I am an Associate Professor and Fellow at the School of Law, teaching and researching in the areas of property law and theory and constitutional law and theory. I am the Law School's Director of Global Engagement and Erasmus Coordinator. I previously worked as a permanent Lecturer in Law at King's College London. There, I taught property law and environmental law and served as the Director of the Joint Degree with Columbia Law School and the Study Abroad Programme. Prior to that, I was an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin. I completed my PhD at Trinity College Dublin, where I was funded by an Ussher Scholarship. I obtained an LLM degree from Harvard Law School as a Fulbright Scholar. I am also a qualified barrister.
I am recognised internationally as a leader in constitutional law and property law. Throughout my work, I aim to connect legal theory and practice through analysing the underpinnings and drivers of law 'in action'. Key recent publications include Property Rights and Social Justice: Progressive Property in Action (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and Kelly: The Irish Constitution (Bloomsbury, 2018), which is the seminal text on Irish constitutional law. These books complement peer-reviewed publications in journals of high standing in both constitutional law and property law.
My research examines how constitutions shape democracies and set parameters for solving social problems, both procedural and value-based. In my current projects, I analyse the role of citizens in constitutional reform and the balance between the individual and the community in the protection of property rights. I do so through the prism of global challenges, for example securing safe and secure housing (including over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic), effectively designing and implementing climate mitigation measures, and restoring trust in democracy.
My property scholarship focuses in various ways on the question of how the State can restrict the exercise of property rights to secure the common good, analysing whether property law, and ideology, limits the legal and political scope for progressive policy reforms in response to urgent problems such as climate change. Accordingly, my research cross-cuts a range of subject areas, including property law and theory, constitutional law and theory, environmental law, planning law, housing law, and human rights law.
As well as focusing on the interaction between constitutional law and property law, I research other constitutional problems. Given the rise of populist politics around the world, there is an urgent need to reconnect people with political processes. Increasing citizen participation is proposed as one solution, with Ireland pointed to internationally as a leading example. Arising out of my role as constitutional law advisor to the Irish Citizens' Assembly, my research also explores the role that citizens play in changing and updating constitutions, in particular through deliberative processes.
Publications and Further Research Outputs
Developing Resilient Property Systems: Legal Opportunities and Challenges in, editor(s)Ernst Marais , Rethinking Expropriation Law, Netherlands , Boom/Eleven, 2023, [Rachael Walsh]
Oran Doyle and Rachael Walsh, Assessing the Influence and Legitimacy of Citizen Deliberation on Abortion: A Reply to Eoin Carolan and Seana Glennon, International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2023
Progressive Property's Thomistic Turn: Connecting Human Sustenance and Human Flourishing in, editor(s)Chris Bevan , Property Law and Theory Handbook, Edward Elgar, UK, Edward Elgar, 2023, [Rachael Walsh]
Rachael Walsh, Distributing Collective Burdens and Benefits: O'Reilly, TD, and the Housing Crisis, Irish Judicial Studies Journal , 6, (3), 2022, p63 - 70, p63-70
Rachael Walsh, Distributing the Costs of Change: Property Transitions and Pacts, International Journal of Law in Context, 18, 2022
Oran Doyle and Rachael Walsh, Constitutional Amendment and Public Will Formation: Deliberative Mini-Publics as a Tool for Consensus Democracy, International Journal of Constitutional Law, 20, 2022, p398 - 427
Rachael Walsh, Review of Open Democracy : Reinventing Popular Rule for the 21st Century, by Helene Landemore , International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2021, phttps://doi.org/10.1093/icon/m
Deliberative Mini-Publics as a Response to Populist Democratic Backsliding in, editor(s)Maria Cahill, Colm O'Cinneide, Seán Ó Conaill and Conor O'Mahony , Constitutional Change and Popular Sovereignty: Populism, Politics and the Law in Ireland, London, Routledge, 2021, [Oran Doyle and Rachael Walsh]
Rachael Walsh, Climate Action and Constitutional Property Rights - Partners or Adversaries?, Dublin University Law Journal, 2021
Rachael Walsh, Property Rights and Social Justice: Progressive Property in Action, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2021
