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Undergraduate Modules, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

Modules

Book of Modules 2020-21 (Academic Year 2020-21).

Module

Code

Semester

ECTS

Freshman Modules
Contract LAU11542 HT 10
Constitutional Law I LAU12501 MT 10
Criminal Law LAU12552 HT 10
Foundations of Law I LAU11511 MT 5
Foundations of Law II LAU11561 HT 5
Jurisprudence LAU10522 MT 5
Legislation and Regulation LAU11571 HT 5
Torts LAU11531 MT 10
Senior Freshman Modules
Constitutional Law II LAU23451 MT 10
Equity LAU22522 HT 10
Land Law LAU22511 MT 10
Private Law Remedies LAU22532 HT 10
Mooting Programme
Junior Sophister Modules
Administrative Law LAU34001 MT 10
Commercial Law LAU34091 HT 10
Company Law LAU34022 HT 10
Competition Policy LAU34051 MT 10
Constitutional Law II LAU23451 MT 10
Criminology LAU34041 MT 10
Employment Law LAU34111 HT 10
English Land Law LAU34121 HT 10
Environmental Law LAU34131 HT 10
Equity LAU22522 HT 10
EU Law LAU34032 HT 10
European Human Rights Law LAU34061 MT 10
Evidence LAU34011 MT 10
Family and Child Law LAU34141 MT 10
Private Law Remedies LAU22532 HT 10
Public Interest Law LAU34151 HT 10
Public International Law LAU34081 MT 10
Senior Sophister Modules
Advanced EU LAU44102 HT 10
Clinical Legal Education LAU44012 MT 10
Conflicts of Laws LAU44112 HT 10
Critical Perspectives on Law LAU44120 MT 5
Current Issues in Constitutional Law LAU44161 MT 5
Financial Services Law LAU44132 HT 10
Food Law LAU44032 MT 10
Insolvency Law LAU44060 HT 5
Intellectual Property Law LAU44072 MT 10
International Human Rights LAU44142 HT 10
International Trade Law LAU44050 MT 5
IT Law LAU44052 HT 5
Legal Philosophy LAU34071 MT 10
Media Law LAU44082 MT 10
Medical Law and Ethics LAU44152 HT 10
Refugee and Immigration Law LAU TBC HT 10
Tax Law LAU TBC HT 5
Independent Research Requirement Various MT/HT 10
Senior Sophister Research Project Modules
Learning Outcomes
Assessment
Research Project Module Strand Details and Sub-Topics
Modules available to Visiting Students
Modules available to Law Visiting Students
Modules available to Non-Law Student Visiting Students
Modules available to Non-Law Students

Junior Freshman Law Modules

Contract Law: (LAU11542) 10 ECTS

Contract is one of the core subjects of the common law of obligations. It involves analysis of the legal principles behind the rules relating to the formulation of contracts and the circumstances in which they will not come into existence or in which they cease to be effective.

Learning Outcomes:

Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Engage in sophisticated, creative and critical discussion of common law concepts, both orally and in writing.
  • Analyse and apply the substantive principles of the law of contract.
  • Identify contractual issues in disputes, and advise accordingly.
  • Interpret and draft key contractual provisions.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 2nd Semester. 

    Assessment:

    2 Essays, 50% each

    Lecturer:

    Dr. Blanaid Clarke/Dr. Eoin O’Dell

    Erasmus/Visiting Students:

    Places are limited. Priority will be given to students studying law in their home university and are attending Trinity on a law exchange programme.Auditing this modules is only possible subject to availabilty of spaces

    Available:

    All JF students

    Constitutional Law I: (LAU12501) 10 ECTS

    Constitutional law I introduces students to the study of constitutional law and theory, addressing a number of key doctrines and significant points of debate. The first part of the module addresses a number of constitutional rights, including rights relating to the criminal trial, property and unenumerated rights. The second part of the module addresses the separation of powers under the Irish Constitution, focusing on the limits of and interaction between the legislative, judicial and executive powers of government. The third part of the module addresses the overarching issues of constitutional litigation and constitutional interpretation.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Map the basic structure of government in Ireland.
  • Identify, evaluate and critique the role of constitutional law in ensuring respect for human rights and democratic governance.
  • Apply constitutional law concepts and doctrines for the purpose of solving concrete practical problems.
  • Identify the role which judicial interpretation plays in the development of constitutional law.
  • Critically analyse the case law interpreting Articles 38, 40 and 43 of the Constitution, articulating a coherent position on the ways in which constitutional law should develop in the future.
  • Apply critical analysis and problem-solving skills and techniques to different essay and problem-based questions on the implications of the above constitutional provisions/
  • Write convincingly on basic issues in the development of Irish constitutional law, grounding analysis in the constitutional text and decided case.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 1st Semester. 

    Assessment:

    Written Assignment - 20%, Discussion Board - 5%, Examination - 75% (1 x 2 hours paper)

    Lecturer:

    Dr David Kenny

    Erasmus/Visiting Students:

    Places are limited.  Priority will be given to students studying law in their home university and are attending Trinity on a law exchange programme. Auditing this module is only possible subject to availability of spaces.

    Available:

    JF Law, Law and French and Law and German, SF Law and Business, Law and French, Law and German, Law and Political Science.

    Criminal Law: (LAU12552) 10 ECTS

    The focus of this module is on substantive criminal law: defining crimes, basic concepts in criminal law, the general principles of criminal liability, different defences and types of criminal offence. By the end of the module students should be familiar with the basic principles underlying the Irish system of criminal law and with the basic aspects of the criminal court process. Students are encouraged to think critically and analytically about the rules, judgments and legislation that are studied over the course of the module.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify and critically analyse the basic principles of criminal liability and substantive criminal law.
  • Appraise and evaluate general rules governing criminal defences.
  • Appraise and evaluate specific principles relating to particular categories of offences.
  • Appraise and evaluate rules and principles regulating different modes of criminal liability.
  • Apply critical analysis and problem-solving skills and techniques to different essay and problem-based criminal law questions
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 seminars in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Essay (1,500 words) – 25%; Examination – 75%

    Lecturer:

    Harriet Burgess

    Erasmus/Visiting Students:

    Places are limited.  Priority will be given to students studying law in their home university and are attending Trinity on a law exchange programme.  Auditing this module is only possible subject to availability of spaces.

    Available:

    JF Law, Law and French and Law and German, SF Law and Business, Law and Political Science.

    Foundations of Law I (LAU11511) 5 ECTS

    This module introduces junior freshman students to the key features of the Irish legal system and to aspects of legal skills. The module considers various aspects of the legal system including the sources of law, the Irish court system and the principles of stare decisis (rules of precedent) within the common law. It also seeks to locate the Irish legal system more broadly within the system of legal families. Finally, it seeks to consider some of the overarching values of the Irish legal system, with specific reference to the role of international human rights in this regard. Overall, it aims to attune students to the political, social and economic context of the Irish legal system, and to that end, particular emphasis is placed on current developments that may affect its operation.

    The module also seeks to equip students with the basic skills required for the study of law. It introduces students to legal research and reasoning and provides practical training in essay writing and legal problem solving.

    The module provides students with an opportunity for structured reflection on learning. It aims to orient students to third level education by heightening awareness of approaches to learning and fostering effective strategies for the study of law.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify and critically analyse the various sources of law in the Irish system and the relationship between them, and in particular the role of the superior courts in the creation of binding precedent.
    • Engage in effective legal research both in the Library and online.
    • Demonstrate the effective use of practical techniques for solving legal problems.
    • Apply basic legal writing skills when completing assignments.
    • Critically evaluate access to justice within the Irish legal system.

    Teaching:

    2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of seminars per week (except in week 1) in the first six weeks of the 1st Semester.  

    Assessment:

    1,500 word critical analysis essay – 80%
    Group problem question – 20%

    Lecturer:

    Prof Neville Cox

    Available

    JF students only

    Foundations of Law II (LAU11561) 5 ECTS

    This module builds on Foundations of Law I and continues to introduce junior fresh students to further key features of the Irish and European legal system and to aspects of legal skills. The module considers first the rules and principles governing statutory interpretation before going on to provide an overview of public international law (incl. Council of Europe) and the impact this has on the Irish legal system. Due to its considerable impact on Irish law, a significant portion of the module is devoted to acquiring a basic understanding of the law of the European Union. Topics covered include the composition and roles of the EU institutions, fundamental legal doctrines such as primacy, direct and indirect effect and State liability as well as the judicial oversight and enforcement of EU law.

    Learning Outcomes:

    By the end of this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify and critically analyse sources of law in the Irish system and the relationship between them.
  • Apply appropriate techniques of statutory interpretation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of international and European law as well as the impact of these legal orders on the Irish legal system.
  • Apply basic principles and doctrines of European law in light of practical problems.
  • Show an appreciation for the judicial procedures foreseen in EU law.
  • Demonstrate the effective use of practical techniques for solving legal problems.
  • Apply basic legal writing skills when completing assignments.
  • Engage in effective legal research both in the Library and online.
  • Teaching:

    2 hours of lectures per week and 1 hour of seminars per week (except in week 1) in the 2nd semester. 

    Assessment:

    Assessed Coursework (2,000 word EU law problem question) – 100%

    Lecturer:

    Dr David Fennelly

    Available

    JF students only

    Jurisprudence: (LAU10522) 5 ECTS

    The purpose of this module is to provide students with an overview of some key issues in contemporary jurisprudence and moral and political philosophy, encouraging them to engage critically and analytically with current debates. This module covers issues concerning the nature of law and adjudication, situated against the broader backdrop of the links between law and morality.

    The theme of linkages between law and morality is further explored through an analysis of the concept of the rule of law, the interaction between entrenched legal rights and democracy, and the application of moral philosophy to the legal concept of strict liability in both tort and criminal law.

    Not only will this course provide students with a solid foundation in jurisprudence, it is also designed to illuminate and deepen understanding of other aspects of law by introducing students to relevant philosophical concepts at the very outset of their law degree at Trinity College Dublin. .

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify the nature, purpose and limits of law;
    • Identify and analyse the key principles underlying democratic legal systems;
    • Articulate the multiple relationships between law and morality;
    • Analyse the tensions between democracy and rights;
    • Identify and analyse applications of moral philosophy to aspects of both public and private law, and
    • Engage in theoretical analysis and argumentation.

