become a destination for excellent research in EU law. UCC school of law with its existing research centres already has strengths in European Union law research. New research answering the question “How to Reinvigorate EU integration through Rights?” will enable the school to maximise the potential of these advantages, and to become a centre for interdisciplinary research in EU integration through rights.”

Welcoming the appointment, Aidan Synnott commented:

“I am delighted to learn that UCC has been able to attract a teacher and scholar of Dagmar’s reputation and abilities to fill the Synnott Family Chair. And I look forward to her leadership of the Centre for European Law, which I am confident will make UCC a destination for EU law students from across the continent.”

The Synnott Family Chair in EU Law is a hugely significant academic appointment for UCC and will establish the university as the leader of EU Law research and teaching in Ireland.

Welcoming Professor Schiek to the School, Professor Mark Poustie, Dean of the School of Law, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Dagmar to UCC and the School of Law. Dagmar’s appointment is strategically very important for the School. It strengthens our EU Law expertise at a time when Brexit is providing significant opportunities in that regard for Irish universities. The research Centre which Dagmar will lead gives UCC a focus for attracting high quality researchers, research grants and students from across the EU and beyond. I am delighted that a scholar of Dagmar’s ability is also taking on the role of Vice-Dean (Research) to lead the development of the School’s research strategy. The School is deeply indebted to Aidan Synnott for his generosity and foresight in funding this Chair. It represents a real vote of confidence in the School, and we will strive to develop the School as a centre of excellence in Europe and beyond in the field of EU Law.”

University College Cork

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