Securing Possession of the Home in the COVID-19 Context in, editor(s)Elsabe van der Sijde , Property Responses to a Global Pandemic, South Africa, Juta, 2021, [Rachael Walsh]
Oran Doyle and Rachael Walsh, Deliberation in Constitutional Amendment: Reappraising Ireland's Deliberative Mini-Publics, European Constitutional Law Review, 16, (3), 2020, p440 - 465
Deirdre Ahern and Suryapratim Roy, Policy Responses to Covid-19 In Ireland: Supporting Individuals, Communities, Businesses, and the Economy, COVID-19 Legal Observatory, Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, December , 2020, p1 - 108
Oran Doyle and Rachael Walsh, Participatory Democracy in Ireland: Citizens' Assemblies, Studi Senesi, 131, 2019, p485 - 496
Rachael Walsh and Lorna Fox O'Mahony, Land Law, Property Ideologies and the British Irish Relationship, Common Law World Review, 47, 2018, p7 - 34
GW Hogan, GF Whyte, D Kenny, R Walsh, Kelly: The Irish Constitution, Fifth edition, Dublin, Bloomsbury Professional, 2018, 1 - 2765pp
The Marginality of Property in Expropriation Law: A Comparative Assessment in, editor(s)Gustav Muller, Reghard Brits, Bradley Slade, Jeannie van Eyk , Transformative Property Law, South Africa, Juta, 2018, pp21 - 51, [Bradley Slade and Rachael Walsh]
Rachael Walsh, Property, Human Flourishing, and St Thomas Aquinas: Assessing a Contemporary Revival, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 31, (1), 2018, p197 - 222
Comparative Constitutional Property Law in, editor(s)Lionel Smith and Michele Graziadei , Research Handbook on Comparative Property Law, US, Elgar, 2017, pp193 - 216, [Rachael Walsh and Andre van der Walt]
Reviewing Expropriations: The Search for 'External Guidance" in, editor(s)Hanri Mostert and Leon Verstappen , Rethinking Public Interest in Expropriation Law, The Netherlands and South Africa, Eleven Publishing and Juta Publishing, 2015, [Rachael Walsh]
Gerard Hogan, David Kenny, Rachael Walsh, An Anthology of Declarations of Unconstitutionality, Irish Jurist, 54, 2015, p1 - 35
Rachael Walsh, Stability and Predictability in English Property Law - The Impact of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights Reassessed, Law Quarterly Review, 131, (October), 2015, p585 - 609
Belfast Corporation v OD Cars - Setting Parameters for Restricting Use in, editor(s)Robin Hiickey, Simon Douglas and Emma Waring , Landmark Cases in Property Law, Oxford: UK, Hart Publishing, 2015, pp227 - 252, [Rachael Walsh]
Expropriation in Ireland in, editor(s)Jacques Sluysmans, Emma Waring, Stijn Verbist , Expropriation Law in Europe, Netherlands, Wolters Kluwer, 2015, [Rachael Walsh]
Rachael Walsh and Eloise Scotford, The Symbiosis of Property and English Environmental Law - Property Rights in a Public Law Context, Modern Law Review, 76, 2013, p1010-
The Evolving Relationship Between Property and Participation in English Planning Law in, editor(s)Nick Hopkins , Modern Studies in Property Law Volume 7, Oxford, UK, Hart Publishing, 2013, pp283 - [Rachael Walsh]
King's Law Journal, Special Edition, 'The Interface of Public and Private Concepts of Property', 24, 2, (2013), Rachael Walsh, Tanya Aplin, Leslie Turano-Taylor, [eds.], Special Edition Editor
Rachael Walsh , Private Property Rights in the Drafting of the Irish Constitution - A Communitarian Compromise, Dublin University Law Review, 33, 2011, p86-
Rachael Walsh , Integrating Proportionality into Public Authority Possession Applications - Conclusive Answers from the Supreme Court?, King's Law Journal, 22, 2011, p414-
Rachael Walsh , Property in the Margins, King's Law Journal, 21, 2010, p591-
Rachael Walsh , The Principles of Social Justice - The Compulsory Acquisition of Private Property for Redevelopment in the United States and Ireland, Dublin University Law Journal , 32, 2010, p1-
Rachael Walsh , The Constitution, Property Rights and Proportionality - A Reappraisal, Dublin University Law Journal , 31, 2009, p1-
H2020 consortium, 'RESILENS: Realising European Resilience for Critical Infrastructure', http://resilens.eu, 2018, -
Rachael Walsh, Compensation for Expropriation - 'Democratic Discounting', Rethinking Expropriation: Compensation for Expropriation, University of Cape Town, 7-9 December 2016, 2016
Rachael Walsh, Tanya Aplin, Leslie Turano-Taylor, The Public/Private Interface of Property, King's Law Journal, 24, (2), 2013, p1-
DescriptionI am a recognised leader in constitutional law and property law. My research examines how constitutions shape democracies and set parameters for solving social problems, both procedural and value-based. In my current projects, I analyse the role of citizens in constitutional reform and the balance between the individual and the community in the protection of property rights. I do so through the prism of global challenges, for example securing safe housing, designing and implementing climate mitigation measures, and restoring trust in democracy. Accordingly, my research has wide-reaching relevance, reflected in its selection for the Provost's Annual Review (2019). Tension between property rights and collective interests underpins regulatory responses to social