Dr David Kenny is an Assistant Professor of Law in the Law School, teaching Irish and comparative constitutional law, conflict of laws, critical legal theory and law and literature. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Harvard Law School, and the Honourable Society of the King's Inns, and is a alumnus of the US State Department's Fulbright programme.
Dr Kenny's research specialises in Irish and comparative constitutional law. He is co-author of the recent 5th edition of Kelly: the Irish Constitution, the leading text on Irish Constitutional Law, as well as many peer-reviewed articles in leading national and international journals on topics such as proportionality, constitutional silence, referendums, and executive branch legal advisors. His current research projects focus on critical accounts of comparative constitutional law methodology, constitutional culture, and referendums, as well as on constitutional implications of Brexit for Ireland. He also writes in the field of law and literature.
Dr Kenny has given expert evidence on constitutional issues to the Citizen's Assembly, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Defence, the Oireachtas Special Covid-19 Committee, and the Northern Ireland Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. He is currently a member of the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland, convened by the Constitution Unit of University College London and supported by funding from the British Academy and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. He is coordinator of the State Governance section of the Trinity College Dublin Covid-19 Legal Observatory.
Dr Kenny teaches Constitutional Law I to first year students; Critical Perspectives on Law and Conflict of Laws to fourth years students; and leads a final year dissertation research group on law and literature. He has previously taught advanced constitutional law module to fourth year undergraduates and Masters students. He was a recipient of the Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.
He also has two PhD students awaiting examination: Mr James Rooney, whose thesis explored judicial attitudes to social and economic rights, and Mr Conor Casey, who examined theories of executive power.
Dr Kenny regularly contributed to media discussion of constitutional issues, referendums, and Brexit, having written articles in the Irish Times, the Irish Independent and theJournal.ie, and appearing on Morning Ireland, Marion Finucane, the Six One News, Prime Time, and Sky News. He is open to media queries on matters of Irish or international constitutional law.
Publications and Further Research Outputs
David Kenny, The Human Pared Away: Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell as an Archetype of Legal Pragmatism , Law and Literature (forthcoming) , 2021
The Constitutional Politics of a United Ireland in, editor(s)Oran Doyle, Aileen McHarg, Jo Murkins , Constitutions Under Pressure: The Brexit Challenge for Ireland and the UK (forthcoming), Cambridge University Press, 2021, [Oran Doyle, David Kenny, Christopher McCrudden]
David Kenny and Conor Casey, The Resilience of Executive Dominance in Westminster Systems: Ireland 2016-2019, Public Law (FORTHCOMING), 2021
David Kenny, The virtues of unprincipled constitutional compromises: Church and State in the Irish Constitution, European Constitutional Law Review (FORTHCOMING), 2021
David Kenny, Review of The Triangular Constitution by Tom Flynn , Common Law World Review, 49, (1), 2020, p92-106
David Kenny and Conor Casey, A One Person Supreme Court? The Attorney General, constitutional advice to government, and the case for transparency, Dublin University Law Journal , 42, (1), 2020, p90 - 118
The Risks of Referendums: "Referendum culture" in Ireland as a solution? in, editor(s)Maria Cahill, Conor O'Mahony and Sean Ó Conaill , Popular Sovereignty and Populism in Ireland (FORTHCOMING), Routledge, 2020, [David Kenny]
David Kenny and Conor Casey, Shadow Constitutional Review: The Dark Side of Pre-Enactment Political Review in Ireland and Japan, International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON), 18, (1), 2020, p51 - 77
Are the people the masters? Constitutional Referendums in Ireland in, editor(s)Richard Albert and Richard Stacey , The Legality and Legitimacy of Referendums (FORTHCOMING), Oxford University Press, 2020, [David Kenny and Aileen Kavanagh]
Sovranità e Federalismo (Sovereignty and Federalism) in, editor(s)Guerino D'Ignazio , Il Sistema Costituzionale delgi Stati Uniti d'America (The Constitutional System of the United States) (FORTHCOMING), Wolters Kluwer, 2020, pp175 - 202, [David Kenny and Andrea Pin]
David Kenny, Criminal Assets Bureau v Murphy - just the exclusionary rule in a civil context, or a new approach to unconstitutionality in the criminal process?, Irish Supreme Court Review , 1, (1), 2019, p187 - 204
The Failed Referendum to Abolish the Ireland's Senate: Rejecting Unicameralism in a Small and Relatively Homogenous Country in, editor(s)Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia, Cristina Fasone , Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures Bicameralism under Pressure, Edward Elgar, 2019, pp163 - 182, [David Kenny]
