School Of Law
Sutherland School of Law
Tel: +353 1 7164144
Oonagh B. Breen graduated from University College Dublin with first class honours (BCL, 1992, LL. M., 1995). A Tutorial Scholar (1992), she was appointed lecturer in 1994, and was called to the Irish Bar in 1997. Graduating second in her class, she was awarded the Society's Exhibition Prize and a Bar Council Bursary. She became a Senior Lecturer in 2008.
In 2003, Dr. Breen was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and was made a Government of Ireland Research Fellow. She commenced studies at Yale Law School in that year as a Lillian Goldman Scholar. In 2004, she obtained her LL. M. from Yale and in 2006 she was awarded her J.S.D. for her doctoral dissertation on comparative perspectives on the legal regulation of charities and the role of state-nonprofit partnership in public policy development. From 2004 to 2006, she was the recipient of the National University of Ireland's Travelling Studentship award. She was a visiting professor at De Paul Law School, Chicago in 2002, at University Missouri Kansas City Law School in 2004 and at University of California, Davis in 2008. She has been the external examiner in Equity for the Law Society Final Examinations Part 1 since 2001. In 2009, Oonagh was a visiting Research Fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University.
Dr Breen specialises in the area of comparative charity regulation and nonprofit-state collaboration in public policy formation and development. A co-author of the Law Society's Report, Charity Law: The case for reform (2002), she was appointed by the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to write an external report on the submissions received during the Department's charity law reform consultation process in 2004. She has worked with nonprofit representatives, the Law Reform Commission and the Irish Government on issues relating to the reform of charity law. Since 2005 she is the Irish rapporteur for the United States International Grantmaking Project, which facilitates international grantmaking by US foundations. In 2006, she was named as an emerging scholar by ARNOVA.In 2007 she was awarded a University President's Award for Teaching & Learning and in 2008, Dr. Breen was awarded a Distinguished Research Award by ICNL/CORDAID for her work on European regulation of nonprofit entities. Oonagh is a frequent contributor at international conferences and colloquia on the topic of charity law reform and has published extensively in this area.
Oonagh is interested in hearing from prospective PhD students in the areas of comparative charity law and regulation, nonprofit governance and the broader areas of equity and the law of trusts.
Honours and Awards
| Year: 2003.
Title: IRCHSS Government of Ireland Fellowship
| Year: 2003.
Title: Ireland-US Fulbright Scholarship
| Year: 2013.
Title: Board of Directors of the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law
| Year: 2010.
Title: Dennis J. Block International Visiting Scholar
| Year: 2003.
Title: Lillian Goldman Fellow, Yale Law School
| Year: 2004.
Title: National University of Ireland Travelling Studentship Award
| Year: 2006.
Title: ARNOVA Emerging Scholar Award
| Year: 2007.
Title: UCD President's Teaching Award
| Year: 2008.
Title: ICNL/CORDAID Distinguished Research Award
| Year: 2009.
Title: Visiting Research Fellow at Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard
|Association: International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law, Washington DC, Function/Role: Member of Board of Directors|
|Association: International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law, Washington DC, Function/Role: Advisory Council Member|
|Association: Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Function/Role: ➢ Member of the International Advisory Board for the Model Non Profit Law Project, Australia|
|Association: Membership Secretary of the Irish Association of Law Teachers (1999-2003), Function/Role:|
|Committee : Irish Jurist Editorial Board Member|
|Committee : American Bar Association International Section Planning Committee Dublin 2011|
|Committee : First Year Assessment Project Advisory Group|
|Committee : Academic Consultant Editor UCD Law Review|
|Committee : University Open Day Committee (1999-2003)|
|Committee : UCD Press Editorial Board|
|Committee : UCD Volunteers Overseas|
| Year 1995 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: LLM Subject:
| Year 1997 Institution:
Qualification: Barrister-at-Law Subject:
| Year 1989 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: BCL Subject:
| Year 2006 Institution: Yale University, CT
Qualification: PhD Subject:
| Year 2004 Institution: Yale Law School
Qualification: LLM Subject: Law
|Client: United States International Grant-Making Project|
| Board Member of UCD Volunteers Overseas, a UCD charity registered with the Revenue Commissioners that provides opportunities for UCD students, staff and alumni to volunteer in development projects run in Uganda, Tanzania, Haiti, Nicaragua and India over the summer semester.