    Teaching:

    2 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Examination (1 x 2 hour paper)

    Lecturers:

    Dr Robert Noonan

    Erasmus / Visiting Students:

    Places are limited. Priority will be given to students studying law in their home university and are attending Trinity on a law exchange programme. Auditing this module is only possible subject to availability of spaces.

    Legislation and Regulation: (LAU11571) 5 ECTS

    This module complements Foundations of Law II and Jurisprudence, and focuses on policy-making and scrutiny of statutory regulation. Students will be guided to reason their way into what statutory regulation is, the need for it, and its limits. To this end, the module introduces a 5P framework of approaching regulatory concerns: philosophy, pragmatism, politics, participation and presentation. It then proceeds to the law-making process, utilising a couple of key debates and concepts to introduce legislative oversight of government, and judicial scrutiny of legislation and regulation.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Appreciate the interaction between self-regulation and statutory regulation.

  • Appreciate concerns that animate policy-making .
  • Get a feel of how Rule of Law is different from specific laws.
  • Appreciate the legislative process and how government is held accountable.
  • Appreciate how the judiciary shapes law through interpretation, oversight and review.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 1 hour of seminars per week in the 2nd semester

    Assessment:

    Review of Legislation – 70% Mock Parliament/Continuous Assessment – 30%

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Surya Roy

    Available:

    All JF Students

    Torts: (LAU11531) 10 ECTS

    This is a standard course designed to provide Freshman students with an introduction to the law of torts. Topics covered include the major torts such as negligence, defamation and nuisance, but also issues such as defences, limitation periods and the interaction between the law of torts and the Constitution.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify and analyse the key principles underlying the law of tort.
    • Use appropriate legal concepts, relevant judicial precedents and statutory law to solve concrete practical problems.
    • Explain how tort law seeks to give effect to social policies as well as address issues of personal responsibility.
    • Differentiate between liability for intentional wrongs, negligence and strict liability.
    • Discuss the principles of compensation and their practical application in specific contexts.

    Teaching

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Examination (1 x 2 hour paper) - 75%, Essay - (3,000 words) - 25%

    Lecturer

    Dr Desmond Ryan

    Erasmus/
    Visiting Students:
    Places are limited. Priority will be given to students studying law in their home university and are attending Trinity on a law exchange programme. Auditing this module is only possible subject to availability of spaces.
    Available:

    Law, Law and Business, Law and Political Science, SF Law and French and Law and German

    Senior Fresh Modules

    Constitutional Law II: (LAU23451) 10 ECTS

    Constitutions are both engines and sites of change. In this module, we will explore both how Ireland’s constitution has changed and how it has been an instrument of social change. We will also anticipate some ways in which Ireland’s constitution may change in the future. We will focus on two principal mechanisms of change: constitutional amendment and judicial decision-making. But we will also consider how external forces, such as the European Convention on Human Rights, can provoke constitutional change. We will explore this theme of change through an exploration of several discrete topics. In the course of the module, therefore, you will both learn about new areas of constitutional law and learn to analyse critically the phenomenon of constitutional change.

    .

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify instances of constitutional change;
    • Evaluate the appropriateness of different instances of constitutional change;
    • Research independently on constitutional law;
    • Write coherently about constitutional change.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Essay (3,000 words) – 100%

    Lecturer:

    Dr Oran Doyle

    Available

    SF Law, SS Law and French, SS Law and German, JS/SS Law and Business, JS/SS Law and Political Science.

    Equity: (LAU22522) 10 ECTS

    Equity may be described as that body of rules and principles which was developed by the Court of Chancery in order to mitigate the rigours of the common law. This course examines general principles, the law relating to private and public or charitable trusts and the administration of trusts, focusing on the powers and duties of trustees. It also covers some aspects of equitable remedies such as injunctions and examines the principles relating to proprietary estoppel.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate the relationship between law and equity.
  • Identify the contribution made by equity and the law of trusts to legal relationships and commercial situations.
  • Discuss and debate different perspectives on various aspects of the law relating to trusts of a private and public nature.
  • Use appropriate legal concepts, case law and statute law to analyse and solve legal problems relating to the use of equitable remedies.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 2nd Semester. 

    Assessment:

    Examination (2 hour paper)- 100%

    Lecturers:

    Prof Hilary Biehler

    Erasmus/Visiting Students:
    Places are limited.  Priority will be given to students studying law in their home university and are attending Trinity on a law exchange programme. Auditing this module is only possible subject to availability of spaces.

    Available:

    SF Law, Law and French, Law and German, JS, SS Law and Business, Law and Political Science

    Land Law: (LAU22511) 10 ECTS

    This module introduces the student to the considerable body of common law, equitable principles and legislation which governs the various ways in which land may be acquired, held and alienated. It commences with an analysis of the public law protections for rights in land in the Irish legal system, through the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. It engages in critical reflection on the theoretical rationales for private ownership that underpin and affect land law, and on other perspectives from economics and politics that influence the shape of land law. It considers the evolution of land law through both common law and statute, an understanding of which is fundamental to an appreciation of the complex system in operation in Ireland today. A key focus throughout is the changes wrought to Irish land law by the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009. The substantive areas dealt with include the nature of the freehold and leasehold estates in land, co-ownership, the use of land as security, and rights over land (easements and covenants).

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Critically reflect on the tensions that underpin and affect land law from theoretical and policy perspectives.
  • Engage with the interaction between public and private law rules and standards in the context of land.
  • Identify and analyse the evolution of land law and the complexities of the system in Ireland.
  • Outline the body of common law, equitable principles and legislation governing the ways in which land may be acquired, held and alienated.
  • Analyse and apply substantive areas in land law.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 seminars in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Examination (1 hour paper) – 50%, Essay – 50%

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Rachael Walsh

    Erasmus / Visiting Students:

    Places are limited. Priority will be given to students studying law in their home university and are attending Trinity on a law exchange programme. Auditing this module is only possible subject to availability of spaces.

    Available

    SF Law, SF Law and German, SF Law and French, SF Law and Business, SF Law and Political Science.

    Private Law Remedies: (LAU22532) 10 ECTS

    Students will already have encountered private law obligations in the Tort (JF), Contract (JF), and Equity (SF) courses. A conceptual understanding of the remedies available to a plaintiff in civil proceedings at Common Law and in Equity to vindicate those obligations is the capstone of private law analysis. This course analyses the remedial goals (such as compensation for loss, punishment for wrongdoing, or restitution of unjust enrichment) underpinning various personal and proprietary remedies available for private law claims arising from tort, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, equitable wrongs, and so on. The substantive issues (such as causation, remotes, damages, proprietary remedies, and so on) will be considered in their own terms, and compared and contrasted across various subject-areas (such as Contract, Tort, Unjust Enrichment, Equity, and so on).

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate remedial strategies from a range of theoretical and comparative perspectives.
  • Analyse private law claims at law and in equity to determine the appropriate remedy or remedies.
  • Advise and advocate accordingly.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Assignment (2,000 words) 25%, Moot (3,000 words) 40% (3,000 word Memorial 20% & Oral Advocacy 20%), Joint dissenting judgment (5,000 words) 35%

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Eoin O'Dell and Dr. Sarah Hamill

    Available:

    SF Law, Law and French, Law and German, JS/SS Law and Business, Law and Political Science

    Mooting Programme

    This programme gives students the opportunity to develop the written and oral advocacy skills which are a central component of any lawyer's training. Students prepare mock cases for appeal before the Supreme Court, arguing on behalf of their clients. Following a series of introductory classes, students undertake one moot on Private Law Remedies in the second term.

    Junior Sophister Modules

    Administrative Law: (LAU34001) 10 ECTS

    This module examines public administration and the role of judicial review of administrative action. The module addresses the position of the administration in separation of powers. The bulk of the module is concerned with the control of administrative action through judicial review. It will consider in depth the reach of judicial review and in particular, the main grounds of judicial review. The module will also address judicial review procedures and remedies. Throughout this module, comparisons will be made between the English and Irish case law.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Administrative law in Ireland is primarily judge-made. It is a public law subject and is often concerned with issues that are politically contentious and raise separation of powers concerns. Students will need to develop the ability to navigate the complex tapestry of public law principles that have developed in Irish administrative law jurisprudence.

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Describe and assess the rationale for judicial supervision of administrative action.
  • Discuss the substantive case law in a manner that incorporates the principles and theory of administrative law.
  • Classify and compare the grounds for judicial review.
  • Synthesise and evaluate case law on each of the main grounds of review.
  • Apply the relevant principles and predict legal outcomes in factual situations
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Essay (3,000 words) - 50%; Examination (1 x 1 hour paper) - 50%

    Lecturer:

    Prof Hilary Biehler & Dr Catherine Donnelly

    Commercial Law: (LAU34091) 10 ECTS

    The objective of this module is to provide students with a good knowledge of key areas of commercial law. Commercial Law is taught with a practical emphasis on what occurs in business life and will be of benefit to students who intend to go into professional practice in this area. The module begins with the history and nature of commercial law and moves on to consider legal regulation of a range of areas which are significant in the business world. These include the law of agency, insurance law and the banker-customer relationship. A particular emphasis is on the regulation of the sale of goods and supply of services.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify the relationship between law and the commercial world.
  • Use appropriate legal concepts, case law and statute law to analyse and solve legal problems within the world of commerce.
  • Evaluate the contribution made by default rules provided by the law as opposed to choices made by parties using freedom of contract.
  • Map the relationship between law and society in a commercial context, including the role of law in promoting and responding to social change.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and additional seminars in the 2nd Semester

    Assessment:

    Blogpost (1,000 words) 25%, Essay (3,000 words) 75%.

