Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dublin Archdiocese Report and the Law

Does the law need to be changed as a result of the Dublin Archdiocese Report on Child Sexual Abuse (the Murphy report, 2009)?

The report includes the following at pages 104 and onwards (edited):

"6.21 The Child Care Act 1991 was the first Act to place statutory responsibility on the health boards to promote the welfare of children not receiving adequate care and protection. Its only reference to child sexual abuse was to provide that sexual abuse of children would be among the criteria for seeking court orders.

"6.22 The stated purpose of the Child Care Act 1991 is “to provide for the care and protection of children and for related matters. Section 3 of the Act places a statutory duty on health boards to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. This section came into effect in December 1992....

"6.24 Section 69 provides that “The Minister may give general directions to a health board in relation to the performance of the functions assigned to it by or under this Act and the health board shall comply with any such direction”. No such direction has been issued.

"6.25 As is pointed out in the Ferns Report, this new obligation was not accompanied by new powers to intervene in specific situations. When introducing the Bill in 1988, the Minister for Health talked about the “imaginative use” of the new provisions. Legal provisions need to be clear and unambiguous with little scope for, and no requirement to use, imagination.

"6.26 As already stated, the Health Act 1970 did not enumerate all the functions of the health boards. The Health Act 2004 which established the Health Service Executive (HSE) is drafted in a similar way: it confers on the HSE those functions which were formerly carried out by the health boards. The Commission considers that it would be preferable if there was a clear unambiguous listing of the statutory functions and powers of the HSE so that there could be no doubt about the extent of its power to intervene in child protection issues.

What is the role of the health authorities in relation to clerical child sex abuse?

"6.27 Under the Child Care Act 1991, the health boards, and now the HSE, have a general duty to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. The Commission agrees with the Ferns Report analysis of the powers of the health boards. The Ferns Report takes the view that the powers conferred on the health boards by the 1991 Act are designed to protect a child from an abusive family situation. It is the parents or guardians who are responsible for dealing with the matter in cases of third party or extra-familial abuse. The Ferns Report also points out that the powers available to the health boards under the 1991 Act are not significantly greater than those available under the 1908 Act.

"6.28 Notification to the health board of alleged abuse by priests does not seem to serve any useful purpose if the health boards do not have any power to do anything about it.

"6.29 The method by which the boards recorded such notifications, that is, by the name of the child, while appropriate for family abuse, is not appropriate for extra-familial abuse. There is no point in recording alleged abuse by a person who is in a public position, for example, a priest, a teacher, sports coach, by the name of the abused person. This information needs to be recorded by the name of the alleged abuser and by the school, parish, sports club or other relevant body. The Commission is not aware of any legal reason why this information could not be collated and classified in this way by the HSE. For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission considers that the HSE should be given specific statutory power to maintain such a record.

"6.30 The Commission is not suggesting that it would be appropriate for the HSE to have the power to intervene where the child is being appropriately cared for by parents or guardians. It is concerned about the lack of clear power to collate and maintain relevant information and to share that information with other relevant authorities.

"6.31 In the case of M.Q. v Robert Gleeson and others [1997] IEHC 26; [1998] 4 IR 85, Mr Justice Barr took the view that health boards had an implied right and duty to communicate information about a possible child abuser if, by failing to do so, the safety of some children might be put at risk. Before making such a communication, the health boards had certain duties to the alleged perpetrator. This judgement has been viewed quite differently by the Ferns Report and the health boards/HSE. The Ferns Report was clearly concerned about the legislative basis for this wide ranging duty to communicate while the health boards/HSE concerns relate to restrictions on their ability to communicate because of the requirements to inform the perpetrator. The Ferns Report took the view that the only power available to health boards to inform parties that allegations of child sexual abuse have been made against a particular person is “one inferred from the wide ranging objective of child protection” imposed on health boards by the Child Care Act 1991. It went on to express the view that the implication of such a duty on health boards without any express legislative powers is an issue which should be carefully considered by the Legislature. The HSE told the Commission that the judgement in this case (generally known as the Barr judgement) had “significant implication for the management of child sexual abuse cases by the Health Boards/HSE. It provided that the Health Boards/HSE (except in cases where a child is believed to be at immediate risk of suspected child sexual abuse) before passing on any information with regard to a suspected child abuser to a third party, must give the allegations in writing to the alleged perpetrator. The alleged perpetrator must then be given the opportunity to respond in person to the HSE before the HSE makes its decision on whether or not to pass on the information to a third party. Recent legal advice is that the opportunity to appeal the decision of the HSE to pass on information to a third party must also be given to the alleged perpetrator.

