Category: Conferences, Lectures, Papers and Workshops

Brown J of the Supreme Court of Canada will launch the Palles Society for Private Law in Trinity

The Honourable Russell Brown, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, will deliver a keynote lecture on the topic of

Indeterminacy in the Duty of Care Analysis

at 6:30pm on Thursday 22 November 2018 in Trinity College Dublin, to launch the Palles Society for Private Law. The lecture will be held in the TRiSS Seminar Room (on the 6th floor of the Arts Block in Trinity (map and directions)); and a reception will follow. The event will be chaired by His Excellency Kevin Vickers, Ambassador of Canada to Ireland. All are welcome to attend, but registration is required.

Christopher Palles (pictured above left) was an unrivalled master of the common law. He was Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland from 1874 until 1916. Professor VTH Delany described him as “the greatest of the Irish judges”.

Justice Russell Brown (pictured above right) has been a puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada since 2015. He was a Professor of Law at the University of Alberta before his appointment to the bench. He is the author of Pure Economic Loss in Canadian Negligence Law (LexisNexis Canada, 2011), as well as articles, chapters and essays on tort law, property law and civil justice.

Kevin Vickers was appointed as the Ambassador of Canada to Ireland in January 2015. He previously served as the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons.

Justice Brown’s lecture is presented by the Palles Society with the support of the Private Law Group (PLG) in the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, the Events Fund of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (FAHSS), Trinity College Dublin, and the Ireland Canada Business Association (the ICBA). The Palles Society is very grateful to the PLG, the FAHSS, and the ICBA, for their generous support.

1.5 CPD points will be available for this event.

If you are interested in receiving more information about the lecture or about the Palles Society for Private Law, you subscribe to the Society’s mailing list, follow @PallesSociety on twitter, or send the Society an email.

Plain tobacco packaging in Australia and Ireland

Plain Pack With Shamrock And KangrooAustralia and Ireland were the first two countries in the world to introduce legislation to require standardized packing of tobacco products. As Olivia Kelly reports in the Irish Times that the Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne TD launched a landmark Report on the State of Tobacco Control in Ireland to mark World No Tobacco Day yesterday, I’m delighted to announce that a seminar on this topic will be held from 2:00pm to 4:00pm on Tuesday 12 June 2018 in the Neill Lecture Theatre in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute, Trinity College Dublin.

The main speaker will be Prof Matthew Rimmer (QUT); I will respond to his presentation; the seminar will be chaired by Prof Shane Allwright (TCD); and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Prof Matthew RimmerMatthew Rimmer (pictured right) is Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation in the Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. He has recently edited a special issue of the QUT Law Review on the plain packaging of tobacco products worldwide. At the seminar, he will talk about the Australian plain packaging legislation, and the failed challenges to it in the Australian courts, on foot of an investment treaty between Australia and Hong Kong, and before the World Trade Organisation.

In response, I will talk about the Irish plain packaging legislation, the failed challenge to it in the Irish courts, the failed challenge to similar UK legislation in the UK courts and before the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the slim prospects for success of future possible challenges.

Shane Allwright will chair the seminar. She is Emeritus Fellow, retired Associate Professor of Epidemiology, and former Registrar, Trinity College Dublin. She chaired the Working Group on the Health Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) in the Workplace, whose 2002 Report (pdf) led to the introduction in Ireland of the world’s first outright ban on smoking in the workplace in 2003.

The seminar is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend, but booking is essential.

The Irish Constitution at 80 – Property Rights, Proportionate Restrictions, and Media Pluralism

Constitution at 80 conference in ULA conference to mark 80 years of Bunreacht na hÉireann, the Irish Constitution, will be hosted by the School of Law, University of Limerick on 11 November 2017 in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. The conference will bring together judges, scholars, practitioners, and those with experience of constitutional governance to reflect upon and discuss the past, present and future of Ireland’s constitutional order at this important milestone. Keynote presentations will be delivered by Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, and Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell, Judge of the Irish Supreme Court. I will be delivering a paper in the following panel:

PROPERTY, SOCIAL ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND INJUSTICIABILITY

Dr Eoin O’Dell: Property Rights, Proportionate Restrictions, and Media Pluralism

Dr Claire M Smyth: Social and Economic Rights, Irish Constitution and International Obligations

James Rooney: The Injusticiable Constitution and the Common Good: The Preamble and Directive Principles in Contrast

This is the abstract of my paper:

A Report on the Concentration of Media Ownership in Ireland (2016) raised “grave concerns about the high concentration of media ownership in the Irish market”, and the Irish report for the EU’s Media Pluralism Monitor recommended that legislative limits on levels of media concentration should be applied retrospectively. As a consequence, a Private Members’ Bill, the Media Ownership Bill 2017, proposed to permit the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to take “retroactive measures” to reduce “significant interests” held by “any one relevant media asset”. This plainly engages the Constitution’s protections of property in Article 40.3 and Article 43.1, which are among the most consistently litigated of its rights since 1937. This paper will consider the nature and extent of the Constitution’s protections of property, the strength of media pluralism and diversity as elements of social justice or the common good that can constitutionally limit property rights, and the extent to which the Bill nevertheless constitutes an unjust (usually, a disproportionate) attack on any engaged property rights.

Kudos to Laura Cahalane and David Kenny, and to their team in UL, Hope Davidson, Caitlin Moyne, and Stephen Strauss-Walsh, for putting together such a great event. The draft programme may be downloaded here (.docx); all are welcome to attend; there is a modest fee; and registration is required.

The Future of the Law of Restitution for Unjust Enrichment in Ireland

Euro notes = Irish flag (notes via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_banknotes)The Private Law Discussion Group in the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, is delighted to welcome Dr Niamh Connolly (University College London) next Thursday, 30 March 2017, at 2:00pm, in the Trinity Research in Social Sciences (TRiSS) Seminar Room, 6th floor, Arts Building, TCD (map), to give a paper on


The Future of Restitution in Ireland.