Ireland in, editor(s)Carsten Gerner-Beuerle, Federico M Mucciarelli, Edmund Schuster and Mathias Sims , The Private International Law of Companies in the European Union, Munich, CH Beck, 2019, pp461 - 488, [Blanaid Clarke and David Kenny]
Richard Albert and David Kenny , The challenges of constitutional silence: Doctrine, theory, and applications, International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON), 2018, p880 - 886
GW Hogan, GF Whyte, D Kenny, R Walsh, Kelly: The Irish Constitution, Fifth edition, Dublin, Bloomsbury Professional, 2018, 1 - 2765pp
David Kenny, Proportionality and the Inevitability of the Local: a comparative localist analysis of Canada and Ireland, American Journal of Comparative Law, 66, (3), 2018, p537 - 578
David Kenny, Abortion, The Irish Constitution, and Constitutional Change, Revista de Investigações Constitucionais / Brazilian Journal of Constitutional Research , 5, (3), 2018, p257 - 275
Choice-of-Court Agreements, the Italian Torpedo, and the Recast of the Brussels I Regulation (republication) in, editor(s)Wendy Collins Perdue , Procedure and Private International Law, Edward Elgar, 2017, pp197 - 209, [David Kenny and Rosemary Hennigan]
David Kenny, Remedial Innovation, Constitutional Culture, and the Supreme Court at a Crossroads, Dublin University Law Journal, 40(2), 2017, p85 - 106
David Kenny, Politics all the way down: originalism as rhetoric, Diritto pubblico comparato ed europeo (DPCE) Online, 31, (3), 2017, p661 - 667
Constitutional Change and Interest Group Politics: Ireland's Children's Rights Amendment in, editor(s)Richard Albert, Xenophon Contiades, Alkmene Fotiadou , The Foundations and Tradition of Constitutional Amendment, Hart Publishing, 2017, pp199 - 218, [Oran Doyle and David Kenny]
Merit, Diversity, And Interpretive Communities: The (Non-Party) Politics Of Judicial Appointments And Constitutional Adjudication in, editor(s)Laura Cahillane, Tom Hickey, James Gallen , Politics, Judges, and the Irish Constitution, Manchester University Press, 2017, pp136 - 149, [David Kenny]
David Kenny and Liz Heffernan, Peer Observation of Teaching, Dublin University Law Journal, 2017, p205 - 216
Defamation and Privacy and the Rome II Regulation in, editor(s)Peter Stone and Youseph Farah , Research Handbook on the Conflict of Laws, Elgar, 2015, pp315 - 343, [David Kenny and Liz Heffernan]
David Kenny, A Review of Neil Walker's "Intimation of Global Law", by Neil Walker , American Journal of Comparative Law, 2015, p1053-1060
David Kenny and Rosemary Hennigan, Choice of Court Agreements, the Italian Torpedo, and the Recast of the Brussels I Regulation: a possible snag, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 64, (1), 2015, p197 - 209
Gerard Hogan, David Kenny and Rachael Walsh, An Anthology of Unconstitutionality, Irish Jurist, (54), 2015, p1 - 30
David Kenny, Conventions in Judicial Decisionmaking: Epistemology and the Limits of Critical Self Consciousness, Dublin University Law Journal, 38, (2), 2015, p432 - 441
David Kenny, Proportionality, the Burden of Proof, and Some Signs of Reconsideration, Irish Jurist, 52, 2014, p141 - 152
David Kenny, Grounding Constitutional Remedies in Reality: the Case for As-Applied Constitutional Challenges in Ireland, Dublin University Law Journal, 35, 2014, p53 - 77
David Kenny, Re Flightlease: The 'Real And Substantial Connection' Test For Recognition And Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments Fails To Take Flight In Ireland, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 63, (1), 2014, p197 - 212
David Kenny, Recent Developments in the Right of the Person in Article 40.3: Fleming v Ireland and the Spectre of Unenumerated Rights, Dublin University Law Journal, 2013, (36), 2013, p322 - 341
The Separation of Powers and Remedies: The Legislative Power and Remedies for Unconstitutional Legislation in Comparative Perspective in, editor(s)Eoin Carolan , The Constitution of Ireland: Perspectives and Prospects, Dublin, Bloomsbury Professional, 2012, pp191 - 216, [David Kenny]
David Kenny, Fair Procedures in Irish Administrative Law: Towards a Constitutional Duty to Act Fairly in Dellway Investments v NAMA, Dublin University Law Journal, 34, 2011, p47 - 73
David Kenny, A Dormant Doctrine of Overbreadth: Abstract Review and Ius Tertii in Irish Proportionality Analysis, Dublin University Law Journal, 32, 2010, p25 - 50
Renwick, Whysall et al, Interim Report of Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland (forthcoming), Constitution Unit, UCL, October , 2020
David Kenny and Eoin Daly, Report on the Constitutional Limits of the "Money Message" Procedure under Article 17.2 of the Constitution of Ireland, May, 2019, 1-20
Frank Clarke, David Kenny, Aine Ryall, How Courts Decide: adjudicative process of Supreme Administrative Courts, ACA (association of Supreme Administrative Courts) Europe, 2019
David Kenny and Rosemary Hennigan, In Two Minds: Atticus Finch and the Limits of Law, Dublin Review of Books, (5), 2016
David Kenny, Goshawk Dedicated Ltd v Life Receivables Ireland Ltd - Jurisdiction, Lis Alibi Pendens and Problematic Use of the Brussels Regime, Trinity College Law Review, 12, 2009, p1-