Conference on Public Law and Policy
There are very few, if any, postgraduate conferences in Ireland or the UK that focus specifically on the theme of public law. This project involves organising a postgraduate conference on public law in conjunction with the LL.M in Public Law and the School of Law at NUI Galway. Postgraduate students on the LL.M in Public Law will organise the conference in partnership with staff members and will present their research. Final year undergraduate law students on the BCL programme and LL.B programme at NUI Galway also have an opportunity to join the conference organisation committee and gain valuable experience. This experience will introduce the students to research and open them up to the idea of undertaking postgraduate research at NUI Galway. A number of graduates of the LL.M in Public Law work in public law roles throughout the world. This project will issue an invitation to graduates of the LL.M in Public Law to present their work. This will provide an opportunity for graduates to engage with the University and to share ideas on important issues of Public Law with staff and current students. It will also provide current students with ideas for possible career paths. It is also envisaged that the organising committee will invite a keynote speaker. The conference will be free to attend. The conference proceedings will be available online, ensuring a wide dissemination of the content.
There have been two meetings of the “Exploring Public Law Conference” Committee. The date for a third meeting to take place by the end of March 2013 will be confirmed shortly.
• Meeting 1 4 December 2012
• Meeting 2 18 February 2013
• Meeting 3 TBC March 2013
The Committee is composed of a number of students currently undertaking the LL.M in Public Law and members of the School of Law at NUI Galway. The Committee is constituted of the following:
• Caitriona De Paor,
• Catherine Sherry,
• Charles O’Mahony,
• Cliona De Bhailis,
• Deirdre Halloran,
• Donncha O’Connell,
• Marie McGonagle,
• Sandra Murphy
First Meeting 4 December 2012
Decisions and Actions Agreed Upon
• At the first meeting it was decided that the title of the event should be “Exploring Public Law, a Post-Graduate Conference”.
• There was a decision at the first meeting that the event should not clash with the ISCL Annual Conference that was taking place at NUI Galway 24-25 May
• It was decided at the first Committee meeting that the “Exploring Public Law, a Post-Graduate Conference” should take place in September 2013.
o This decision was taken to avoid a clash with the ISCL Annual Conference and to allow new students on the programme to benefit from attending the conference and meeting with graduates of the 2012/2013 class.
Second Meeting February 18 2013
Decisions and Actions Agreed Upon
• A Post-Grad conference, need to invite past Graduates, build connections - target through contact lists; current post-grads; Irish universities; NI universities; UK universities, trainee Solicitors and Barristers
• Publicise event via the internet, Law School Facebook, law school website; Darius Whelan of UCC circular; PILA’s newsletter, Law Society website, Kings Inn website
• Participants at the conference can choose to either present a poster or a paper – Committee to explore other innovative ways to deliver papers
• It was decided to issue the call for papers in May 2013 for the September 2013 conference
• It was decided to issue second call for papers in mid July 2013 with a deadline of 31 of July for submission of abstracts
• Abstract required 250-word limit
• Theme for the conference to be decided at third meeting of the Committee
o Committee members to consult with students, researchers and lecturers in the University on a theme
• At the second meeting there was a short list of the following persons for the keynote address at the Conference – Tom O’ Malley in conversation with the DPP; Judge Mary Devins, the Attorney General, Professor Dermot Walsh –
• It was also suggested that the Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Justice be invited to give personal reflections on Public Law in Ireland
• It was agreed to invite FLAC and PILA (EG Noelin Blackwell, and Michael Farrell) and a number of other leading public interest lawyers to a plenary session on public interest law in Ireland –
o This plenary panel was decided upon with a view to further developing the Law Schools connection with the key public interest law NGOs and to approach FLAC to fund a prize for the LL.M in Public Law – this prize would serve to enhance the profile of the LL.M in Public Law and the School of law.
To be decided at next meeting (March 2013):
• The keynote speakers to be agreed at the next meeting of the Committee at the end of March
• Logistical issues – date in September, catering, venue, registration etc
• How to supplement funding from EXPLORE – EG decide on law firms, NGOs etc to approach for funding
• Responsibility for drawing up the handover memo for the conference
• How to disseminate the proceedings from the conference
• The membership of the peer review committee to review abstracts