"6.32 The Commission considers that the law should be clarified in order to confer on the HSE a duty to communicate to relevant parties, such as schools and sports clubs, concerns about a possible child abuser. The extent of the HSE obligation to notify the alleged perpetrator, if any, should also be clarified."

The Taoiseach has responded as follows:

"The Commission's Report expresses concern about the statutory powers of the Health Service Executive to deal with child sexual abuse by non-family members. Minister Andrews' Office is consulting further with the Office of the Attorney General to seek clarity in this regard. However, in the wake of the publication of the Ferns Report in 2005, legal advice was sought from the Attorney General in relation to the powers of Health Boards/HSE to investigate and deal with instances of Child Abuse perpetrated outside the family. The Attorney General was not of the view that the HSE's powers under Section 3 of the Child Care Act (1991) are limited to cases of intra family abuse. The HSE has stated that it responds to all allegations of child sex abuse regardless of the circumstances of the allegation."

This seems an inadequate response to the specific points raised in the Murphy report about the Child Care Act 1991 and the legislation concerning the powers of the HSE.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Forthcoming Events

The list of forthcoming Irish Law events has been updated. The full list appears here. To subscribe to the Irish Law site e-mail updates list, fill in the form here. Sample events on the list:

Thu.19 Nov.'09:
Mental Health in Prison - Dublin

Sat. 21 Nov.'09:
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – Making States Accountable - Annual Human Rights Conference of the IHRC and the Law Society of Ireland, Dublin

Wed.25 Nov.'09:
Constitutional Courts and the Lisbon Treaty - ISEL 7th Annual Brian Walsh Memorial Lecture, Dublin

Thu.26 Nov.'09:
ECHR Update: The Recent Use of the ECHR in the Courts, Procedure, Remedies and Analysis - Dublin

Thu.26 Nov.2009:
A Comparatist’s Analysis of the Convergence of Legal Systems - Dublin

Thu.26 Nov. 2009:
National Asset Management Agency - UCD Commercial Law Centre, Dublin

Fri. 27 Nov.2009:
Assessing Liability in Asset Management - Placing the Legal Principles in their Financial Context - UCD Commercial Law Centre, Dublin

Sat. 28 Nov.'09:
Aspects of Asylum and Immigration Law - The Bar Council of Ireland, Dublin

Sat.28 Nov.'09
Recent Developments in Irish Defamation Law, Including the Defamation Act 2009 - School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, CPD Conference

Mon.30 Nov.'09:
The Intel Decision - ISEL Competition Law Forum, Dublin

Mon.30 Nov.'09:
Launch of IPRT report on Detention of Children - Dublin

Tue.1 Dec.'09:
FLAC Third Annual Dave Ellis Memorial Lecture

Wed.2 Dec.2009:
Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 - UCD Commercial Law Centre, Dublin

Thu.-Fri.3-4 Dec.2009:
Police Governance and Accountability, Limerick

Thu.-Fri.3-4 Dec.'09:
Intensive Course on Planning Law (Including Developments on Strategic Infrastructure, Habitats and the New Planning Bill 2009) - Centre for Environmental Law, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, CPD Course

Sat.5 Dec.'09:
Meeting the Challenges - New Ways of Doing Business. Speakers: K Erwin, Mediators'Institute of Ireland; J Maguire Collaborative Law; P Marrinan Quinn SC Conflict & Dispute Resolution Diploma TCD: T O'Riordan Manager Public Interest Law Project FLAC. Irish Women Lawyers' Association, Dublin.