    Lecturers:

    Dr Deirdre Ahern

    Company Law: (LAU34022) 10 ECTS

    This module deals with the law relating to companies. The subjects covered include the incorporation of companies and the legal consequences of incorporation, the constitutional documents of a company, the law relating to corporate capacity, directors' duties and their enforcement; shareholder and creditor protection.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify and evaluate the interplay between the legal entity that is the company and the shareholders and directors, as the other organs of the company, in a wide range of situations;
    • Apply relevant statutory rules and case law to companies in order to analyse and solve legal issues relating to companies;
    • Discuss and debate different perspectives on various aspects of the law relating to companies including the change in legal approach which occurs when a company runs into financial difficulties.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and additional seminars in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Essay (3,000 words) - 25%, Examination (1 x 2 hour paper) - 75%

    Lecturers:

    Prof. Blanaid Clarke & Dr Deirdre Ahern

    Competition Policy: (LAU34051) 10 ECTS

    The object of this inter-disciplinary course is to allow students to gain a good understanding of key legal and economic policies underlying EU competition law. The course engages with the competition law rules which prohibit competitors from entering into anti-competitive agreements and which prevent dominant market players from abusing their dominant position at the expense of weaker competitors. The course begins by explaining key legal and economic concepts which are central to Competition policy. The introductory lectures also focus on the impact of Competition law in a business context and on the extra-territorial impact of the EU Competition regime. It goes on to cover areas such as the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements (including cartels) in Article 101 TFEU and the prohibition on abuse of a dominant position in Article 102 TFEU. The course also examines the public enforcement by the European Commission and the national competition authorities of EU Competition law (under Council Regulation 1/2003). The course concludes with an examination of the 2004 Merger Control Regulation, and the extent to which it regulates market structure and behaviour in situations in which two or more formerly independent commercial companies/entities wish to unite. Recommended reading: Whish & Bailey, Competition Law (9th edition, Oxford University Press, 2018) and Jones & Sufrin, EU Competition Law - Text, Cases and Materials (6th edition, Oxford University Press, 2016).

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify, evaluate and critique the key legal and economic principles underlying competition policy.
  • Locate competition policy within national and EU legal and economic contexts.
  • Understand the salient elements of the principles governing anti-competitive agreements and practices, market abuses perpetrated by dominant players and merger control respectively.
  • Apply critical analysis and problem-solving skills and techniques to different essay topics and seminar questions based on material covered in the module.
  • Map the relationship between competition policy and the business world, as well as understanding how the effective implementation of such a policy can reap major benefits for consumers in the marketplace.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Alex Schuster & Prof Francis O'Toole (Economics)

    Assessment:

    Essay (5,000 words) - 35% Examination (1 x 2 hour paper) – 65%

    Constitutional Law II: (LAU23451) 10 ECTS

    This module examines the following aspects of constitutional law - the guarantees relating to the family and education; freedom of religion; freedom of expression; freedom of association; freedom of assembly; the guarantee of personal rights; the guarantee of equality; the guarantee of personal liberty; inviolability of the dwelling.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Critically analyse the case law interpreting Articles 40 to 45 of the Constitution, articulating a coherent position on the ways in which constitutional law should develop in the future
  • Assess the role of the courts in the protection of constitutional rights.
  • Discuss the philosophical influences on the fundamental rights provisions of the Constitution.
  • Apply critical analysis and problem-solving skills and techniques to different essay and problem-based questions on the implications of the above constitutional provisions.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Essay (3,000 words) – 50% and Examination (1 x 1 hour paper) – 50%

    Lecturer:

    Dr Ailbhe O'Neill

    Available

    SF Law, SS Law and French, SS Law and German, JS/SS Law and Business, JS/SS Law and Political Science.

    Criminology: (LAU34041) 10 ECTS

    This course covers the different theoretical perspectives attempting to offer a scientific analysis of crime‚ and the criminal, from classical to contemporary theories. Throughout, different theoretical perspectives are applied to the exercise of criminal justice in an Irish context.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Critically appraise social and political ideas relating to crime and the criminal justice system;
    • Construct well-sourced arguments on criminological topics using a broad inter-disciplinary social sciences approach;
    • Identify and analyse general principles of criminological theories;
    • Appraise and evaluate the development of criminological thought;
    • Map the connections between different strands of theoretical analysis about crime and punishment; Apply key tenets of criminological theory to analysis of the Irish criminal justice system.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures in the 1st Semester

    Lecturers:

    Dr Sarah Bryan O’Sullivan

    Assessment:

    Essay (6,000 words) - 80% Coursework/test – 20%

    Employment Law: (LAU34111) 10 ECTS

    This module offers a thorough overview of employment law in Ireland, introducing students both to the variety of overlapping sources of employment law and to the different fora in which employment disputes may be adjudicated upon in addition to (and including) the civil courts, including the significant changes introduced by the Workplace Relations Act 2015.  It analyses the nature of the employment relationship, the contract of employment, and atypical types of employment status including agency workers, part-time workers and fixed term workers. A thorough analysis is undertaken of employers’ statutory and common law obligations to their employees, including the study of the liability of employers for workplace harassment, bullying and stress; the potential for vicarious liability being imposed upon employers for wrongs committed by their employees; and the legal protections introduced by the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018. Employment equality law also receives detailed treatment in this module, as does the termination of employment under both common law and statute. The module concludes with a detailed analysis of remedies in employment law, with special emphasis on the distinctive body of law that continues to grow in the context of employment injunctions.


    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify and analyse the relationship between the different sources of Irish employment law and the various fora in which employment disputes are litigated;
    • Appraise and evaluate the substantive legal principles in a number of distinct areas of employment law;
    • Identify and evaluate the range of remedies available in employment litigation;
    • Apply critical analysis and problem-solving skills and techniques to different essay and problem-based employment law questions.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester

    Assessment:

    Essay (3,000 words) 50%, Reflective Paper (2,500 words) 50%

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Des Ryan

    English Land Law: (LAU34121) 10 ECTS

    This module grounds students in the major principles of English land law. It builds upon the foundational work done in Land Law by deepening students’ conceptual understanding of property as an institution, and of the competing policy goals that affect its development, particularly through statutory reform. It also seeks to improve students’ critical understanding of land law, and in particular of the interface between public and private law in the context of land. 
    The module beings with an examination of the major reforms to English land law seen in the 1920s, namely the Law of Property Act 1925 and the Land Registration Act 1925.  The module discusses how these reforms changed the understanding of ownership seen in English land law and why they were introduced. The module moves on to study how subsequent legislative reforms have addressed deficiencies in the earlier statutes as well as how they reflect societal change.  Emphasis is given to co-ownership and interests in the family home and how the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 affected these interests.
    The module examines the various estates which English land law recognises, including the option of holding freehold estates as commonhold.  It also covers mortgages, easements, restrictive covenants, proprietary estoppel, and the doctrine of adverse possession.  Where relevant the module discusses the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 as well as the jurisprudence from the European Court of Human Rights.  The module also examines the land registration system in England and the priority rules arising out of that system as well as to the different rules which apply to registered and unregistered land.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Deconstruct reforms in English land law to understand their policy goals and their strengths/weaknesses in achieving such goals;
    • Identify and assess the principal differences between English and Irish land law;
    • Apply the rules of English land law to solve complex problems in relation to both registered and unregistered land;
    • Analyse the pros and cons of a comprehensive land registration system and evaluate its impact on dealings with land;
    • Analyse the effect of human rights on English land law;
    • Identify and evaluate the range of remedies available in land law disputes;
    • Apply critical analysis and problem-solving skills and techniques to different essay and problem-based questions on English land law.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and additional seminars in the 2nd semester

    Assessment:

    Examination (1 x 2 hour paper).

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Sarah Hamill

    Environmental Law: (LAU34131) 10 ECTS

    Environmental law expertise is traditionally considered useful if it helps a manager manoeuvre myriad rules and regulations, or if it helps an environmentalist combat industrialisation. Further, there is a concentration on either local or international or regional law. This module rejects an either-or approach, and wishes to convey that environmental law cuts across and within legal systems, fields of law, vested interests and disciplinary boundaries. At the same time, it aims to assist students with negotiating this complexity by concentrating on common principles, illustrated through case studies. Notably, the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays principle are examined. Such principles, in turn, prompt an analysis of the use of property rights in managing and dealing with environmental problems. Property rights doubles up as a useful lens in appreciating questions pertaining to land use. The module requires students to discuss and debate theoretical nuance and practical application. 
    Given that climate change has become a distinct and inescapable legal concern, special attention is given to the practice and theory of climate law. This includes understanding the unique nature of international climate law, existing instruments of mitigation such as the European Union Emissions Trading System and climate battles fought in courts.


    Learning Outcomes:
    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Appraise the prevalence of environmental law in individual, commercial and governmental activities;
    • Interrogate core concepts that inform environmental law;
    • Identify relevant approaches to environmental concerns and remedies offered by other fields of public and private law such as constitutional law, human rights law, property law and tort law;
    • Critically evaluate similarities and differences in environmental law within and between legal systems.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Book, Film Review, Case Note (2,000 – 2,500 words words) 30%, Group Essay 2,000 – 2,500 words (30% written  + 20% oral presentation), Class Test 20%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Suryapratim Roy

    Equity: (LAU22522) 10 ECTS


    Equity may be described as that body of rules and principles which was developed by the Court of Chancery in order to mitigate the rigours of the common law. This module examines general principles of equity, the law relating to private and public or charitable trusts and the administration of trusts, focusing on the powers and duties of trustees. It also covers some aspects of equitable remedies such as injunctions and examines the principles relating to proprietary estoppel.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Evaluate the relationship between law and equity;
    • Identify the contribution made by equity and the law of trusts to legal relationships and commercial situations;
    • Discuss and debate different perspectives on various aspects of the law relating to trusts of a private and public nature;
    • Use appropriate legal concepts, case law and statute law to analyse and solve legal problems relating to the use of equitable remedies.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 2nd Semester. 

    Assessment:

    Examination (1 x 2 hour paper) - 100%

    Lecturers:

    Prof Hilary Biehler

    EU Law: (LAU23462) 10 ECTS

    The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the law and institutions of the European Union, in particular to examine their origins and development. The first part of the course concentrates on constitutional issues, including the workings of the institutions and legal system. The second part of the course examines selected aspects of substantive law, including free movement of goods and persons.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify and apply key concepts of European Union Law.
  • Critically evaluate the role of the EU Courts in the evolution of European Union law.
  • Critically evaluate the relationship between European Union Law and the national law of the EU Member States.
  • Discuss and appraise key aspects of European Union substantive law.
  • Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 2nd Semester. 

    Assessment:

    Examination (1 x 2 hour paper) - 100%

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Caoimhin MacMaolain & Prof. Mark Bell

    European Human Rights Law: (LAU34061) 10 ECTS

    This course will focus on the regional human rights regime established by European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It will examine the evolution of regional European norms and mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights against a backdrop of current debates and challenges with a diverse and rapidly transforming world order. In addition to a general discussion of practice and procedure under the ECHR, case law concerning substantive rights will be analysed in-depth. The course will draw upon experience outside Europe to analyse European responses.  