All are welcome, particularly those with a research interest in private law, unjust enrichment and restitution. This event is open to the public and free of charge. If you would like to attend, please register on Eventbrite.

Niamh Connolly (via UCL website)Dr Niamh Connolly (pictured right) is a lecturer at University College London, where she moved from Trinity College Dublin in 2016. Her principal research and teaching interest is in unjust enrichment law. She is interested in how Irish private law compares to that of England and Wales, and in differences in legal culture that affect the substantive law in these jurisdictions. Her paper will seek to interpret the sparse Irish case law on unjust enrichment in light of this wider question about the specificity of Irish law. In particular, Niamh will ask whether Irish legal culture is less formalist than that of England and Wales, and if so, how that affects Irish restitution law. Niamh hopes that the seminar will provide an opportunity to hear the views of other Irish jurists as to the possible distinctiveness of Irish judicial approaches in private law.

The Private Law Discussion Group is a Research Group in the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, which invites collaboration and engagement nationally and internationally on private law, including property law, tort, contract, restitution, and unjust enrichment.

The Right to be Forgotten – is it time to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony?

ISEL logo, via ISEL websiteThe Irish Society for European Law will hold an Update on Data Protection, next Thursday, 23 March 2017, at 6:30pm in the Ormond Meeting Rooms, 31-36 Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 7.

The event will be chaired by the Hon Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan, Judge of the Court of Appeal; and the speakers will be Bruno Gencarelli (Head of the Data Flows & Protection Unit, DG Justice & Consumers, European Commission), Andreas Carney (Partner, Matheson), Emily Gibson BL (Law Library, Dublin), and me.

The event is open to all and is free of charge to ISEL members (there is a €30 charge for non-ISEL members, payable on arrival). Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please register for the event at www.isel.ie. 1.5 CPD points are available for this event.

Harmony, via Wikipedia (detail)The title of my talk is: The Right to be Forgotten – is it time to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony? I will consider whether delinking in support of the right to be forgotten [R2bF] ought to have worldwide effect. My talk will be in three brief parts. The first part will consider CJEU R2bF caselaw and member-state developments on the question whether an R2bF delinking derived from EU law should be effective worldwide or just inside the EU. Against this backdrop, the second part of the talk will argue that the Circuit Court decision Savage v Data Protection Commissioner & Google (Circuit Court, unreported, 11 October 2016, Sheahan J; pdf via DPC) mis-applied the R2bF. Third, combining the first and second parts, the final part of the talk will consider the proceedings in Google v Equustek Solutions (hearing 5 December 2016; webcast), in which the Supreme Court of Canada was invited to uphold an injunction (2015 BCCA 265) that an R2bF delinking derived from Canadian common law and constitutional considerations should be effective worldwide.

Implications of Brexit, North and South

Ire,UK,EuThe Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) seminar on the Constitutional and Human Rights Implications of BREXIT, North and South this evening at 5:00pm in the Distillery Building, Church Street, Dublin 7 (map via here). It’s something I’ve blogged about here, here, here and here. Since then, the UK Supreme Court has handed down its judgment in R (on the application of Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5 (24 January 2017). I wrote an OpEd on the case in the Irish Times the following day. (more…)

Litigating against Mass Surveillance in the US

ACLUThere will be a public lecture by Ashley Gorski on

Litigating against Mass Surveillance in the US – The National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union

in the Swift Lecture Theatre, Room 2041A Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin (map here), next Friday 10 February 2017 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. All are welcome to attend, and booking is not required.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920 to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBT people, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age of widespread government surveillance, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

The ACLU National Security Project advocates for national security policies that are consistent with the Constitution, the rule of law, and fundamental human rights. The project litigates cases relating to detention, torture, discrimination, surveillance, censorship, and secrecy. Originally created as an informal working group after the September 2001 attacks, the National Security Project is now at the forefront of virtually every major legal battle relating to national security, civil liberties, and human rights.

Ashley Gorski, via ACLUAshley Gorski (pictured, left) is a staff attorney at the National Security Project, where she works on issues related to post-9/11 racial and religious discrimination, torture, detention, and religious freedom. She is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the ACLU, she worked at a New York law firm and served as a law clerk to the Hon Jon O. Newman, United States circuit judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and to the Hon Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, United States district judge for the Southern District of New York. She is in Dublin to give evidence, about Mass Surveillance in the US, in the case currently before the High Court between the Data Protection Commissioner and Facebook, about current rules by which data is shared between the EU to the US.

The Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

Sands PosterThere will be a public lecture by Professor Philippe Sands QC on

East West Street: A Personal Take on the Origins of Genocide & Crimes against Humanity

on Wednesday, 30 November 2016, at 7:30pm, in the Edmund Burke Lecture Theatre, Room 1008 Arts Building (map here), Trinity College, Dublin. All are welcome to attend.

Professor Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at University College London, and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers, London, specialising in international law.

His book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016 | Amazon) won the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction. Robert Gerwath, reviewing it in the Irish Times, said that it was “a rare book” that “adds genuinely new insights into the war or its legacies”, and “succeeds in bringing the subject to life even for those not primarily interested in the evolution of legal concepts”. Sands has been involved in a number of high profile law cases and has published extensively. He contributes frequently to The Guardian, Financial Times, London Review of Books and Vanity Fair. His book East West Street formed the basis of the documentary film My Nazi Legacy: What our Fathers Did (2015 | imdb).

This lecture is part of the Sydney Gruson lecture series organised by the Herzog Centre in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Trinity College Dublin, and the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland.