Shedding some light on Ireland’s Family Law cases

Carol Coulter, currently Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times, has been appointed by the Courts Service as a family law reporter to record and produce reports on family law proceedings for distribution to the media and the public. According to the press release, the appointment will be for a 12-month pilot in the first instance, to identify how information on the work of the Family Law Courts can be best disseminated to the Judiciary, the wider legal community, the media and the general public.

The importance of this enlightened appointment cannot be overstated. (more…)

Privacy: A Concept in Search of a Bill (just not this one)

Government’s propose; oppositions oppose. It’s what they do. The government has proposed a Privacy Bill. Predictably, Fine Gael, one of the main opposition parties, has called for the Privacy Bill to be scrapped. Yesterday’s call, reported in today’s Irish Times, is not their first: when the Bill was first proposed last July, Fine Gael opposed it then too.

But although the business of opposition is to oppose, there is much to be said for Fine Gael’s position. (more…)

Media Regulation

Another day, another conference. Today, the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin hosted a conference on the government’s reform plans relating to the defamation, privacy and broadcasting. I think that it was an important contribution to a crucial debate. Personal highlights included my colleage Eoin Carolan‘s superb conceptual discussion of press freedom in this context (on his birthday, I think; and if I’m right: happy birthday, Eoin!), Dearbhail McDonald’s insights into practical journalism, and Paul Drury’s combative speech that the regulation of the press is a bad idea and won’t work anyway.

I talked about the proposed Press Council from the 2003 Report of the Legal Advisory Group on Defamation to the 2006 Bill. (more…)

Blogging on the Radio

I believe it to be the case that RTE used to broadcast Irish dancing on the radio, not just the sound of music for Irish dancing, but the sound of feet dancing. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect it seems a bit surreal. I was reminded of that today, listening to a programme in BBC Radio 4‘s ‘Meet the Bloggers‘ short series.

Blogging on the radio seems as surreal as dancing on the radio. (more…)