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Trinity Law School Law and Contemporary Challenges Webinar Conversations 2020

Law and Contemporary Challenges Webinar Conversations 2020.

Wednesday 11 November to Wednesday 28 November inclusive.

This November, the academic staff in Trinity Law School will conduct a series of conversations with other leading experts that address the most pressing contemporary challenges for communities in Ireland and around the world. Each conversation will be moderated by Professor Yvonne Scannell. The webinars will run from Wednesday 11 November to Wednesday 28 November inclusive. Each event will commence at 6:00pm (IST). Attendance is free but registration is essential.

COVID-19 and the Home: Assessing the Legislative Response

11 November 2020, 6:00pm (IST)

Prof Rachael Walsh in conversation with Prof Lorna Fox O’Mahony.

Webinar Recording

COVID-19 has created challenges for those who are adversely affected economically by Government-imposed restrictions or public health guidance in keeping their homes. Professor Walsh, along with Professor Sarah Hamill and as part of the Law School’s COVID-19 Law and Human Rights Observatory, has been examining how Government has responded to these challenges in the rental sector and in respect of mortgaged properties. Notably, renters have been protected through controversial rent freezes and restrictions on evictions, while there has been little formal intervention to protect mortgagors. In this session, Prof Walsh explores this research in conversation with Prof Lorna Fox-O’Mahony, discussing some of the following issues: Should issues of hardship and public health be intertwined or disentangled when it comes to property law responses to COVID-19? What is the significance of ideas of home in this context, and how has it shaped legal and political responses to COVID-19? Should renters and mortgagors be treated differently? Should residential and commercial properties be treated differently? What is the role of the Constitution’s protections for property rights in this context?

Big Tech Governance: Lessons from the Financial Services Sector

18 November 2020, 6:00pm (IST)

Prof Blanaid Clarke in conversation with Prof Claire Hill.

Webinar Recording

Big Tech companies play an increasingly significant role in social, economic and political life and there is a general consensus that improved regulation is necessary. Prof Clarke’s research examines the manner in which these companies are governed focussing on the board structures and processes. She explores whether there are lessons to be taken from the regulation of banks which might usefully be transposed in this sector. In their conversation, Prof Clarke and Prof Hill will discuss some of the following issues: How important is cultural leadership? How should corporate purpose be defined? Does CSR and Profit Maximisation converge? Should Big Tech companies be considered to be of systemic importance? Should board composition be regulated in the same manner for Big Tech companies as for banks? Should Big Tech firms be required to act in the public interest?

Irish Reunification: Challenges and Opportunities

25 November 2020, 6:00pm (IST)

Prof Oran Doyle in conversation with Prof Brendan O'Leary.

Webinar Recording

The Brexit vote in the UK and its implementation have put the discussion of Irish reunification back on the table. In this conversation, Prof Doyle and Prof O’Leary will explore both the ways in which Irish reunification could occur and some of the most important issues that would have to be addressed in any unified State. What does the Good Friday Agreement have to say? Would there need to be a new Constitution? How could votes in the North and South be sequenced? How could voters be helped to make an informed choice? Should the Stormont institutions continue for Northern Ireland in any unified state? What implications would this have for governance in the North and in the unified State as a whole? Should provisions of the Irish Constitution be amended to accommodate the identity of those from Ulster Scots and Ulster British backgrounds? How might such changes be viewed by other citizens of the newly unified State?


Professor Blanaid Clarke holds the McCann FitzGerald Chair in Corporate Law. Her research interests include corporate governance and financial services law.  She is Deputy Chairman of the Irish Banking Culture Board and the Irish representative on the OECD’s Corporate Governance Committee. She is also a member of ESMAs Takeover Bids Network and a Vice President of the Academic Board of the European Banking Institute. Previously, she was a member of the Irish Central Bank Commission, the European Commission’s Informal Expert Group on Company Law and its Reflection Group on the Future of EU Company Law.

Professor Oran Doyle was the Head of the School of Law from 2014-2018. An expert on Irish constitutional law and comparative constitutional law, he is the author of The Constitution of Ireland: A Contextual Analysis published by Hart in 2018. He is a member of the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland.

Prof Lorna Fox O';Mahony is Professor of Law at Essex Law School and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Her work on the development of a legal concept of home is often cited as laying the foundations for new approaches to the idea of home in law, including giving content to rights to housing and home. She is author or editor of ten books, including, Conceptualising Home: Theories, Laws and Policies (2006, Hart Publishing).

Prof Claire Hill holds the James L. Krusemark Chair in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Her research interests include corporate governance, capital structure, structured finance, rating agencies, secured debt, contract theory, law and language, and behavioural economics. She is Director of the Institute for Law and Rationality, Associate Director, Institute for Law and Economics and an Affiliated Faculty Member at the Center for Cognitive Sciences.

Prof Brendan O’Leary is Lauder Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty eight books and collections, and the author or co-author of hundreds of articles and chapters in peer-reviewed publications. His latest production is a three-volume study called A Treatise on Northern Ireland, published  by Oxford University Press. In April 2020 it received the James S. Donnelly Sr. best book prize in History and Social Science of the American Conference on Irish Studies.

Prof Yvonne Scannell is an emeritus professor in the School of Law. One of Europe's foremost experts on environmental and planning law, she is currently a Judge of the European Nuclear Energy Tribunal at the OCED in Paris.

Prof Rachael Walsh teaches and researches in the areas of property law and theory and constitutional law and theory. Her particular research focus is on the interface between property law and constitutional law. Her monograph on this topic, ‘Property Rights and Social Justice: Progressive Property in Action’ will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.