Sat.5 Dec.'09:
Tort Litigation: Recent Developments - School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, CPD Conference

Fri.11 Dec.'09:
Intensive Course on Waste Law including the New Waste Directive - Centre for Environmental Law and Policy, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, CPD Course

5-6 March 2010:
Irish Society of Comparative Law Annual Conference, Belfast

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Bord Snip and the Legal System

Colin Scott has a useful blog post on An Bord Snip's proposals regarding the legal system here.
Join in the lively discussion in the comments section.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Data Retention Bill

Both the Irish Times and the Irish Examiner report this morning that the Data Retention Bill is due to to be published today, when it was actually published on Friday.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Recent Short Items (11 July 2009)

Data Retention Bill published - http://bit.ly/qNXt3

Employment Agency Regulation Bill published http://bit.ly/E0GDb (Press Release); http://bit.ly/oaXkB (Bill)

Defamation Bill passed (Eoin O'Dell) - http://bit.ly/odell1

Conor O'Mahony questions constitutionality of Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill http://bit.ly/iTKI

Ruling sounds death-knell for public access to wills http://bit.ly/10BQe3

Irish language legal challenge dismissed (via @gaelport): http://tinyurl.com/lg5cbw

Lawyers' letter protesting new Criminal Justice Bill http://short.ie/pros (Via @ubfid)

Court refused discovery to Monica Leech http://bit.ly/15zFpn

Ongoing legal issues re anti-acne drug Roaccutane http://bit.ly/1xaqr

McDowell - lawyers should revisit the doctrine of the separation of powers http://bit.ly/915rr

Call for apology to survivors of Magdalen laundries http://bit.ly/qoLDn

FLAC - Proposed legislation on debt enforcement leaves "a mountain of reform left to climb" - http://bit.ly/Du0jG

Search engines and safe harbours (T.J. McIntyre) http://bit.ly/1a0jot

Trial by Jury to be removed for organised crime offences - Blog post by Fiona Donson - http://bit.ly/12CtSx

Fixed Term Employment Contracts - Review of the Law http://bit.ly/10PGm9

Judge queries value of orders against debtors http://bit.ly/auTfK

Fisherman opposed to laying of gas pipeline by Shell loses court challenge to detention http://bit.ly/mQZwU

New law to allow courts to jail debtors who refuse to pay http://bit.ly/Akap8

Full text of Civil Partnership Bill http://bit.ly/1145r9

Civil Partnership Bill published http://tinyurl.com/kr7kn5

Shannon used for torture flights: Government must acknowledge and investigate (via @AmnestyIRL) http://u.mavrev.com/eeq6

Challenge to Law Society on exam http://bit.ly/15bFBd

Greens say Civil Partnership Bill does not go far enough http://bit.ly/RO12i

Woman with prosthetic arm forced to work 'out of sight' in storeroom http://tinyurl.com/n4l3c7


Friday, June 05, 2009

Draft Irish Creative Commons Licence available for public discussion

The draft of CC BY-NC-SA adapted to Irish law is now in public discussion. The public discussion is a key part of Creative Commons’ license porting project. It is an opportunity for you, content creators and licence users, to engage in the drafting process and give your input in this collaborative effort. We warmly invite you to join CC Ireland’s discussion list and share your comments with local and international legal experts.

See also this posting on the Creative Commons News blog.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tipperary Mental Health Inquiry

There have been various media reports recently concerning the report of a Mental Health Commission inquiry into St. Michael’s Unit, South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel and St. Luke’s Hospital, Clonmel. (See for example Irish Times ; RTÉ ; Irish Mental Health Coalition press release).

The inquiry follows a similar report on the Central Mental Hospital in 2006.

The Tipperary report made findings which included the following: A high number of residents have sustained fractures; wards were unnecessarily locked; seclusion was being used too often; patients were forced to wear nightclothes during the day; there were no comprehensive needs assessments or care plans for residents.

A number of legal points arise from the report. For example, it is significant that the Mental Health Commission (press release) has proposed to attach conditions to the continued operation of the two approved centres requiring the Health Service Executive to produce a plan with precise timescales to address breaches in regulations, rules and codes of practice found by the Inspectorate of Mental Health Services during its inspection in late 2008. The Commission would require a quarterly report on the achievement of targets set in the plan.

Under the Mental Treatment Act 1945, the Inspector of Mental Hospitals could issue reports which were critical of mental health facilities, but there was no direct process for requiring improvement in those facilities. The new procedure under the Mental Health Act 2001 contains a process for improvement, by way of attaching conditions to registration, and the possibility of removal of a centre from the register. The CEO has said that the Commission is taking a "graduated response" approach (Annual Report 2007, p.8)

The report also highlights the over-use of locked wards. For example: "Although very few residents were detained under the Mental Health Act 2001 several ward doors were locked and staff referred to residents being ‘allowed out’ or given ‘parole’, when they should have been free to come and go as they wished." (para.13.1.3)

The problem of de facto detention of "voluntary" patients is as yet unresolved in Ireland. The European Court of Human Rights has found in H.L. v United Kingdom that certain deprivations of liberty of 'informal' patients in England breached Article 5 . Ireland urgently needs new legislation to close the so-called "Bournewood gap", but the scheme of the Mental Capacity Bill contains no proposals on this topic.

As Fergus Finlay rightly said in his RTE Drivetime radio column, if this was a story about animals, it would have exploded all over the news.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Course for Irish speakers at King's Inns 2009

Cumann Onórach Óstaí an Rí

The Honorable Society of King's Inns

Preparatory course for Irish speakers who wish to apply for lawyer-linguist positions in the European institutions

The aim of the course
As a result of Irish having attained status as an official language of the European Union, the European institutions will be recruiting lawyer-linguists in the years ahead who have an excellent level of competency in Irish. The positions will be available in Brussels - in the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council of the European Union - with excellent salaries and work conditions. The main responsibility of those working as lawyer-linguists will be to examine draft laws which have been translated to Irish in relation to legal and linguistic accuracy.
The aim of this course, which is being run by King's Inns in conjunction with Gaelchultúr Teoranta, is to prepare the participants for the entrance exams which will take place in the future in order to fill the above-mentioned vacancies.
Important note: The course providers, King's Inns and Gaelchultúr Teoranta, cannot guarantee that participants will gain positions as lawyer-linguists on completion of this training course.

Course dates and venue
There will be a total of 14 weeks' tuition provided during this training course.
The schedule is given below.
8 June - 7 August (Part 1 of the course)
10 - 21 August (Reading weeks)
24 August - 3 October (Part 2 of the course, end of course exam)
Participants will attend a three-hour class (9.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.) every day, Monday to Friday. They will have an opportunity to do some of their homework online. It is not advisable to undertake another course while attending this training course or to work on a part-time basis.

Entry requirements
This course will be suitable for those who have a law degree or a professional legal qualification (BL or Solr), as well as a good standard of spoken and written Irish (grade A in the honours Irish paper in the Leaving Certificate, for example). Applicants must also have good computer skills.
All applicants will be required to undergo a language assessment test and the results of this assessment will be taken into consideration when places are being allocated on the course. This assessment, in which the focus will be on accuracy in Irish, will take place between 12.00 - 1.00 p.m. on Saturday, 23 May in King's Inns.

Deadline for applications
Applications must be received by King's Inns by 4.00 p.m. on Friday, 8 May 2009.
Two former participants
Here are the views of two students who have attended the preparatory course:
Órla Ní Riain
'I had a good standard of Irish from the Leaving Certificate but there were quite a few aspects of grammar that I was not familiar with. I managed to add greatly to my language skills during the course in King's Inns and to learn translation skills for the first time. I work in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg now and I'm really enjoying the job. I intend spending some time working in Brussels in the future as well.'

