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Civil Partnership Act 2010, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

The Civil Partnership Act, 2010

Date: Saturday 2nd April 2011

The Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

[ About ] [ Questions ] [ Speakers ]

[ Programme ] [ Reservations and Fees ][ CPD Points ]

About the Conference

The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 came into force on 1st January 2011. The Act contains two very different schemes which will dramatically alter the landscape of family law in Ireland. The first scheme deals with civil partnership for same sex couples. Over 100 couples have already given notice of their intention to register a civil partnership in ceremonies which are likely to take place from April onwards.

The conference will address the rules governing recognition of civil partnerships, the rights and obligations associated with the status as well as the procedures for dissolution of civil partnership. The second scheme provided for in the 2010 Act deals with cohabitants, which includes both same sex and heterosexual relationships. At the last census in 2006, over 121,000 couples identified as cohabiting. Traditionally, such relationships did not give rise to rights or obligations under Irish law; the 2010 Act for the first time gives rights to cohabiting couples whose relationships have come to an end. This conference will address the couples who will be captured by this Act, the rights which arise and issues which are likely to arise in practice.

This conference will be an essential guide to the 2010 Act for all those with an interest in family law.


John Ahern is a lecturer at Trinity College Dublin. His research and teaching interests include Private International Law, Tort and European Law. His doctoral research focuses on the Choice of Law in Tort at a European level and its interaction with existent common law regimes. He is the Irish editor for and is co-editor (with William Binchy) of The Rome II Regulation on the Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations: A New International Litigation Regime (Martinus Nijhoff, 2009).

Trish Brazil BL lectures in family law, child law and refugee and immigration law at Trinity College, Dublin. She is a practicing barrister.

Inge Clissmann S.C. was called to the Irish Bar in 1978, and took silk in 1994. She has a varied civil practice, but is an expert in family law and has represented clients in some of the leading cases in this field. Her particular specialist areas include matrimonial litigation, child advocacy and related private international law issues. She was appointed Chair of the Department of Justice Study Group on Pre-nuptial Agreements, which produced its Report in April 2007.

John Mee is a graduate of UCC (BCL 1986; LLM 1987), Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto (LLM 1989) and Trinity College Dublin (PhD 1997) and was called to the Irish Bar in 1990. He is an Associate Professor of Law in University College Cork and was Dean of the Faculty of Law at UCC from 1999-2000. His publications include, The Property Rights of Cohabitees (1999), Land Law, 2nd ed (with Pearce, 2000; 3rd ed forthcoming) and Law and Taxation of Trusts (with Keogan and Wylie, 2007.

Fergus Ryan is a graduate and former scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, and is a lecturer in law at the Dublin Institute of Technology. His publications include Walsh and Ryan, The Rights of De Facto Couples (2006) and Ryan and Conroy, Observations on the Criminal Law (Trafficking and Sexual Offences) Bill 2006 (2007). Recently, he completed a report for the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network entitled Civil Partnership: Your Questions Answered (GLEN, 2009). He is currently Chairperson of One Family, a national charity providing support to one-parent families.


The right to rearrange and substitute lectures and lecturers is reserved


9:00 - Registration

9:30 - Registration of Civil Partnerships (covering Parts 2 & 3 of the 2010 Act) and Dissolution/Nullity (covering Parts 11 & 12 of the Act)
Fergus Ryan

10:00 - The Rights and Entitlements of Civil Partners (covering Part 4: Shared Home Protection; Part 5: Maintenance; Part 8 Succession; Part 9 Domestic Violence)
Inge Clissmann SC

10:30 - Private International Law Aspects
John Ahern

11:00 - Tea/Coffee Break

11:30 - Who is a qualified cohabitant for the purposes of the Act?
Trish Brazil BL

12:00 - The Property Rights of Cohabitants Under the Act.
Professor John Mee

12:30 - Questions and Discussion



Reservation and Fees

€150 for one

Group Rates: €270 for 2*; €380 for 3; €480 for 4 and €560 for 5

Reduced Rates**: €120 Members Rates***: €110 – Individuals; €75 – Associates

Corporate Members Group Rates: €200 for 2*; €285 for 3; €360 for 4 and €560 for 5.

* The group rate applies if you wish to send more than one delegate to a conference or if you would like to attend more than one conference of the same fee value.

** for barristers of five years standing or less and trainee solicitors.

** for members of the TCD CPD Conference Programme.


To reserve a place please complete the booking form and return it to:

CPD Conference Programmes, School of Law, House 39, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2Telephone (01) 896 2367 / 2772; Fax (01) 677 0449; Email: lawevent at


CPD Hours/Points : 3

Certificates of attendance will be forwarded after the conference.