For further information on the charitable work of UCDVO visit
|Oonagh B. Breen (2014) 'Recent Developments in Irish Charity Law: Tsunami or Rising tide to lift all Boats?' In: Prof. Dr. Rainer Hüttemann, Notar Prof. Dr. Peter Rawert, Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Karsten Schmidt, Prof. Dr. Birgit Weitemeyer (eds). Nonprofit Law Yearbook 2014. Germany: Carl Heymanns Verlag. [Details]|
|Oonagh Breen, Evelyn Brody, Myles McGregor Lowndes (2014) 'An Unrelated Income Tax for Australia?' In: Zahirul Hoque and Lee Parker (eds). Performance management in nonprofit organizations: global perspectives. New York: USA: Routledge Taylor & Francis. [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2014) 'Trust, Fiducie, Treuhand v Evropea sverenstvi v Ceske republice' In: Lubos Tichy, Katerina Ronovska and Milos Koci (eds). Trust: A Srovnatelne Instituty v Evrope. Prague: Univerzita Karlova v Praze. , pp.91-108 [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2014) 'In Search of Terre Firma: The Unpacking of Charitable Foundations in Europe' In: Chiara Prele (eds). Developments in Foundation Law in Europe. Europe: Springer. [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2015) 'Minding the Pennies: Global Trends in the Regulation of Charitable Fundraising' In: Tobias Jung, Susan Phillips, Jenny Harrow (eds). The Routledge Companion to Philanthropy. London: Routledge. [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen and James Carroll (2015) 'Giving in Ireland: A nation of givers in a largely unregulated arena' In: Pamala Wiepking and Femida Handy (eds). The Palgrave Research Companion to Global Philanthropy. London: Palgrave MacMillan. [Details]|
|Breen, O.; (2010) 'Ireland: Pemsel Plus' In: McGregor Lowndes, M and O'Halloran, K (eds). Modernising Charity Law: Recent Developments and Future Directions. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. , pp.74-102 [Details]|
|Breen, O.; (2010) 'Holding the Line: Regulatory Challenges in Ireland and England when Business and Charity Collide' In: McGregor Lowndes, M and O'Halloran, K (eds). Modernising Charity Law: Recent Developments, Future Directions. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. , pp.136-163 [Details]|
|Breen et al; (2000) 'Children these Days ' Section 117 of the Succession Act 1965 and the Moral Obligations of Parenthood' In: Breen et al; (eds). Liber Memorialis: Professor James C. Brady. *: Roundhall. [Details]|
|Oonagh Breen; (2000) 'Dusting Down Equity's Armour: High Trees in Perspective' In: O¿Dell (ed) (eds). Leading Cases of the Twentieth Century. *: *. [Details]|
|Oonagh Breen, James Casey and Anthony Kerr (Ed.). (2000) Liber Memorialis Professor James C. Brady. Dublin: Roundhall. [Details]|
Peer Reviewed Journals
|Oonagh B. Breen (2014) 'Long Day's Journey: The Charities Act 2009 and Recent Developments in Irish Charity Law'. The Charity Law and Practice Review, 17 :91-112. [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2014) 'Recent Developments in Irish Charity Law: Tsunami or Rising Tide to lift all Boats?'. Non Profit Law Yearbook for 2013/14, :105-123. [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2013) 'The European Foundation Statute Proposal: Striking the Balance between Supervising and Supporting European Philanthropy?'. Nonprofit Policy Forum, 5 (1):5-43. [DOI] [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2013) 'Different Paths, Same Destination: Emerging issues for Northern Charities Operating in the Republic of Ireland'. Irish Jurist, 50 :70-99. [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2013) 'The Disclosure Panacea: A Comparative Perspective on Charity Financial Reporting'. Voluntas, 24 :852-880. [DOI] [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2012) 'The Perks and Perils of Non-Statutory Fundraising Regulatory Regimes: An Anglo-Irish Perspective'. Voluntas, 23 :763-790. [DOI] [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen; (2012) 'Too political to be charitable? The Charities Act 2009 and the future of human rights organisations in Ireland'. Public Law, 2012 (2):268-287. [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen; (2011) 'Through the Looking Glass: European Perspectives on Non-Profit Vulnerability, Legitimacy and Regulation'. Brooklyn Journal of International Law, 36 (3):946-991. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh, Patrick Ford and Gareth Morgan; (2009) 'Cross Border Issues in the Regulation of Charities: Experiences from the UK and Ireland'. International Journal of Not for Profit Law, 11 (3):5-41. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh; (2009) 'Regulating Charitable Solicitation Practices – The Search for a Hybrid Solution'. Financial Accountability and Management, 25 (1):115-143. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh B.; (2008) 'Neighbouring perspectives: legal and practical implications of charity regulatory reform in Ireland and Northern Ireland'. Northern Irish Legal Quarterly, 59 (2):223-243. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh B.; (2008) 'EU Regulation of Charitable Organizations: The Politics of Legally Enabling Civil Society'. International Journal of Not for Profit Law, 10 (3):50-79. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh; (2001) 'Immunity for Suit? – Mareva Injunctions, Constructive Trusts and the salutary tale of Mizrahi Bank '. European Review of Private Law, 9 (1):117-131. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh; (1999) 'Landlord and Tenant: A New Lease of Life for Specific Performance'. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 50 :102-115. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh; (1997) 'Undertakings: Article 90 and the Expert Witness'. Dublin University Law Journal, 18 :139-149. [Details]|
|Breen; (2001) 'Taxing Considerations: Levelling the Playing Fields of Charity'. Conveyancing and Property Law Journal, 6 . [Details]|
|Breen, O; (2000) 'Registration of Title and Overriding Interests: Another Crack in the Mirror'. Conveyancing and Property Law Journal, 5 (52). [Details]|
