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Litigation Against Primary Schools: School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

Litigation Against Primary Schools:
All the Recent Developments

Date: Saturday, 24 March 2012

Venue: Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

About the Conference

Schools have increasingly been in the firing line of litigation as Irish society tries to come to terms with radical changes in technology and culture. Important debates about human rights, equality and freedom of religion impact on schools’ policies and can result in litigation. The new social media present opportunities and dangers requiring sensitive, well thought out policies in the school environment.

A team of experts will speak on a variety of themes. All key recent developments in the courts and legislature will be analysed.

There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.



  • the decision of the High Court appeal in Christian Brothers High School Clonmel v Stokes, 2011.
  • the recent recommendations of the Irish Human Rights Commission on freedom of religion and education.
  • the possible impact on school management of the recent legislative change on “Good Samaritans”.
  • the developing law relating to social networking in the context of schools.
  • recent caselaw on school disciplinary procedures.
  • recent legal developments in relation to sporting activities organised by schools.
  • the impact on school management of the enactment of the Civil Partnership and Cohabitants Act 2010.
  • recent litigation by teachers against schools for bullying or stress.


9:00 am
  Chair: Professor William Binchy


Dr. Neville Cox

Negligent Supervision, Schools and Sports: Reducing the Threat of Litigation


Dr. Dympna Glendenning BL

The Education Act, 1998, Section 30: The Provision for the Characteristic Spirit of a School or Class of School


Dr Ciaran Craven BL

Disciplinary Procedures, Codes of Behaviour, Suspension and Expulsion: Recent Developments
11:00 Tea/Coffee Break


Professor Gerry Whyte

Recent Caselaw on Schools and Equality Legislation


Dr. Des Ryan

Bullying Harassment and Stress at Work
12:20 Questions and Discussion
1:00 Conference Ends

The right to substitute and rearrange lecture(rs)s is reserved.

Speakers amd Chair

William Binchy is Regius Professor of Laws at Trinity College. He is co-author of a Casebook on Torts and co-editor, of The Annual Review of Irish Law, The Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004: Implications for Personal Injuries Litigation and the Quarterly Review of Tort Law. He is co-editor (with Dr. Dympna Glendenning) of Litigation Against Schools: Implications for School Management, published by FirstLaw in 2006.

Dr. Neville Cox LL.B., Ph.D., (Dub.), Barrister, is Senior Lecturer in Law and a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. He is author of Defamation Law (2008), and Blasphemy and the Law (2000) and co-author of Sport and the Law (2004). He is Director of the Master of Laws degree programmes at Trinity.

Dr. Ciaran Craven is a practising barrister. He lectures in Medical Law on the LL.M. degree programme at Trinity College Dublin. He is the co-editor (with William Binchy) of Medical Negligence Litigation: Emerging Issues and The Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004: Implications for Personal Injury Litigation and co-author of Psychiatry and the Law (2nd ed., 2010). He is co-editor of the Quarterly Review of Tort Law

Dr. Dympna Glendenning is a practising barrister and a former primary school teacher and principal. She is also author of Education, Religion and the Law, (Tottel , December 2008), Education and the Law (Butterworths Tolley, Dublin, 1999) and co-author (with William Binchy) of Litigation Against Schools: Implications for School Management (Firstlaw, Dublin, 2006). 1

Dr. Des Ryan LL.B., B.C.L., M.A., B.L. lectures in both Employment Law and Employment Litigation at Trinity College Dublin. He is co-author of Employment Law in Ireland (Clarus Press, 2009) and is co-editor of the Employment Law Review (First Law), a quarterly publication dedicated to analysing significant developments in Irish and European Employment Law. He is also the contributor of a number of chapters to Employment Law (Tottel Publishing, 2009) and is the Employment Law correspondent for the Annual Review of Irish Law (Thomson Round Hall).

Gerry Whyte is Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin.  He is author of Social Inclusion and the Legal System: Public Interest Law in Ireland, published by the Institute of Public Administration in 2002, co-author of Irish Trade Union Law and co-editor of the fourth edition of John Kelly's The Irish Constitution.  He is also actively involved with various NGOs targeting social exclusion.


The right to substitute or rearrange lecture(r)s is reserved.

Reservations and Fees


€120 per person

Group Rates: €215 for 2; €310 for 3; €385 for 4 and €450 for 5


All Cheques should be made payable to TCD No. 1 Account and returned to the address below


Please complete the booking form and return to:

CPD Conference Programmes, School of Law,
House 39, Trinity College, Dublin 2

Contacts: Conference Reservations: Telephone Catherine or Kelley at +353 1 896 2367 / +353 1 896 2772;
Fax Number: (01) 677 0449; Email:

* includes conference materials and tea/coffee break.