Séamus Howard
'I was always interested in Irish and I wanted to get an opportunity to work through the medium of the language. I managed to attain a high standard of grammar during the course [in King's Inns] and I now have a one-year contract working as a lawyer-linguist in the Council of Europe. The work is challenging but I'm confident that I'll succeed in learning all the skills necessary to work in this area on a long-term basis.'

All classes will be held in King's Inns, Henrietta Street, Dublin 1.

Fee and subsistence stipend
This project is being funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and participants will not be required to pay a course fee. A subsistence stipend of €300 per week (based on attendance) will be paid to those who attend the course. There will also be an accommodation allowance for those who do not normally live in Dublin and who must move to the city in order to attend the course.

Additional information
If you wish to receive further information or a copy of the application form, please contact Tom Macdonald in King's Inns. The application form may also be downloaded from the King's Inns website.
Postal address: Tom Macdonald,
Dean of the School of Law,
The Honorable Society of King's Inns,
Henrietta Street,
Dublin 1

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Law and the Environment 2009 - Cork, Thu. 23 April 2009

Thursday, 23 April 2009:
Law and the Environment 2009
7th Annual Conference for Environmental Professionals
Faculty of Law, University College Cork
This conference will be the seventh annual event at UCC and seeks to build on the success of previous events, at which more than two hundred environmental professionals have attended to hear from a panel of expert speakers in the area.  This event caters to a wide range of professionals, including the legal professions, policy-makers, regulators, environmental interest groups, local authorities, environmental consultants, industry, and environmental service providers, and provides an opportunity for the dissemination of information on the latest legislative and judicial developments, research results and evolving best practice in the area of Environmental Law.  It also provides a truly unique forum for the exchange of ideas among key figures and stakeholders on all sides of the environmental protection debate. This year’s programme includes specialist sessions on Climate Change, Enforcement of Environmental Law, Environmental Liability, and Infrastructure and Waste, with 15 expert speakers coming from across Ireland, Northern Ireland and the U.K.
Full conference schedule:
Conference Convenor
Dr Owen McIntyre, Faculty of Law, UCC
Email o.mcintyre@ucc.ie
Tel 021 4902090
Conference Secretary
Email lawevents@ucc.ie
Tel 021 4903220

Continuing Professional Development
7 hours Group Study
Law Society General CPD Certificate of attendance will be issued

Monday, March 09, 2009

Recent Short Items - 9 March 2009

Recent Short Items, from my Twitter Feed and Delicious Links:

New HIQA Nursing Home Standards - http://www.hiqa.ie Hopefully no more Leas Crosses (in long term)?

Another article by Karlin on data retention, featuring Richard H. and Ivana B. - http://tinyurl.com/djzbjz

Went to good Teaching and Learning talk by Kelly Coate - Screencast here: http://bit.ly/nairtl1

Ryanair v Bravofly - decision on Motions - http://tinyurl.com/ryan555

Elsevier new social networking tool - http://www.2collab.com - Tried it for a while today and not very impressed ...

BookMooch: exchange books and trade them, like a book swap or book barter

JILT 2007 (1) Special Issue on Law, Education and Technology

Sherwin Nuland on electroshock therapy Video on TED.com

Gapminder.org - For a fact based world view.

