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Research Projects

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.

The Group’s current project is entitled Law and Religion in Ireland 1530-1970.

The project will examine the ways in which law has regulated religion, and the law of religious institutions, in Ireland from the Reformation to the 1970s. The following topics fall within the scope of the project: The Legal Foundations of the Protestant Reformation in Ireland; The Penal Laws and Catholic Landholding, 1700-1793; The Penal Laws in the Long Eighteenth Century; The Catholic Relief Acts 1781 to 1793; Tithe in Ireland; The Catholic Emancipation Act 1829; Religious Disabilities after Catholic Emancipation: 1829-1920; Disestablishment and the Church Act 1869; Church Influence on Law Making in the Irish Free State; Article 44.1 of the Constitution 1937-1973; The Ecclesiastical Courts in Ireland in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries; Constitutional Aspects of the Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Century.

A roundtable conference, with contributions on these topics, will be held in the Sutherland School of Law in June 2018.

Persons who are interested in contributing to this project are encouraged to contact, Dr Kevin Costello ((opens in a new window)Kevin.Costello@ucd.ie).

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: (opens in a new window)http://effectivenaturelaws.ucd.ie/

Associate Professor Amy Strecker’s project, Land, Property and Spatial Justice in International Law (PROPERTY[IN]JUSTICE) investigates the role of international law in creating spatial justice and injustice through its conception of property rights in land. In going beyond traditional legal analysis to include interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives, the project aims to push the boundaries of property and advocate more place-based understandings of land across international law. 

For more about the project and to meet the team, click (opens in a new window)here.

The project develops a new socio-legal theory of European integration, asking whether integration through rights in a European Society can succeed. It combines theoretical inquiry with comparative research in 8 smaller states in the EU and its neighbourhood (Czechia, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Northern Ireland (UK), North Macedonia, Norway, Sweden). (opens in a new window)Here is more information.

(opens in a new window)Professor Dagmar Schiek, who won the first ever Advanced ERC Grant for a legal scholar in Ireland, is principal investigator, and (opens in a new window)Dr Audrey Plan is the first Postdoctoral Researcher. Would you like to join the team? We are recruiting a second Postdoctoral Researcher (see (opens in a new window)here) and six PhD researchers (see here), starting on 1 January 2025 (the latest) and funded for four years.

Professor Eoin Carolan's ERC project, The Foundations of Institutional Authority, explores how separation of powers systems are being affected by current social and political trends.

For more on the project please (opens in a new window)click here

Law and family-thumbThe 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).

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.

Research Projects

Our research projects play a key role in influencing the development of the legal system and informing public policy at a local, national and global level. The current body of research ties into Rising to the Future, the UCD Strategy 2020-2024 which sets a bold ambition for the University, based around 4 core objectives, 6 key enablers and 4 strategic themes.

UCD Sutherland School of Law

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.