About

Dr Eoin O'DellI’m Dr Eoin O’Dell a Fellow and Associate Professor at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin. That’s me in the photo on the left, with a bust of Archbishop James Ussher looming over my shoulder in the Long Room, Trinity College Dublin.

My first public post (26 January 2007) is here: Hello, world. However, I was practice-blogging since the end September of 2006, and those posts of the Sept 06 to Jan 07 period that survived my profound technological incompetence are available in the archives.

The end of September 2006 was the beginning of a new academic year; and it was as good a time as any for an academic to launch yet another blog, one of the many (millions, hundreds of millions, squillions?) filling up the blogosphere. Of course, there are lots of new years, and not just 1 January. The Chinese new year, following a lunar calendar, occurs around the beginning of spring (between 21 January and 21 February). The Islamic calendar is also lunar, and shorter than the solar year by 11 or 12 days, and so the Islamic new year – on the first day of Muharram – moves through the solar year. Following its Persian forbears, the modern Iranian new year, Nowruz, begins on the spring (vernal) equinox. In the Hebrew calendar, the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, occurs 163 days after Passover (between 5 September and 5 October). Like the Chinese new year, the ancient Babylonians also connected the new year to spring, at a slightly later date: the first new moon after the Vernal Equinox. The Romans followed suit; as does – with Gregorian adjustment – the UK tax year (6 April of one year to 5 April of the following year; and this also obtained in Ireland until 2002). And the academic year in Western Europe and North America is similarly based on the seasons: following the order of the agricultural year, the key to the academic year is the long summer break, to allow pupils and students to work on the farm at the time of the year when most work was to be done. As a consequence, one academic year ends at the beginning of the summer, and the next begins at summer’s end. So it was at the end of September 2006: the summer had faded; and a new academic year had begun.

And new years are times for new year resolutions. Mine (like those of most people, I suspect) are more honoured in the breach than the observance; so it is no doubt foolish to set out in black and white (well, in electrons, and the colours which the combination of this theme’s stylesheet and your screen allow you to see) the resolution to begin and maintain an occasional blog. Nevertheless, with the start of the 06/07 academic year, I took that resolution, and the product of observing it is this blog.

Of course, there are lots of blogs, and this will be no different from most of them. Cearta is, literally, the Irish word for rights; and Cearta.ie is – I hope – a blog about:

– matters of Irish law which make the headlines,
– matters of law in which I have a research interest (Contract, Restitution, Freedom of Expression, Media, IT & Cyber law, IP law especially copyright), and
– matters (of law, education policy, politics or otherwise) in which I have sufficient interest to muse in public for a few short sentences.

This kind of blog works best when it’s a dialogue (diablog?) rather than a monologue (monoblog?), so if you have blundered your way into this blog, please leave a comment. Indeed, I welcome, nay encourage, your comments on my posts. However, please follow my guidelines:

– keep your contributions concise,
– try to ensure that your comments are broadly relevant to the post,
– refrain from writing your responses in capital letters or bold,
– don’t write comments that are unlawful, defamatory, abusive, aggressive, offensive or rude,
– don’t spam or advertise (though a little self-promotion is ok), and
– don’t ask for legal advice, as a refusal often offends.

Whilst I am all in favour of your freedom of expression, the comments are moderated, and I will decline to approve and/or remove any comments that contravene these guidelines or the law, so please try to be civil. But, , I am not liable for anything that anyone else says in the comments – if you don’t like what they said, please let me know but contact them too.

Furthermore, if you need legal advice, don’t ask me – instead, read my disclaimer and consult a practising lawyer. Similarly, I’ve been getting lots of emails and comments asking for help in writing law student essays, but, whilst I’m more than happy for you to use my blog as a source in your research, I’m not going to write your essay for you.

Creative Commons LicenseFinally, by all means link to me or quote me, but this blog is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

After all that, please enjoy the blog, and if you like it, please pass on the good word.

Thanks for dropping by.

Eoin.

Last updated: 11 January 2012.
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