Industrial Relations Research Trust

IHRC Observations on Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 (Amendment) Act 2008

The Next Leap

Assorted Materials: Johnny Ryan (Blog)

Twitter Feed: www.twitter.com/dariusw/

Delicious Links: www.delicious.com/dariusw/

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Events for next three weeks (from 9 March 2009)

Wednesday 11 March 2009:
"Judging Judges under the HRA 1998: A Reply to Keith Ewing" - Belfast

Thu. 12 March 2009:
Dr. Mia Swart, ’Judicial Lawmaking at the Ad Hoc Tribunals’ - Galway www.nuigalway.ie/human_rights/judges_as_lawmakers.html

Thu.-Fri. 12-13 March 2009:
Academy of European Law, Trier
Annual Conference on European Labour Law 2009

Friday, 13th March 2009:
Third Legal Education Symposium - UCD School of Law, Dublin

Fri. 13 Mar. '09:
EUROJUST's Tasks and Objectives - Jarlath Spellman, EUROJUST, National Member for Ireland - Criminal Justice Seminar, School of Law, University of Limerick
Seminar Room A1052, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
All are welcome to attend. There is no fee.

Tue. 24 March 2009:
Update on Enduring Powers of Attorney - STEP, Dublin

Thu. 26 March 2009:
The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008 - implications for migrant women in Ireland - Irish Women Lawyers Association Seminar, Limerick

Other Events:

Events RSS Feed:

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Mental Health Commission Panels

The Mental Health Commission is seeking applications for positions on the panels associated with the operation of Part 2 of the Mental Health Act 2001. The following panels are now open to applications:

  • Chairpersons Mental Health Tribunals
  • Consultant Psychiatrists Mental Health Tribunals
  • Lay Members Mental Health Tribunals
  • Consultant Psychiatrists Independent Medical Examinations
  • Legal Representatives Mental Health Legal Aid Scheme

Closing date for receipt of application is 5.00 pm Friday 20 March 2009.

Information and Forms:http://www.mhcirl.ie/panels.htm

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mental Health Act 2001: Unresolved Issues

I've been waiting for the full decision in a mental health case from 31 October 2008 to appear on the courts.ie website, but there's no sign of it yet. I wrote an article for the Irish Times about this case on 4 November (full text here.)

Here are some extracts from the Irish Times article, with links:

The hasty enactment of the Mental Health Act 2008 ... has probably resolved the legal issues caused by the recent High Court case, but there are other related issues that remain unresolved. Mr Justice Bryan McMahon issued a significant ruling in the case of a woman who has been detained in St Patrick's Hospital since August 2007. Various legal issues arose regarding her detention. ...

[McMahon J. decided that a renewal order for a period not exceeding 12 months was void for uncertainty. However, he put a four-week stay on his order directing the patient's discharge.]

This whole affair raises questions as to the wording of the Mental Health Act 2001, and the forms specified by the Mental Health Commission. As Mr Justice McMahon pointed out, "the error in this case was prompted by the wording of the form used by the Commission". ....

As regards the wording of the Mental Health Act, a number of issues have arisen regarding the time limits, and these have led to the Commission issuing a 1,200-word guidance page on "Duration of Involuntary Admission and Renewal Orders". This guidance will need to be amended in the light of the recent court case. It may now be better to reword the Act so that the time limits operate in a more logical and streamlined manner....

It is noteworthy that a number of other significant issues remain unresolved and require urgent attention. For example, a patient who has their detention renewed for six months (for example), cannot apply to a Mental Health Tribunal for a review of their case during the six-month period, and must wait until the automatic review which will occur at the end of the six months, if the psychiatrist makes a renewal order. This is in spite of a clear ruling from the European Court of Human Rights in Rakevich v Russia in 2003, where it was stated that "the detainee's access to the judge should not depend on the good will of the detaining authority".

The 2001 Act provides that a person may be removed to an approved psychiatric centre by members of staff of the approved centre in certain circumstances (s.13). These "assisted admissions" are often carried out by an independent contractor, rather than members of staff. In the R.L. case in 2008, it was held by the Supreme Court that the use of an independent contractor was a breach of the Act, although the patient's detention was upheld. It appears that such breaches of the Act have continued, in spite of the legal difficulties which they raise.
There are serious doubts about the burden of proof in Circuit Court appeals, where the patient is required to prove that he or she does not have a mental disorder (s.19), even though such a burden would appear to be contrary to the European Convention.