    Learning Outcomes:
    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to: 

    • Conduct effective and targeted research in case law and academic legal commentary regarding the protection of human rights pursuant to the European Convention on Human Rights;  
    • Identify, evaluate and critique the evolution of human rights pursuant to the European Convention on Human Rights; 
    • Discuss and debate the moral, theoretical and ethical assumptions underpinning human rights;
    • Apply the law and theory of human rights to concrete practical problems and to the challenge of ensuring effective implementation and protection of human rights.    

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Blog Post (1,000 words) 25%, Essay (3,000 words) 75%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Catherine Donnelly

    Evidence: (LAU34011) 10 ECTS

    This module is designed to provide sophister students with a foundation in the law of evidence in Ireland with particular emphasis on evidence in criminal proceedings. Topics covered include the examination of witnesses, hearsay, and evidentiary privileges. The concept of proof and the significance of evidentiary rights are among the themes explored in the module.


    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Outline the role of evidence in the trial process;
    • Identify and critically analyse evidentiary rules and principles;
    • Engage in effective research and writing in the law of evidence;
    • Apply evidentiary rules and principles in hypothetical fact scenarios;
    • Debate evidentiary law and policy and formulate proposals for reform.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and additional seminars in the 1st Semester

    Assessment:

    Examination - 100% (1 x 2.5 hours paper)

    Lecturers:

    Dr Liz Heffernan

    Family and Child Law: (LAU34141) 10 ECTS

    This course will cover the legal status of the family and the child, the law relating to family formation (including marriage, civil partnership, cohabitants and non-marital families) and the law recognising family breakdown (including nullity, separation and divorce) as well as the law regulating family breakdown (to include preliminary/ancillary orders in separation/divorce/dissolution of civil partnership and the jurisdiction to award maintenance). We will also examine the child’s right to a family (including guardianship, custody and access as well as adoption) and the protection of vulnerable family members (including child protection, child abduction and domestic violence). 

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • an understanding of the law relating to families and children in Ireland in the light of the Constitution, the domestic legal framework as well as international human rights law;
    • a critical awareness of the policy behind family and child law in Ireland;
    • a practical appreciation of the implications of family and child law in this jurisdiction.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Group project (policy report 5,000 words) 50%, Essay (5000 words) 50%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Patricia Brazil

    Private Law Remedies: (LAU22532) 10 ECTS

    Students will already have encountered private law obligations in the Tort (JF), Contract (JF), and Equity (SF) courses. A conceptual understanding of the remedies available to a plaintiff in civil proceedings at Common Law and in Equity to vindicate those obligations is the capstone of private law analysis. This course analyses the remedial goals (such as compensation for loss, punishment for wrongdoing, or restitution of unjust enrichment) underpinning various personal and proprietary remedies available for private law claims arising from tort, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, equitable wrongs, and so on. The substantive issues (such as causation, remotes, damages, proprietary remedies, and so on) will be considered in their own terms, and compared and contrasted across various subject-areas (such as Contract, Tort, Unjust Enrichment, Equity, and so on).

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Evaluate remedial strategies from a range of theoretical and comparative perspectives;
    • Analyse private law claims at law and in equity to determine the appropriate remedy or remedies
    • Advise and advocate accordingly, and
    • Undertake and complete self-directed research, work well in teams, and make confident oral presentations.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and 4 hours of seminars in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Assignment (2,000 words) 25%, Moot (3,000 words) 40% (3,000 word Memorial 20% & Oral Advocacy 20%), Joint dissenting judgment (5,000 words) 35%

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Eoin O'Dell and Dr. Sarah Hamill

    Public Interest Law: (LAU34151) 10 ECTS

    Public Interest Law can be defined as 'the use of litigation and public advocacy to advance the cause of minority or disadvantaged groups and individuals.' The course examines the use of litigation to promote social inclusion. In Part A, we consider the definition and history of Public Interest Law and the issue of access to legal services; In Part B, we consider a number of issues relating specifically to the use of litigation, namely, the constitutional and political legitimacy of public interest litigation; the implications of Public Interest Law for court practice and procedures; and the merits and demerits of litigation strategy. In Part C, we consider selected areas of substantive law such as social welfare law, Travellers' rights, and children's rights in an evaluation of the role of the Irish courts in promoting social inclusion.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Critically assess how the legal system may promote social and political reform, having regard, in particular, to the relationship between the political and legal systems;
    • Describe how the Irish courts have dealt with legal claims pursued by people with learning difficulties, children from dysfunctional families, members of the Traveller community and social welfare claimants;
    • Describe the different models for delivering legal services to marginalised communities and the different types of service provided;
    • Conduct research into substantive and adjectival areas of the law relating to social exclusion.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester

    Assessment:

    Coursework 45%, Discussion Board 5%, Exam (2 hour) 50%

    Lecturers:

    Prof Gerry Whyte

    Public International Law: (LAU34081) 10 ECTS

    This module is designed to provide students with knowledge of the main concepts, principles, processes and rules of public international law as well as a more in-depth knowledge of selected areas of the law. Topics are considered under 3 headings. Part 1 deals with fundamental legal concepts and processes, including international legal personality, the sources of the law and recognition. Basic principles and the rules associated with them are addressed in Part 2. Finally, the rights and duties of the individual under what is essentially a state-based system of law are examined in Part 3. Practical examples of the operation of the law, many of them relating to contemporary events, are given throughout.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify the main concepts, principles and processes in the field of public international law;
    • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the rules applicable in core areas of the law, such as state sovereignty, the peaceful settlement of international disputes, the use of force, international organisations and self-determination;
    • Analyse international affairs from the perspective of public international law;
    • Describe in some detail the place of the individual within the international legal system;
    • Explain the nature of public international law and the role it plays in the conduct of world affairs.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and additional seminars in the 1st Semester

    Assessment:

    Examination - 100% (1 x 2 hour paper)

    Lecturers:

    Dr David Fennelly & Mr Michael Becker

    Senior Sophister Modules

    Advanced European Union Law: (LAU44102) 10 ECTS

    This module is an advanced undergraduate study of EU law. It is somewhat different to the standard class format so please read this carefully. The class is focussed almost exclusively on primary texts, principally Treaties, Regulations and Directives, and European Commission Notices. There is less emphasis on case law than in many courses students may have taken, and almost none on secondary academic literature. The point is to cover primary texts in some depth, text by text, to learn how to work with primary materials, to see in operation fundamental structures of EU law, and EU – Member State institutional interaction, and how it all meshes together. It is part training in being an EU lawyer. Substantively, the main areas are competition law (not mergers) and to a lesser extent other topics such as Federalism.  Students who study competition law and policy find the approach and learning focus completely different. Reference is made to Irish law only in part, and that part because some EU law can only be explained by reference to implementation. In conjunction, certain techniques for studying and analysing texts are taught. Students bring prescribed primary materials (freely available) to class and make notes on them. Advance reading is required. There are no lecture notes in the sense of the transfer of information. The information is in the primary materials. Students aim for understanding and organisation. Almost all material is posted on Blackboard. Regular (not absolute) class attendance and advance reading is required and a roll call may be made. Certain short research and writing exercises may also be assigned throughout the semester, to assist student learning. These are not corrected. It is not possible to cram successfully for this course at the end of the semester without having done the reading in advance of class and attended regularly.  In broad approximation, students who take this course (a) report a somewhat higher work load and difficulty during the semester, and (b) achieve somewhat higher results, than in other classes on average.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Describe and summarize the most important primary materials on EU Competition Law (excluding mergers), and to a lesser extent State Aid or any other substantive topic considered;
    • Analyze, breakdown, and interpret those primary materials.
    • Create independent authoritative argument and exposition on the basis of those materials.
    • Conduct effective and targeted research in EU primary materials.
    • Learn complimentary learning techniques;
    • Orient oneself through EU materials;
    • Grasp how the structures, principles, institutions, and substantive law mesh together;
    • Gain confidence in lawyering in EU materials.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week and additional seminars in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Examination (1 x 2 hour paper) - 100%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Diarmuid Rossa Phelan SC

    Prerequisite:

    Students must have completed EU Law. Law and French/German students may take this module if they have completed EU at a French/German university.

    Clinical Legal Education (LAU44012) 10 ECTS

    This module offers students an introduction to legal practice, allowing students the opportunity to develop core professional skills essential for a lawyer as well as to gain valuable practical experience in a legal environment. Students will undertake placements in a variety of organisations in the not-for-profit, private and public sectors. Under the supervision of experienced professionals, students will gain first-hand experience of legal practice, observing, assisting and participating in the organisations’ work. This gives students an opportunity to apply and develop their legal skills and knowledge in a practical way and to learn from this experience. Students will also attend a lawyering class which will focus on developing students’ professional legal skills, fostering an understanding of legal ethics and more broadly developing students’ understanding of the role of the lawyer in society. Students will give presentations on their experiences and engage in a process of reflection on these experiences, individually and as a group.

    Learning Outcomes

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Understand the range of persons and organisations engaged in legal practice and their role in the legal system and in society;
    • Apply core legal skills in a practical context;
    • Apply legal knowledge in a practical context;
    • Develop their knowledge and skills through practical experience;
    • Reflect upon practical experience in order to broaden and deepen their understanding of the law;
    • Understand fundamental principles of legal ethics;
    • Recognise and respond to ethical issues arising in legal practice;
    • Work effectively in a professional setting and develop skills useful in a wide range of professional settings.

    Teaching:

    Placements will run for four weeks in May. There will be an introductory session prior to the commencement of placements as well as classes in Michaelmas term.

    Lecturers:Co-ordinator:

    Dr. Andrea Mulligan

    Restrictions:
    This module is now closed. Students may only select this module on the module choice form if they have been informed they have a confirmed place on the module.

    Conflicts of Laws (LAU44112) 10 ECTS

    Conflict of Laws (also known as Private International Law) is the body of rules whose purpose is to assist the Irish court in deciding a case containing a foreign element. It consists of three main elements: (1) the jurisdiction of the Irish court (whether the Irish courts is competent to hear the dispute); (2) the selection of the appropriate rules of a system of law, Irish or foreign, which it is to apply in deciding a case before it (choice of law); and (3) the recognition and enforcement of judgments given by foreign courts. A particular focus of the course is the development of distinctive conflict of law rules within the European Union in the areas of tort, contract and commercial litigation

    Learning Outcomes:

  • Locate contentious issues within national and international legal contexts.
  • Identify and evaluate the role of EU law in the development of rules and standards applied in the Irish courts.
  • Identify and critically analyse rules governing jurisdiction, choice of law and the recognition and enforcement of judgments both orally and in writing.
  • Compare and contrast the application of those rules in different substantive legal contexts.
  • Discuss and debate different theoretical and practical perspectives on the conflict of laws and formulate proposals for reform.
  • Apply Irish and European conflicts regimes in practical settings to resolve hypothetical fact scenarios.
  • Conduct effective research of contentious issues at national and international levels.
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    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester.

