The many research projects in the School have a key role both in influencing the development of the legal system and in informing public policy, for example in the scrutiny of governmental activities in the field of human rights, employment law reform and the codification of the criminal law. The current body of research ties into UCD's overall Strategy for Research, Innovation and Impact (2015-2020); which is strongly committed to excellence in research and innovation and to delivering impact locally, nationally and globally.

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The first research project undertaken by the Legal History Group is a study of the interaction between the law and the family in Ireland in the period 1800-1950. The project began as a roundtable conference on the legal history of the family in Ireland, held in the Sutherland School of Law in March 2015. That conference resulted in a collection of twelve papers covering the stages of married life from engagement to divorce, and also touching on issues like the legal history of adoption, the legal definition of infanticide in nineteenth century Ireland, married women’s property, inter-family homicide trials in Ireland, the action for breach of promise of marriage, and the place of the family in the Irish Constitution. These essays are now due for publication by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.

The collection will be made up of the following titles: ‘Deception, Dissenters, and Degraded Clergymen: Irish Bigamy Cases in the Nineteenth Century’ (Dr Maebh Harding, Warwick University); ‘The Action for Breach of Promise of Marriage in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’ (Michael Sinnott); ‘Adultery in the Courts: Damages for Criminal Conversation in Ireland’ (Dr Niamh Howlin, UCD); ‘Divorce Irish style’: Marriage Dissolution in Ireland, 1850-1950’ (Dr Diane Urquhart); ‘Marriage Breakdown in Ireland, c. 1660-1857’ (Professor Mary O’Dowd, Queen’s University Belfast); ‘Class Criminality and Marriage Breakdown’ (Dr Deirdre McGowan, DIT); ‘Behind Closed Doors: Society, Law and Familial Violence in Ireland, 1922-1990’ (Dr Lindsay Earner Byrne, UCD); ‘Murder in the Irish Family, 1930-1945’ (Dr Karen Brennan, University of Essex);’ Married Women’s property in Ireland 1800-1900’ (Dr Kevin Costello, UCD); ‘The Fate of the ‘Illegitimate’ Child: An Analysis of Irish Social Policy 1750-1952’ (Dr Simone McCaughren and Professor Fred Powell, UCC); ‘Embedding the Family in the Irish Constituton’ (Dr Thomas Mohr, UCD); ,Interrogating the Charge of Concealment of Birth in Nineteenth-Century Irish Courts’ (Dr Elaine Farrell, Queen’s University Belfast).

In December 2014, Prof. Suzanne Kingston was awarded a highly prestigious research grant of almost 1.5 million euro from the EU's European Research Council for a project investigating how the way we design our laws influences levels of environmental compliance in the EU, and how we might change our laws to make environmental policy more effective. 

Please check out their website: http://effectivenaturelaws.ucd.ie/

Academics from the UCD School of Law are currently leading a specialist training programme for national judges on the enforcement of EU competition law. The specially devised UCD training programme funded by the European Commission includes Articles 101 and 102 TFEU and the State aid rules, focusing on those aspects of enforcement of particular relevance to national judges.

“Our specialist training programme pays particular attention to the EU and national case-law on remedies for breach of EU competition law in national courts, and to private enforcement of EU competition law,” says Dr Suzanne Kingston BL, UCD School of Law, who is leading the training programme.

Dr Kingston has lectured and practiced EU competition law for the past 12 years and is a former référendaire at the Court of Justice of the EU. Her collaborator on the project isProfessor Imelda Maher, Sutherland Chair of European Law at University College Dublin.

“National judges who participate in the training programme will gain a full and practical understanding of the key issues in enforcement of EU competition law from legal and economic perspectives, and be equipped with the skills for applying this knowledge in their own national legal systems,” adds Dr Kingston.

The programme aims to ensure coherence and consistency in the enforcement of EU competition law; to improve and encourage cooperation between national judges in EU competition law; and to address the specific training needs of national judge participants. The first training session which took place at the Four Courts in Dublin in May 2013 was attended by judges from 14 EU Member States.

Professor Ian O’Donnell’s latest book – Prisoners, Solitude, and Time – is published this week by Oxford University Press in the Clarendon Studies in Criminology Series and is as a result of the research project entitled, Crime and Punishment.

The book focuses on how the passage of time is experienced by the prisoner in solitary confinement; its meanderings, measures, and meanings. Building upon prisoner narratives, academic critiques, official publications, personal communications, field visits, administrative statistics, reports of campaigning bodies, and other data, it presents a new framework for understanding imprisonment.

The book concludes with a series of reflections on hope, the search for meaning, post-traumatic growth, and the art of living.