problems, with governments regularly citing property rights as a barrier to change. Building on previous publications in leading peer-reviewed journals, in Property and Social Justice: Progressive Property in Action (CUP, 2021), I challenge this claim. I show how property rights and social justice can be mediated in a way that does not impede progressive reforms. I also addressed this issue, as well as other constitutional law problems, as a co-author of Kelly: The Irish Constitution (Bloomsbury, 2018). This treatise is recognised as providing authoritative analysis of Irish constitutional law and is regularly cited by the Supreme Court. Arising out of my role as constitutional law advisor to the Irish Citizens' Assembly, my research also explores the role that citizens play in constitutional change. This scholarship, published in leading international peer-reviewed journals such as the International Constitutional Law Journal and the European Constitutional Law Review, responds to international interest in Ireland as a leader in deliberative democracy. I advised the German National Citizens' Assembly and the EU Committee of the Regions amongst others on the topic. In addition, I have a strong funding record. For example, I was part of the team that secured c. 40,000 in funding for the COVID-19 Law and Human Rights Observatory in the Dean of Research's COVID-19 Response call. I led the Law School's involvement in the H2020 RESILENS project, which was awarded 4,091,842.50 in EU FP7 funding to develop tools for the creation and maintenance of resilient critical infrastructure.
- Funded H2020 interdisciplinary project, working with SME's, public bodies and academics on resilience planning in core infrastructure development.
- Funding Agency
- EU Commission
- Date From
- Estimated June 2015
Appointed member of the Expert Advisory Group of the Citizen's Assembly on the Eighth Amendment, Fixed Term Parliaments, and Referendums.
Board member, Modern Studies in Property Law. This is a highly prestigious international property law group, focused on a large conference and a research workshop every two years, as well as a resulting peer-reviewed publication.
Fellow, South African Research Chair in Property Law - appointed on the basis of outstanding research in comparative constitutional property law, functions include attending at the Chair to carry out research, delivery of graduate seminars and examination of PhD's.
External reviewer for the South African research funding body, the National Research Foundation. Functions include reviewing and assessing research outputs from individual researchers, and reviewing institutions from a teaching and learning, as well as a research perspective.
Peer-reviewer, Cambridge University Press
Peer-reviewer. The Conveyancer journal.
Peer-Reviewer, European Property Law Journal
Member, Editorial Board, King's Law Journal
Peer-reviewer, Dublin University Law Journal
National representative for Ireland for the Core Principles of European Expropriation Law and Obligations to climate-proof real estate EU-wide research projects.
Member, Expert Group on Expropriation
Peer-Reviewer, European Property Law Journal
External Examiner (PhD) - University of Glasgow
Consultant, Law Reform Commission of Ireland
Awards and Honours
Provost's PhD Project Award
Provost's Teaching Award
Accelerated Advancement in the Assistant Professor grade
Laidlaw Scholar Supervisor
Ussher Award for PhD studies
Fulbright Scholar Award
Rodney Overend Educational Trust award for Ph.D. studies,
James Murnaghan Prize, The Honorable Society of the King's Inns
Gold Medal Award, TCD
Henry Hunter Hamilton Prize, TCD
Board Member, Modern Studies in Property Law: Modern Studies in Property Law is the leading UK property law conference, which meets biennially in full conference format, and in workshop format on alternate years. It results in a prestigious peer-reviewed edited collection published by Hart. The Board steers conference activities and also manages a research mentoring programme and support for postgraduate research.
Fellow, South African Research Chair in Property Law Group: The Research Chair is the leading centre for property law research in South Africa, which has a central role in crucial debates concerning access to housing and land. As a Fellow, I contribute to its research activities and to its postgraduate programmes, through teaching and as a PhD examiner.
Member, Expert Group on Expropriation: The Expert Group brings together by invitation leading academics and practitioners working in the field of expropriation law to develop good governance standards in expropriation, in particular with a view to securing sustainable development. The Group holds regular international conferences and publishes peer-reviewed edited collections.
Member, Society of Legal Scholars
Member, Irish Association of Law Teachers
Member, International Society of Public Law
Member, Young Property Lawyers' Association
Member, Association of Law, Property and Society
Member, Irish Jurisprudence Society