    Lecturers:Co-ordinator:

    Dr. David Kenny

    Assessment:
    Take home exam - 100%.

    Critical Perspectives on Law: (LAU44120) 5 ECTS

    Doctrinal approaches to law are generally based on certain assumptions about human motivations and behaviour and the structure of society. Many of these grounding assumptions are rooted heavily in particular socio-political ideologies, most commonly those of 19th Century liberalism. Ideas about individual legal rights, justice and public policy have a strong tendency to assume a level of equality of power and opportunity that is wholly absent from the status quo in most developed economies.
    The purpose of this module is to equip students to identify and critique the sacred cows of legal doctrine. By examining social context, economic realities and power relationships, the fallacies of many of the founding principles of core legal subjects will be deconstructed and evaluated. Students may ultimately conclude that these founding principles are sound or meritorious; however, whatever their conclusion, the process of critique and defence of fundamental elements of the legal order adds significantly to students’ understanding of the law.

    The critique is primarily aimed at the core subjects that students will have studies during their Freshman modules. This ensures that students have sufficient background material. These subjects have also been chosen as they are the basis for the legal education of all professional lawyers in the state in that they are also the core subjects of the FE1 exams and the King’s Inns’ Diploma in Legal Studies.

    Attendance at the weekly class is mandatory. 0.5% of the overall final grade will be deducted for any week missed (after the introductory week) without sufficient excuse being provided to the lecturers.

    Learning Outcomes:

    At the end of this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify and categorise political and ideological assumptions that have been subsumed into legal doctrine;
    • Describe and evaluate the appropriateness of grounding principles in the contemporary socio-economic context;
    • Differentiate the sectoral interest groups that benefit and do not benefit from the legal status quo;
    • Justify and defend principles with which they agree based on full evaluation of their applicability in the practical legal context;
    • Appraise the extent to which the existing corpus of Irish law serves its ostensible goals.

    Teaching:

    2 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Response paper 1 (1,500 words) – 47% Response paper 2 (1,500 words) – 48% Participation – 5%

    Lecturers:

    Dr. David Kenny and Dr. Alan Brady

    Restrictions:

    Places limited to 20.

    Current Issues in Constitutional Law: (LAu44161) 5 ECTS

    Current Issues in Constitutional Law is a skills based course, designed to promote critical engagement by Sophister students with constitutional issues through close reading of major cases. Such cases, and complementary academic materials, will serve as a vehicle for exploring themes that run through constitutional law. The aim of this course is to deepen students’ knowledge and legal skills in constitutional law.

    This course will adopt the reading group format, which focuses on collective text analysis and student-led discussion of principles, themes, and impacts of major constitutional decisions. Students are assigned advanced reading, including cases and academic commentaries, with one or two students chosen to deliver a springboard presentation each week, which will catalyse a class discussion on the issues raised by the assigned readings. The lecturers will act as facilitators, contributing opinions and posing questions to tease out additional issues and deeper analysis, but will eschew the ordinary lecture format. Essential to this format is a small group of students. As a result, student numbers will be capped at c. 20 students.

    The key materials for the course will be prescribed decisions of the Irish Superior Courts, as well as academic materials on Irish and comparative constitutional law. The course will concentrate on topical issues, incorporating major developments in constitutional law on an on-going basis.

    The focus of the course will be on thorough individual reading of major cases and group discussion and analysis, through which the class can collectively explore major themes in constitutional law. The course will enhance students’ research abilities, their critical analysis of legal materials, their legal writing, and their communication skills. It will challenge them to think about constitutional law at both the detailed micro level of discrete problems and the broader macro level of cross-cutting thematic issues.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having taken this module, students should be able to:

    • Critically and contextually analyse in detail leading cases in Irish constitutional law;
    • Competently distil differing judicial positions in contentious judgments, and identify the broader context of those positions;
    • Present complex constitutional law issues, and judicial reasoning relating to those issues, in a clear and compelling manner;
    • Coordinate effectively with classmates in preparing presentations;
    • Discuss current constitutional law issues in their political and social context;
    • Critically analyse contextual issues in constitutional law on a thematic basis, tracking trends and developments over time;
    • Make independent and original contributions to constitutional law discourse;
    • Develop an awareness of the political and broader practical implications of constitutional litigation;
    • Understand the role of the constitutional litigant and litigator in legal practice.

    Teaching:

    1-2 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Two papers and one presentation - equally weighted. Attendance is mandatory and 0.5% will be deducted for any week missed.

    Lecturers:

    Prof. Aileen Kavanagh & Dr Rachael Walsh

    Prerequisites:

    None, students are advised that completing Constitutional Law II would be an advantage.

    Restrictions:

    Erasmus/visiting students are not permitted to take this module.

    Financial Services Law: (LAU44132) 10 ECTS

    This course will introduce students to financial services and their regulation. Since Ireland’s accession to the EU, Irish financial regulation has been heavily influenced by EU legislation. The financial and sovereign debt crisis have led to greater harmonization of financial regulation. As a result, the course will focus on European legislation and developments. The course will deal with banking and financial market supervision and regulation, such as the recent establishment of the European Banking Union. Furthermore, we will discuss the events which led to the radical overhaul of financial regulation, such as the financial crisis, the sovereign debt crisis and the Irish banking crisis. Finally, we will also analyze recent developments which will likely alter the structure of Irish and EU financial markets in the coming years, such as the plans for the creation of a Capital Markets Union.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify and critically evaluate the events which led to the overhaul of financial regulation;
    • Develop an understanding of the functioning of modern financial markets;
    • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of financial regulation;
    • Appraise the impact of EU law on domestic financial regulation;
    • Develop an awareness of developments in financial regulation at a European level;
    • Identify the political and economic forces shaping financial services regulation.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Research Paper (5,000 words) – 80%, Presentation – 10% , Class Participation – 10%

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Alexandros Seretakis

    Food Law: (LAU44032) 10 ECTS

    Food safety has become a priority for the EU lawmaker, in particular following a series of scares such as those about ‘mad cow disease’ (BSE), dioxin poisoning and genetic modification. There are ongoing concerns about the relationship between diet and health. This module examines the ways in which the law can be, and is, used to address these problems. The focus is primarily on European Union rules in this area, as it is from here that most of our food law now originates. The course will commence with a re-examination of EU rules on free movement for goods, with emphasis on the movement of food. Other topics covered by this module include organic food regulation, aspects of intellectual property rights, animal welfare, food labelling and claims and novel foods.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify the key sources of Irish Food Law;
    • Categorise the main areas of Food Law and assess the most significant rules and regulations in each;
    • Appraise the manner in which the production and marketing of food is regulated;
    • Analyse the interaction between Food Law and human behavior; and
    • Assess the impact of other disciplines on the formulation of Food Law.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Essay (4,000 words) 50%, Essay (4,000 words) 50%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Caoimhin MacMaolain

    Insolvency Law (LAU44060) 5 ECTS

    This module examines the regulation of corporate and personal insolvency in Ireland. As well as dealing with the legal structures that govern insolvency, this module engages with the social and political context of insolvency and its policy underpinnings. In respect of corporate insolvency topics covered include liquidation, receivership and examinership. With regard to personal insolvency, the novel regime established by the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 is addressed and critiqued in detail by reference to the stated aims and purposes the legislation when originally introduced. This module has a strong focus on building skills for practice. To that end, relevant aspects of practice and procedure are covered, and the module is assessed via a collaborative group exercise, and by a take home exam which will take the form of a legal opinion.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Students successfully completing this module should be able to:

    • Identify and critically analyse the legal structures governing corporate and personal insolvency in Ireland;
    • Describe and understand relevant aspects of practice and procedure in Insolvency Law before the Irish courts;
    • Carry out independent legal research in Insolvency Law and apply that research in providing complex legal advice;
    • Work collaboratively to solve legal problems in the area of Insolvency Law;
    • Situate the law of insolvency in the wider social, political and policy context.

    Teaching:

    1.5 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Take Home Exam (80%), In-Class Group Problem Solving Exercise (20%)

    Lecturers:

    Dr. Felix Mezzanotte

    Intellectual Property Law: (LAU44072) 10 ECTS

    Intellectual property law is an increasingly important and wide bundle of rules aimed at fostering and rewarding human creativity and technological innovation and at protecting investments and goodwill in business-related activities. Intellectual property has traditionally encompassed copyright, trademarks and patents. This area of law has grown exponentially in the last decades through the extension of the scope of existing rights for the protection of new assets, works and technologies (e.g. trade secrets, Internet domain names, computer programs, biotechnologies) and the creation of new types of rights (e.g. industrial designs, database rights, access rights for digital content). The module examines the social and economic justifications for intellectual property rights, as well as their multi-layered regulation. The module draws selectively upon a selection of examples of domestic intellectual property regimes to show the impact of international and European law and decision-making on EU Member States and to critically evaluate some of the policies and goals which underlie the most relevant forms of intellectual property today. Although the idea of multi-level regulation of patent and copyright laws goes back to the end of the 19th century (when the first international conventions started harmonizing domestic laws), intellectual property rights and their enforcement have been globalised more effectively as of the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1994 and the related adoption of an international agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (known as the ‘TRIPS’ Agreement). The module examines the most important provisions of this and other international intellectual property laws as well as the EU regulations and directives that have harmonized (or in certain cases even unified, as in the case of trademarks and designs) national legal systems such as the Irish one.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Students successfully completing this module should be able to:

    • Appraise and evaluate the social and economic justifications for intellectual property rights;
    • Identify and analyse how intellectual property rights are protected and commercially exploited, in both offline and online environments;
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the implications of international conventions and the most important EU legislative measures, from both a trade-related and non-market perspective;
    • Evaluate Ireland’s obligations in this field;
    • Identify legal issues in complex cases and argue either side of the arguments raised by the parties involved
    • Demonstrate familiarity with the research tools and the materials through which they can deepen their knowledge of specific aspects of intellectual property law.