In addition, the powers of Mental Health Tribunals are unduly restricted by the 2001 Act. They may not consider questions of compliance with the sections on removal to the approved centre (s.13), referral of the admission order to the tribunal (s.17), transfer of a patient to hospital (s.22) or compliance with the Mental Treatment Act 1945.

The time has come for a fundamental review of the Mental Health Act 2001 in light of the Irish case law to date, experience in the operation of the Act and recent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. Reference may also be made to the Mental Health Commission's Report on the Operation of Part 2 of the Mental Health Act 2001 (2008) and the Department of Health and Children's Review of the Operation of the Mental Health Act 2001: Findings and Conclusions (2007).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Joseph Raz lecture at Trinity College Dublin on Wed. 25 Feb. 2009

Irish Jurisprudence Society Annual Public Lecture

Joseph Raz, Research Professor and an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol
College, Oxford and Professor of Law, Columbia University, will
deliver the Irish Jurisprudence Society's first annual public lecture
in jurisprudence on Wednesday 25 February 2009.

The lecture will commence at 7 p.m..

The title of Professor Raz's lecture is 'Innovative Interpretation'

Professor Desmond M Clarke will be chairing this event.

The venue is Trinity College Dublin, in the Lloyd Institute Building
(the Lloyd Institute is near the O'Reilly Institute and beside the new
Science Gallery, for map see:

The lecture is free to attend, but booking is required. Email:

Details of this event are posted on the web at the following pages:



This event is funded by the Long Room Hub Initiative, Trinity College Dublin.

Juries in Rape Cases - Wed. 18 Feb., University of Limerick

Wed. 18 Feb. 2009

Criminal Justice Seminar

"Juries in Rape Cases"

Conor Hanly, NUI Galway

3-4 p.m., Schuman Building, Room SG18.

All are welcome to attend.

Criminal Justice Seminar, Centre for Criminal Justice, School of Law, University of Limerick.

Information from Dr Gerard Coffey, Centre for Criminal Justice, School of Law, University of Limerick.

Email Address: Ger.Coffey@ul.ie



Call for Papers: Irish Criminology Conference - UCD, 15-16 June 2009

UCD Institute of Criminology
Fifth Irish Criminology Conference
15 and 16 June 2009
Dear Colleagues,
The UCD Institute of Criminology will host the Fifth Irish Criminology Conference on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 June 2009. Papers are invited from research students, academics and policy makers in the fields of criminology and criminal justice.  Please forward a title and abstract (no more than 200 words) to criminology@ucd.ie by 30 April. A final decision on the selection of papers will be made by 11 May.
There is no registration fee for the conference.
A number of bursaries will be available to cover travel expenses for students from outside Dublin who wish to attend and present a paper but would be otherwise unable to do so. Those wishing to be considered for a bursary should make this clear when submitting their abstract.
I would be grateful If you would pass on these details to any Interested parties.

With best wishes

Professor Ian O'Donnell, Director, UCD Institute of Criminology
University College Dublin


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vacancy: Equality and Rights Alliance Campaign Coordinator

ERA Campaign Coordinator


The Equality & Rights Alliance (ERA) is an alliance of 79 civil society groups seeking to ensure the promotion and enhancement of human rights, equality and social justice in Ireland. ERA formed in August 2008, following media reports of a proposed merger of five equality and human rights bodies in Ireland. Budget 2009 did not see the amalgamation of the five bodies, or indeed the full amalgamation of the Equality Authority and the Irish Human Rights Commission, which emerged as a more realistic merger possibility. However, savage budget cuts of 43% to the Equality Authority, coupled with fast-tracked decentralization, and 24% to the Irish Human Rights Commission rendered them unable to carry out their remit in any meaningful way. The ERA campaign has involved media communications, political lobbying and building of the Alliance itself as a strong voice of civil society organisations committed to a strong equality and human rights infrastructure in Ireland.