|Breen, O; (1999) 'Proprietary Estoppel -- Frustrated Expectations and the Doctrine of Unconsionability'. Conveyancing and Property Law Journal, 4 (9). [Details]|
|Breen, O; (1999) 'Estoppel in the Irish Courts ' The Ebb and Flow of Unconscionability: Recent Developments'. Journal of Malaysian and Comparative Law, 26 (29). [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh and O'Halloran, Kerry; (2000) 'Charity Law in Ireland and Northern Ireland – Registration and Regulation' Irish Law Times 18(n.s.) (1) :6-14. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh; (1999) 'The road from Genoa: Direct Causal Links and the Case of Raso0' Commercial Law Practitioner 7 (6) :239-244. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh; (1998) 'Proprietary Estoppel – Equity's Aid to those left behind' Irish Law Times 16 (n.s) :133-135. [Details]|
|Breen; (1998) 'The Competition Authority and the Effect of the Freedom of Information Act 1997 ' The Commercial Law Practitioner 5 (6) :144-148. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh, Patrick Ford and Gareth Morgan; (2009) Cross-Border Issues in the Regulation of Charities: Experiences from the UK and Ireland ISTR Eighth International Conference "The Third Sector and Sustainable Social Change: New Frontiers for Research" Barcelona, July 9-12, 2008 [Details]|
|Louise Crawford, Gareth G. Morgan, Carolyn Cordery, Oonagh B. Breen (2014) International financial reporting for the not-for-profit sector. Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies, London. [Details]|
|Breen, O; (2010) Country Report for the United States International Grantmakers Project on charity law in Ireland. International Centre for Not for Profit Law, US. [Details]|
|Breen, O; (2009) Country Report for the United States International Grant Makers Project (USIG) on charity regulation in Ireland. USIG, United States. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh and Courtney, Tom; (2007) Guidelines on the Governance of Integrated Local Development Companies and Urban Based Partnerships. Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Dublin. [Details]|
|Breen, Oonagh B.; (2004) Establishing a modern Statutory Framework for Charities: Report on the Public Consultation for the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Dublin. [Details]|
|Law Society of Ireland, Law Reform Committee; (2002) Co-author of Law Society of Ireland, Charity Law: The Case for Reform (Law Society, Dublin, 2002), 284 pp. Law Society of Ireland, Dublin. [Details]|
|Breen, O; (2006) Crossing borders: comparative perspectives on the legal regulation of charities and the role of state-nonprofit partnership in public policy development (JSD Thesis 624 pp). United States: Reports [Details]|
|Breen, O; (2004) Establishing a modern Statutory Framework for Charities: Report on the Public Consultation for the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Reports [Details]|
|Breen, O et al ; (2002) Charity Law: The Case for Reform: A Report by the Law Society's Law Reform Committee. Ireland: Reports [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2014) Minding the Pennies: Global Trends in the Regulation of Charitable Fundraising. Working Paper [Details]|
|Oonagh B. Breen (2014) Long Day's Journey: The Charities Act 2009 and Recent Developments in Irish Charity Law. Working Paper [Details]|
|McDowell, M. & Breen, O.; (1999) Study on regulation in Ireland prepared for Forfas. Consultancy [Details]|
• The legal regulation and governance of charitable organizations from a comparative perspective (particularly the European Union, the US and Commonwealth countries)
| Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : ARNOVA 42: Conference, Hartford CT, USA - Organisation of International Colloquium on the Exploration of Regulatory Waves in Nonprofit Governance
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-13 / 31-OCT-14
| Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Panel on Charity Accounting, Reporting, and Regulation: An international critical assessment, International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) Biennial Conference, Siena, Italy, July 10-13, 2012
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-12 / 31-OCT-13
| Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Arnova 38: Philanthropy in Communities-Finding Opportunity in Crisis, Ohio -- Presentation of Paper "Regulatory Challenges: When Business and Charity Collide. . ."
Start Date / End Date : 03-AUG-09 / 31-JAN-11
*Current Issues in Comparative Charity Law & Policy
Enhancement of Teaching
Review and Enhancement of Curriculum
Developing as a Teacher
Innovation & Leadership
| European Law Institute, Statement on the European Foundation Statute Proposal 2014: January 2014 to date: member of the ELI Working Group on the Statement on the EFS proposal.
January 2013- January 2014: Member of the ELI Advisory Committee to the Working Group on the Statement on the EFS Proposal.
Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies Study on International Financial Reporting for the Not-for-Profit Sector August 2013-January 2014. In conjunction with Professor Gareth Morgan, Sheffield Hallam University, England, Dr. Louise Crawford, Dundee University, Scotland and Dr. Carolyn Cordery, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, I will research and deliver a report to the CCAB in January 2014.
Nonprofit Regulatory Waves Project 2013-2015: In partnership with Professor Mark Sidel, University of Wisconsin, USA and Dr. Alison Dunne, Newcastle University, England, I am leading a comparative research project that brings together a team of international researchers from Australia, Canada, the US, Israel, and Mexico to better understand the causal links between between statutory and non-statutory regulation of the not-for-profit sector and the policy drivers that both result in regulatory shifts between the two forms of regulation and the attendant variables that influence the choice of one above the other.