    Module learning activities

    Classes will be designed to foster interactivity through a combination of lectures, discussions and analysis of relevant cases and materials. From the third week onwards, in each class a group of approximately three students (‘student panels’) will be asked to interact with the module instructor on issues arising from assigned cases and related to the topic of the day.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Take Home Exam - 100%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Giuseppe Mazziotti

    International Human Rights: (LAU44142) 10 ECTS

    This course examines the foundations and development of international human rights law. It considers the historical, political and legal context from which the current framework for human rights has emerged and analyses the international and regional instruments and mechanisms for monitoring and enforcing human rights. Select case studies explore the complex interplay between law and policy and the role of international and national actors in responding to human rights violations. Lectures will highlight the central debates surrounding, and shaping, the evolution of international human rights norms, legal instruments and state and non-governmental practices, as well as the current trends and challenges in advancing human rights protection in a diverse and dynamic community of nations.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify and describe the essential characteristics of the international human rights regime;
    • Debate different theoretical and cultural perspectives on the foundations of international human rights;
    • Discuss and evaluate the interaction between different international mechanisms for the enforcement of human rights;
    • Apply concepts, doctrines and rules to practical human rights challenges to resolve hypothetical fact scenarios;
    • Successfully complete substantial independent research into a particular aspect of international human rights.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Paper/Group Presentation 40%, Exam 60%

    Lecturers:

    Mr Michael Becker

    International Trade Law: (LAU44050) 5 ECTS

    This module examines the key rules and agreements governing the operations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Intellectual Property Rights. It provides an introduction to the regulation of international trade by identifying and assessing the impact that these international agreements have on the national laws of members and the functioning of regional trade areas, such as the European Union. Emphasis is also placed upon the manner in which the WTO aims to further integrate developing countries into the global trading system and the resolution of trade disputes at the international level.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Explain the operations and functions of the World Trade Organisation;
    • Appraise the role of the World Trade Organisation in the regulation of international trade;
    • Evaluate the impact of regulating international trade on global development;
    • Analyse the methods used for resolving international trade disputes;
    • Describe the relationship between the World Trade Organisation and regional free-trade areas, such as the EU.

    Teaching:

    1-2  hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Essay (1,500 words) 50%, Case Study (1,500 words) 50%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Caoimhin MacMaolain

    IT Law (LAU44052) 5 ECTS

    In the space of two decades, information technologies such as computers and the Internet have become part of the fabric of our society. They pervade virtually every field of life and are increasingly embedded in goods and services. Not only does this disrupt the law as we know it, but the fast development of IT also challenges the ability of the law to keep pace with innovation. During the course, we will examine the complex relationship between law and information technology: can the law rule code? What other actors and factors carry legal weight in determining the answer? We will look into how information technologies work and are governed by a range of institutions and laws. The module will examine the legal ramifications of information technologies and cyberspace in the private and public spheres. For the former, we will look into, for instance, e-commerce and intermediary liability, for the latter, surveillance and access to e-evidence. We will also explore the way how digitization has shaped the nature of fundamental rights, notably the protection of personal data and privacy, as well as crime in the form of cybercrime. The module will feature high-profile cases as well as present-day topics like blockchain, legal tech, big data and artificial intelligence. In so doing, we will discuss cross-cutting themes such as business models, globalization, politics, modes of regulation, enforcement and philosophy. Legal sources will be mainly drawn from the European Union and the Council of Europe. The module will feature eleven 1.5 hour-long lectures.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Students successfully completing this module should be able to:

    • Identify and comprehend sources of primary and secondary law of relevance to IT law;
    • Understand the way how IT is interwoven with different areas of law and regulation;
    • Discuss the key theoretical and practical approaches to regulation in the field;
    • Critically appraise the impact of multiple factors on the relationship between law and technology;
    • Construct well-sourced arguments relating to IT law and write critically about the subject.

    Teaching:

    11 Lectures (one hour and half hours in duration).

    Assessment:

    Response Paper (2,000 words) 50%, Case Note(2,000 words) 50%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Maria Grazia Porcedda

    Legal Philosophy ( LAU34071) 10 ECTS

    This module facilitates students in the formulation of their own, critically aware, understanding of the nature of law and its features. Students develop their ability to articulate a reasoned position on distinctive features of law and a legal system and on questions such as the relationship between law and morality, law’s legitimacy and function in a social order. Among topics that may be explored are the concept of law, the rule of law, authority, and connections between law and morality.
    This module is intended to meet the requirement of the Honorable Society of Kings Inns that candidates entering the Barrister-at-Law degree programme would have studied Jurisprudence as part of their qualifying law degree.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Formulate their own, critically aware, position on jurisprudential issues;
    • Critically analyse primary texts of a philosophical character;
    • Interrogate various connections between law and morality;
    • Appraise the value of philosophical reflection about law for the practice of law;
    • Explore connections between jurisprudential theories and legal doctrinal issues.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Response paper (25%); Exam (75%)

    Lecturers:

    Dr David Prendergast

    Restrictions: .

    Media Law: (LAU44082) 10 ECTS

    This course will consider both the theoretical and practical questions which arise in this evolving area of the law. Initially, the course will examine the role of the media in a constitutional democracy. The constitutional protection of the media in Ireland will be compared with similar regimes in other jurisdictions with particular emphasis on the jurisprudence of the European Convention of Human Rights. The course will then address a number of specific areas of media law. Lectures will deal with topics such as privacy, contempt of court, the protection of journalistic sources, obscenity, blasphemy, and the regulatory regimes in Ireland and in the EU. Throughout the course, lectures will explore the issues raised by the rise of new media forms like the internet.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

    • Critically assess how the law regulates the operation of the media in Ireland and across Europe;
    • Explain the salient elements of Irish media law;
    • Evaluate the emerging developments in media law and regulation,including the use of non-legal governance;
    • Apply critical analysis and problem-solving skills and techniques to different essay and problem questions based on material covered in the module;
    • Conduct research into developing areas of media law and practice.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester.

    Assessment:

    Essay (7,000 words) - 90% and Essay Plan- 10%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Ailbhe O'Neill

    Medical Law and Ethics: (LAU44152) 10 ECTS

    Medical Law and Ethics will give students the opportunity to tackle contemporary legal issues in medicine and healthcare. The module will deal both with the black-letter law that governs medical practice and with the broader philosophical, ethical and social questions that are raised by medical advances. Students will be guided through the range of legal and quasi-legal instruments that regulate medical practice, including the Constitution, Tort Law, and professional guidelines, and encouraged to consider the advantages and disadvantages of these regulatory tools.

    As well as providing students with a thorough grasp of Irish Law, the module will be substantially comparative in nature. Comparative legal study will be especially valuable on topics that are unregulated, or under-regulated by Irish Law. This module aims both to prepare students for practice in the field of medical law, and to encourage critical thinking and exploration of the theoretical challenges presented by the subject

    Students will be required to read certain materials ahead of class. To this end, the reading list will be divided into required reading and further reading. Students will be expected to analyse the topics in class, and to participate in class discussions. As well as using traditional legal materials the course will draw on relevant work from the fields of science, philosophy, sociology and politics.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

    • Accurately describe and apply law to novel situations that arise in medical practice;
    • Explain medical technologies and procedures to a non-specialist audience;
    • Debate ethical and philosophical issues that arise in healthcare in a thorough but sensitive manner, while responding to questions and comments;
    • Identify the principles, values and rights at play in medical practice;
    • Situate Irish law in the international context and draw relevant comparisons between schemes of regulation in different jurisdictions;
    • Research and write on complex medico-legal topics.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester.

    Assessment:

    Discussion Board 5%, Legal Opinion (3,000 words) 45%, Policy Report (3,500 words) 50%.

    Lecturers:

    Prof Neville Cox

    Refugee Law (LAU TBC) 10 ECTS

    The aims of this course are to outline the law relating to refugees in Ireland in the light of EU membership and international human rights law, to develop a critical understanding of the policy behind refugee law, and to develop a practical understanding of the implications of refugee law. The course is divided in to three parts, Part I dealing with the International Framework for Refugee Protection, Part II addresses the European dimension and Part III considers the Irish framework on Refugee law. Topics covered include Principles and Key Concepts in Refugee Protection, the Convention relating to Status of Refugees 1951, Alternative Forms and Instruments of Protection, the Evolving EU Acquis on Asylum, European Refugee Protection: Practices and Policies, and the Refugee in Irish Law.

    Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

    • Identify and evaluate the law relating to refugees in light of international human rights law, membership of the European Union and the domestic legal framework;
    • Critically analyse the policy behind refugee law in the domestic and international spheres.

    Teaching:

    3 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester

    Assessment:

    Essay (5,000 words) - 50% , Group project (problem question 5,000 words) 50%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Patricia Brazil

    Tax Law: (LAU TBC) 5 ECTS

    TThis module gives students an introduction to tax law, with a specific focus on direct taxation of individuals and corporations. The economic, philosophical and ethical aspects of taxation are also introduced, with reference to the criteria of good tax design, the entitlement to pre-tax income and wealth redistribution, and the ethics of corporate taxation. The concepts and sources of tax law are considered, with a case study on the taxation of families and married couples. Tax avoidance and the taxation of the “gig economy” are also considered. The module introduces European Union tax law and international tax law.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    • Identify and discuss the sources of Irish tax law;
    • Discuss and apply key concepts of domestic tax law with reference to specific fact scenarios.
    • Discuss international tax law issues and the jurisdiction of the State to impose taxation;
    • Critically evaluate the impact of European Union law and bilateral tax treaties on domestic tax law.