The ERA Campaign has now received funding to develop the Campaign into 2009; a planning day to set out an action plan for the alliance has taken place. The action plan envisages the continuation of lobbying and communications as well as capacity building for organisations locally and regionally to engage in lobbying actions. It also foresees the employment of a campaign coordinator.

Title: ERA Campaign Coordinator
Location: Dublin
Responsible to: ERA Steering Committee (delegated person)

Relationships: ERA Chairperson, Communications Adviser, ERA members

The main purpose of the Campaign Coordinator is to coordinate the effective implementation of the ERA Campaign.
ERA seeks a person with significant project management experience to co-ordinate the ERA Campaign, working with the Steering Committee to implement the lobbying, communication and alliance-building strategies of ERA.

Key Tasks

Given the nature of the Campaign, the post will require the Campaign Coordinator to be flexible and undertake duties, on occasion, in addition to or in lieu of those listed below. Under the direction of the ERA steering group, the Campaign Coordinator will:
- Provide administrative support to the Alliance, including preparing written correspondence, reports and funding applications.
- Coordinate general campaign activities including lobbying, protests, meetings with political parties, letter writing to TDs, etc.
- Organise logistics of ERA meetings, and public events as agreed e.g. advocacy training days, seminars, round-tables, conferences.
- Coordinate the delivery of the ERA communication strategy with the Communications Adviser
- Be the day-to-day spokesperson for ERA, linking with the Communications Adviser and the Chair
- Handle internal communications with ERA members, in liaison with the Steering Committee- Coordinate and oversee relevant research projects or polls commissioned by ERA, in liaison with the Communications Adviser and the Steering Committee
- Act as the key point of information for the ERA Campaign, handling enquiries from individuals, members of ERA, politicians and members of the public. Press queries will be referred by the Campaign Coordinator to the ERA's Communications Adviser and/or to other ERA spokespersons agreed in advance
- Be responsible for information management including the ERA website, telephone and email queries
- Maintain and update the content of the ERA website, including member lists and other relevant database lists and reports, and ensuring that up to date / relevant campaign actions are regularly featured on the web site pages
- Liaise with organisations and networks working for similar objectives, nationally and internationally
- Account to the Steering Committee for the day-to-day administration of the ERA's budget
- Attend monthly support and supervision sessions, providing written reports documenting work activities and outcomes
- Support fundraising activities, as required
- Make reports for Funders, as required.

Person Specification
Experience and Knowledge

- Experience of running office, administration and financial systems
- Experience in supporting communications strategies (inclusive of handling and referring media enquiries, building strategic alliances and information management)
- Experience of leading projects and proven success in delivery
- Knowledge of the human rights, equality and/or social justice sector in Ireland, preferably coupled with some experience of human rights, equality and /or social justice campaigning (in Ireland or elsewhere)

- Experience of representing an organisation to the public or media
- Experience in conference and event management
- Experience of successful campaigning to achieve social change

- Ability to manage a virtual office; familiarity with IT applications sufficient to update and maintain web site content and management of web blogs
- "Can do" attitude
- results driven, commitment and energy 'to go the extra mile'
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to identify opportunities
- Excellent interpersonal and communications skills
- Ability to work in partnership with individuals and organisations across sectors
- Proven problem solving skills
- Ability to prioritise and plan activities in a wide ranging work load
- Ability to communicate clearly and transfer complex information in a concise and accessible form
- Ability to draft briefing notes and other papers, as well as minutes of meetings
- Ability to maintain a high level of social, organisational and professional standards in job-related activities

Salary: Equivalent to HEO Standard Scale (€46,558 - €59,097)
Duration: this is a 6 month contract initially, with a probationary period of up to one month, which may be extended.
Application by CV and covering letter by email to recruitment@eracampaign.org or by post to

Equality & Rights Alliance Co-ordinator, DMG Business Centre, 9-13 Blackhall Place, Dublin 7
Deadline for Applications: Friday 6th February 2009
Shortlisting: Monday 9th February 2009
Interviews: 17th and/or 18th February 2009