    Teaching:

    1.5 hours of lectures per week in the 2nd Semester

    Assessment:

    Essay - 5,000 words - 100%

    Lecturers:

    Ms Sara-Jane O'Brien

    Independent Research Requirement:

    Learning Outcomes

    Having completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Effectively demonstrate specialised, self-directed knowledge of an area of law through examination of a ‘real-life’ legal research problem or a theme within a research group.
  • Collaborate with peers and act in leadership roles.
  • Constructively evaluate and the work of others.
  • Synthesise and evaluate a variety of legal research methods, legal sources, findings and analysis.
  • Critically analyse of an area of law through independent research
  • Consult with and respond to the needs of research users.
  • Effectively communicate research findings.
  • Assessment

  • Thematic Learning Strand: Dissertation – 70%, Group Presentation – 10%, Participation – 10%, Reflective Learning Journal – 10%.
  • Research Project Module Strand Sub-Topics

    A. David Prendergast – Criminal Defences

    Defences are obviously very important in criminal law because they make a person not guilty of an offence despite the person satisfying the offence's definition. Yet they are somewhat mysterious; for instance, nobody is really sure whether necessity is actually a defence in Irish law. In this research project we analyse criminal law and explore contemporary criminal law theory to figure out what defences do and how they work. Sub-Topics may include:
  • 1. Justification and excuse.
  • 2. Categorizing defences and their place in a criminal code.
  • 3. Defeasibility and the offence/defence distinction.
  • 4. Living with the uncertainty in the world; mistakes of law and fact.
  • 5. Legal moralism, retributivism and defences.
  • 6. Objective and subjective assessments of action; culpability and consequences.
  • 7. Causation in defences.
  • 8. Neuroscience and criminal defences.
  • 9. Common law and the creation and development of criminal defences.
  • 10. Criminal procedure and defences.
  • B. Sarah Hamill – Advanced Topics in Property Law and Theory

    Property law shapes our everyday lives and interactions in a way which we often take for granted. Not only does property law tell us where we can be, what we can do while we are there, and how long we can be there for, it also shapes relationships between individuals, between individuals and the state, and between communities. In this strand, students will have the option of exploring in greater depth the ways in which property law matters for these relationships. Topics which will be available in this strand range from the theoretical to the doctrinal, from the historic to the present day, and from studies limited to one jurisdiction to those which are comparative in nature.

    Suggested topics include:

  • 1. The Nature of Property’s Relationships - This sub-topic is intended to cover debates about whether property is the law-of-things or whether it is about interpersonal relationships; as well as examining how property law structures relationships on multiple levels.
  • 2. Property and Empire: Past, Present, and Future - Property claims and imperial expansion went hand in hand in the early modern period and the property implications of Empire continue to be felt today. This sub-topic could see students explore both the historical interactions over property or how the disputes over property continue to this day through Aboriginal title litigation and calls for reparations.
  • 3. Property and Homelessness - This sub-topic could see students explore the right to home, the right to housing, and how property law matters for homeless people.
  • 4. Public Property and Protest - This sub-topic will seek to explore to what extent public property is available for protest. This could include discussions of what we mean by ‘public’ property, and whether there is a duty for some locations to be available for protest. Students could adopt a historical or comparative approach to these issues.
  • 5. Alternatives to Individual Private Property - Individual private property dominates theoretical accounts of property but to what extent does this reflect the totality of property? Is private property conceptually prior? What are the alternatives and how should we understand them? How do courts understand them – do the courts understand them, even?
  • 6. The Appropriate Level of Protections for Property - How is property protected and should it be protected? In this sub-topic students could explore whether and why property is (or is not) constitutionally protected, or protected as a human right. Students could also explore how these protections came to be and to what extent they are enforceable.
  • 7. Adverse Possession and Property Law - Several jurisdictions around the world have abolished adverse possession, the question is whether or not this is a desirable goal. Students could explore this question from a theoretical perspective or could examine whether the continued existence of adverse possession is incompatible with title registration. Or students could examine whether adverse possession might have a role to play in protecting those without formal property rights.
  • 8. Defining ‘Property’ - Just what is ‘property’ anyway? What do we mean by ownership? Here students could interrogate theoretical accounts, doctrine, or both to grapple with what ownership means, and if ownership actually exists at all. Students are welcome to focus on one or more jurisdictions or explore these questions from a theoretical or historical perspective. Students are also welcome to suggest their own topics or sub-topics, in addition to those listed above, within the broad range of property law.
  • C. Ivana Bacik, Ciara O'Connell – Feminist Criminology

    Feminist theories began to impact upon the development of the discipline in the last three decades of the twentieth century, with the emergence of empirical, standpointist and postmodern feminist criminological method. More recently, new directions in feminist criminology have been opened up with a growing interest in deconstructionism; in exploring the gendering effect of the law, and the relationship between gender and crime. Thus the original feminist empiricist question has been reversed, so that instead of continuing to ask 'why do so few women commit crime?', many criminologists have argued instead 'why do so many men commit crime?' Male offending is being seen through the prism of gender, just as female offending has always been. An approach to crime which analyses the social construction of gender, rather focusing upon sex difference, has clearly opened up new possibilities within criminology. However, criminological theorists drawing on deconstructionist methods have also explored perspectives beyond gender, in seeking to develop an intersectional theory of crime. This perspective is shared by those engaged in cultural criminological research; and by those who define themselves generally as drawing from new directions in feminist theory. The development of an intersectionality paradigm within feminism has meant that the connections between gender and other dimensions of inequality have become a current focus of challenge for theorists seeking to explore ‘doing gender’. Within the Feminist Criminology module, students engage in research on topics generally related to gendered aspects of crime and criminal justice, such as prostitution law, gender stereotypes within criminal law, and the treatment of victims within the criminal process.

    D. Desmond Ryan – Current Issues in Tort Law Theory and Practice

    This theme seeks to build on students' learning in Tort Law and related private law areas at the Junior/Senior Freshman level so as to enable them to explore in an in-depth manner more advanced and sophisticated research questions in tort law. Examples of topics coming within this theme include but are not limited to:

  • Strict liability in tort law, with an emphasis on vicarious liability and non-delegable duties.
  • The intersection between tort law and human rights law.
  • Tort law as a vehicle for the vindication of rights.
  • Damages awards in personal injuries actions.
  • The 'statutorification' of tort law.
  • Tort law and the 'compensation culture' - theory and practice.
  • Medical negligence litigation: emerging causes of action in tort law and remedies available.
  • The role of autonomy in tort doctrine.
  • The creation/recognition of new torts by legislators and courts.
  • Providing theoretical accounts of tort law.
  • The influence of insurance on tort law and tort litigation.
  • The relationship between tort law and criminal law.
  • E. Liz Heffernan – Criminal Evidence: Adjudication, Process and Rights

    The Irish criminal trial is grounded in the Anglo-American adversarial tradition with its emphasis on the role of the jury. Trial judges play an important role in supervising criminal trials, deciding on the admissibility of evidence, and instructing juries. Criminal adjudication operates within the framework of the Constitution and is influenced increasingly by the ECHR and EU criminal justice co-operation.

    Evidentiary law and policy have evolved in tandem with changes in Irish society including the nurturing of fundamental rights, equality, and access to justice. Ongoing concern over the relationship between the State and the accused has strengthened the constitutional right to fair trial. At the same time, growing awareness of the need to protect and support vulnerable persons has prompted significant changes to rules and practices relating to the participation of victims and witnesses in the trial process.

    In this research group, we will explore issues and trends relating to the role of institutional actors (judges and juries) in criminal adjudication and the rights of participants (the accused, victims and witnesses). Building on the module on Evidence (LAU34011), the theme will provide an opportunity for advanced learning and in-depth research on adjudication, process and rights. Projects can draw on a range of perspectives such as theoretical, doctrinal, socio-legal and/or comparative.

    Sub-topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Adjudication by juries in criminal trials.
  • The role of the trial judge in relation to evidence.
  • Special criminal courts.
  • Evidentiary rights under the Constitution or the ECHR.
  • Protecting the accused from prejudicial evidence.
  • Unconstitutionally obtained evidence.
  • The rights of child defendants.
  • The participation of victims as witnesses at trial.
  • The rights of complainants in trials for sexual offences.
  • F. Aileen Kavanagh: Conceptualising Constitutional Relationships

    In any constitutional democracy, the three branches of government carry out distinct roles whilst interacting with each other in various ways. One form of interaction is a matter of maintaining checks and balances e.g. where the courts review legislation for compliance with the constitution, or the legislature checks the executive’s powers by holding it to account in the Oireachtas. But there are other types of interaction too. For example, when the Oireachtas enacts laws, it needs the courts to interpret that law, filling in gaps where necessary. By the same token, when the courts strike down a law or make a ‘suspended declaration’, this often requires the legislature to remedy the defect in the law or fill a constitutional lacuna.

    In this research group, we will explore how to conceptualise the roles of the three branches of government and the relationships between them. Are the courts and the political branches each pulling in different constitutional directions or rivals locked in combat to get ‘the last word’ on what the constitution requires? Or are they involved in a more respectful constitutional ‘dialogue’ where each branch shares its view on constitutional requirements, whereupon the other responds with a considered counter-argument? Alternatively, can we detect a deeper type of collaborative dynamic at play when the courts, executive and legislature act and interact within the constitutional framework? And, if so, do we need to revisit and refine the traditional understandings of the separation of powers, or can that traditional doctrine accommodate a more relational understanding of constitutional governance? This research theme will explore these and other questions, drawing on both the theoretical and comparative law literature, as well as examining constitutional case-law on the ground.

    Embracing theoretical and practical dimensions of the issue, indicative topics include:
  • The Theory and Practice of the Separation of Powers.
  • Separation of Powers case-law – Irish and comparative.
  • The Justification of Constitutional Review.
  • The Executive and Legislatures as ‘Pro-constitutional’ Actors.
  • Constitutional Dialogue.
  • Collaborative Constitutionalism.
  • Suspended Declarations – Theory and Practice.
  • Constitutional Review of Democratic Process.
  • Kerins v McGuinness (Irish SC 2019).
  • The ‘political questions’ doctrine.
  • Judicial Deference.
  • Democratic Constitutionalism in Ireland.
  • Please note that a diversity of research topics will be required, and some topics may not be available if several students wish to undertake them.

    G. David Kenny: Law and Literature

    In this research group, you will have the opportunity to explore the intersection of law and literature, an exciting field that looks at the merging of law and the humanities. In the pre-reading for the module and early discussion, we will explore the different approaches to Law and Literature:

  • Law in literature, the portrayal or role of law in a work of fiction, or an author’s work, or a genre.
  • Law as literature, looking at legal writing as genre, the rhetoric of law, or law as fiction.
  • Literature in law, how literature has influenced or been used by courts or lawmakers.
  • Literature as law, how stories or narratives can function as rules and guides for action.
  • Law and literature, how the two disciplines come together and diverge in shared areas of interests such as censorship or interpretation.
  • In our preparatory reading, we will look at law and literature methodology, and look at some case studies of law and literature scholarship to give you examples of the field. You will be able to pick your own topic, subject to my approval. I will work closely with you in selecting methodologies and readings to guide your research. The following topics only some illustrative examples and I encourage you to find your own topic based on your particular interests.

  • Atticus Finch as the archetypal lawyer.
  • Punishment in Paradise Lost.
  • Authority and power in Shakespeare (e.g. Macbeth/Richard II/Richard III).
  • The lawyer as protagonist in popular fiction.
  • Legally blonde as critique of feminist accounts of law.
  • Customs, Norms and Law: Law as collective conformity in Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.
  • Intentionalism in legal and literary interpretation.
  • The rhetoric of “fairness” in Irish tort law.
  • In Cold Blood and the Narrative of Crime.
  • Deals with the devil: faustian bargains in fiction and technicality in contract law.
  • Antigone and the Natural Law .
  • “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of the sheep”: power, authority, and the people in Game of Thrones.
  • Censorship of literature in Ireland, 1930-1950.
  • If you have any questions about this group, feel free to email me on david.kenny@tcd.ie.

    H. Surya Roy: Emergency Law

    The words ‘emergency’ and ‘crisis’ seem to go against the rule of law, or where decision-making is shaped by situational rather than legal prerogatives. If there are pressing concerns of national safety or security, immediate decisive action appears to compromise the pace and nature of reasoned constitutional rule. Both democratic processes and rights seem to be relaxed during an event billed as an emergency or crisis, giving way to the discretion of legal institutions, primarily the national executive branch. State and government appear to define law rather than be subject to it. Here one question is whether constitutional emergency powers are necessary or sufficient. A more structural question may also be asked – could an event be a constitutional moment that warrants a substantial shift in constitutional and political arrangements? Legal, political and social theorists working around the time of the world wars grappled with what might explain political events such as revolutions and dramatic legal change including the formation of constitutions. Further, they sought to demonstrate how radical beginnings have an intimate relationship with ordinary politics.

    Other than a particular event that might warrant a relaxation in procedural and substantive rule of law, it is possible to be in a more continuous state of emergency. For instance, it may be asked whether the concern of climate change means that all human activity now operates within a state of emergency. Scholars have also inquired whether the ‘new normalcy’ of an economic crisis can be understood in an emergency paradigm. The discourse of emergency shapes and at the same time renders invisible ‘normal’ continuous struggles and political choices. This explains attempts to ‘de-exceptionalise’ emergencies to reveal the realities that made them possible, as well as have a hold on what is to follow. Economic disparity, budgetary choices on healthcare, race relations, exclusion through identity documents deserve the attention of the emergency scholar. Another line of inquiry is whether an emergency could be understood as an accident-like situation or one that can be understood through the framework of responsibility (the COVID-19 pandemic sparked creative lawsuits).

    Within the realm of private law, one may ask what happens to contractual relations, financing arrangements and regulatory intervention to shape them. A concern in this respect is what constitutes a ‘material adverse change’, whether it is an implied term in contracts, and how it differs from force majeure clauses.

    Both a variety of emergencies and a variety of approaches to emergencies are available to the legal imagination.

    The following is an indicative list of issues that the student can think through on this nascent field:

  • Emergency constitutionalism.
  • Exercise of emergency provisions in constitutions.
  • Constitutional moments and states of exception.
  • Emergency powers and free movement.
  • Derogation of human rights during emergencies.
  • Federal relations and declarations of emergency.
  • Risk regulation and the precautionary principle.
  • Law of accidents and emergencies.
  • Material Adverse Change clauses.
  • Modules available to Law Visiting Students

    Please refer to module descriptors listed earlier in this document

      Year Long
    CODE MODULE NAME
    LAU22412 Aspects of Irish Law in a European Context

      SEMESTER 1
    CODE MODULE NAME
    LAU34001 Administrative Law
    LAU34051 Competition Policy
    LAU12501 Constitutional Law I
    LAU23451 Constitutional Law II
    LAU34041 Criminology
    LAU34061 European Human Rights (Not open to visiting students)
    LAU34141 Family and Child Law
    LAU44072 Intellectual Property
    LAU44050 International Trade Law (5 ECTS)
    LAU12601 Introduction to Business Law
    LAU10522 Jurisprudence students may not take both Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy) (5 ECTS)
    LAU34071 Legal Philosophy (students may not take both Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy)
    LAU44082 Media Law
    LAU34081 Public International Law
    LAU11531 Torts

      SEMESTER 2
    CODE MODULE NAME
    LAU44102 Advanced EU Law (students who have studied EU law may take this)
    LAU34091 Commercial Law
    LAU34022 Company Law
    LAU44112 Conflicts of Laws
    LAU11542 Contract Law
    LAU34111 Employment Law
    LAU34131 Environmental Law
    LAU22522 Equity
    LAU34032 EU Law (Students who have studied this or similar in their home universities may not take this module)
    LAU44132 Financial Services Law
    LAU44142 International Human Rights Law
    LAU12601 Introduction to Business Law
    LAU44052 IT Law (5 ECTS)
    LAU12571 Legislation and Regulation
    LAU44152 Medical Law and Ethics
    LAU11532 Private Law Remedies: (restricted to US, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand partners with programmes delivered through English)
    LAU34161 Public Interest Law
    LAU44092 Refugee and Immigration Law
    LAU12702 Regulation and Governance (5 ECTS)
    LAU34091 Tax Law (5 ECTS)

    Modules available to Non-Law Visiting Students

    Please refer to module descriptors listed earlier in this document.

      YEAR LONG
    CODE MODULE
    LAU12412 Introduction to Law
    LAU22412 Aspects of Irish Law in a European Context

      SEMESTER 1
    CODE MODULE
    LAU12501 Constitutional law I
    LAU23451 Constitutional law II*
    LAU34041 Criminology (only if Social Sciences/Humanities background)
    LAU34051 Competition Policy (only if coming from Economics background)
    LAU34071 Legal Philosophy**
    LAU34141 Family and Child Law*
    LAU44032 Food Law (open to law visiting students)
    LAU44072 Intellectual Property*
    LAU44050 International Trade Law (5 ECTS)
    LAU44082 Media Law*
    LAU12601 Introduction to Business Law

      SEMESTER 2
    CODE MODULE
    LAU11571 Legislation and Regulation
    LAU34032 EU Law* (students who have studied this or similar in their home universities may not take this module)
    LAU12702 Regulation and Governance (5 ECTS)
    LAU34131 Environmental Law*
    LAU44052 IT Law** (5 ECTS)
    LAU44152 Medical Law and Ethics*
    LAU34161 Public Interest Law 
    LAU44092 Refugee and Immigration Law*

    *Subject to review on a case-by-case basis.

    **generally suitable for some students who have taken law modules or discipline related programmes.

    Modules available to Non-Law Students

    Introduction to Law: (LAU12412) 10 ECTS

    This module, tailored for non-law students, provides an introduction to the study of law. Two major themes will be covered during the year. The first semester will present key features of the Irish legal system. The second semester will provide an introduction to jurisprudence, that is, the philosophy of law. Jurisprudential theories will be used to consider contemporary issues in law including the regulation of international trade (WTO) and the interaction between privacy and freedom of expression. The module will equip students with the basic skills required for the study of law. It will introduce students to legal reasoning and provide practical training in legal problem-solving and advocacy.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify and analyse the main sources of law in the Irish legal system and the relationship between them.
  • Display an understanding of the common law nature of the Irish legal system.
  • Describe the Irish courts system.
  • Critically analyse the doctrine of stare decisis and the system of judicial precedent.
  • Explain and critically evaluate the role of EU law within the Irish legal system.
  • Explain and critically evaluate the role of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Irish legal system.
  • Apply legal principles and case law in order to solve a variety of legal problems.
  • Teaching:

    2 hours of lectures per week in the both Semesters

    Assessment:

    2 MCQ tests -30%, Examination - 70%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Norah Burns

    Aspects of Irish Law in a European Context: (LAU22412) 10 ECTS

    This module, tailored for non-law students, provides an introduction to the study of Irish private law. Two major themes will be covered during the year. The first semester will provide an introduction to the law of Torts. The second semester will examine the law of Contract. Both themes will take into account of the impacts of European Law on Irish Law.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

    On completion of this module, students should be able to describe and explain basic features of the law of torts in Ireland, including:

  • Negligence
  • Defences
  • Nuisance
  • Defamation
  • Describe and explain basic features of the law of contract in Ireland, including:

  • Formation of contract.
  • Remedies for breach of contract.
  • Use appropriate legal concepts, relevant judicial precedents, and statutory law to solve concrete practical problems.
  • Engage in sophisticated, creative, and critical discussion of common law concepts, both orally and in writing.
  • Teaching:

    2 hours of lectures per week in the both Semesters

    Assessment:

    2 MCQ tests -30%, Examination - 70%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Norah Burns

    Introduction to Business Law (LAU TBC) 10 ECTS

    This course will provide an overview of the Irish legal system and the sources of law as they relate to business. This will include essential principles of contract law, including the essential requirements of a valid contract, and essential principles of tort law and negligence. The course will provide an overview of essential principles of company law, including an introduction to the role of law in corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. A case study of a current issue in business law will be explored. No prior knowledge of law will be assumed. The focus of the course will be on the law in Ireland and the European Union.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Explain the key principles of Business Law.
  • Discuss the role of law in regulating commercial activity.
  • Critically evaluate the role of courts in relation to Business Law.
  • Demonstrate written communication skills.
  • Apply problem-solving skills to hypothetical case studies relating to Business Law.
  • Teaching:

    2 hours of lectures per week in the 1st Semester

    Assessment:

    Essay (1,500 words) - 50%, Exam (1 hour) - 50%

    Lecturers:

    Ms Sara-Jane O’Brien

    Regulation and Governance (LAU TBC) 5 ECTS

    This course is an introduction to regulation and governance. It examines the processes and institutions associated with regulatory governance in OECD countries. It is intended for non-law students who have varying familiarity with regulation. Case studies, lectures, problem solving, and discussion groups introduce and develop students’ understanding of key issues in regulation and law. The course adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the study of regulation and examines the role of law in its broader social and political context. This course will be of interest to those coming to regulation for the first time. No prior knowledge of regulation will be assumed. The focus of the course will range from national to European and international level.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Explain competing conceptions of regulatory concepts. Discuss the role of law in regulating commercial activity.
  • Discuss the role of law in regulation.
  • Appraise both the emergence of and variety in regulatory regimes.
  • Compare different instruments of regulation and alternatives to classical regulation.
  • Consider normative arguments concerning arrangements for regulatory regimes.
  • Apply what has been learned to a regulatory problem case.
  • Teaching:

    1.5 hours of lectures per week in the 2ND Semester

    Assessment

    Mid-term Assessment - (1 hour) - 50%, Essay (1,000 words) - 50%

    Lecturers:

    Dr Donna Lyons