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Posted 02 December 2013

UCD officially opens €25 million Law School named after Peter Sutherland

University College Dublin has officially opened the first purpose-built university Law School in Ireland. Named after Peter Sutherland SC, the UCD Sutherland School of Law honours his achievements both as a UCD law graduate and on the world stage.

The iconic facility, which measures over 5,100 square metres, is located on the edge of a newly designed and landscaped lakeside setting on the 133 hectare Belfield campus. It brings together all the teaching, research and professional development activity of the Law School into a single building.

The €25 million project was financed from a major leadership gift from Peter Sutherland SC, significant government investment under the National Development Plan 2007 – 2013, and gifts from other leading benefactors, major law firms and private donors.

Teaching spaces in UCD Sutherland School of Law are designed to promote the active engagement of students with the law. These include a clinical legal education centre where students can develop their advocacy, dispute resolution, client counselling and negotiation skills in simulated courtroom and office settings. The largest theatre in the facility also serves as a ceremonial moot court.

Opportunities to incorporate a range of aspects of legal practice into their learning will enhance students’ understanding of how the legal system works through their experiences.

“UCD Sutherland School of Law will propel Ireland’s growing international reputation as a location for the study and research of law to the next level,” said UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady.

“This outstanding new facility brings all of our research and teaching activities in the law into one single location to create a vibrant atmosphere where our scholars can share their knowledge and ideas and lead Ireland to the forefront of legal education and research.”

“It is through the singular vision and generosity of one of our most distinguished alumni, Peter Sutherland, that this development was made possible, and from which generations of students and scholars will enormously benefit,” he added.

Speaking at the opening, Peter Sutherland SC said: “I am very proud, as an alumnus of UCD School of Law, to be associated with this magnificent new building and to have been able to play a part in making it happen. Education is one of the most important benefits we can pass on to future generations. The rule of law underpins the cohesiveness and prosperity of society, making a sound legal education one of the most important we can deliver.”

“The new School has been designed to further deepen a strong sense of community within a transformative educational environment where staff and students work together and flourish,” said Professor Colin Scott, Dean of Law at University College Dublin.

“The new building offers the School, for the first time, state-of-the-art facilities for research to engage with those who both use and inform its research, in meetings and seminars, but also through professional development conferences and courses at graduate diploma and masters level.”


Designed by Molony O’Beirne architects, the new School offers a national resource, of the highest international standards, to underpin innovation in legal education, research and practice.


Architectural photographs available:

Architectural video footage available:


About Law at University College Dublin:

UCD Faculty of Law, as it was then called, started life in 1911 at 86 St Stephen’s Green (now Newman House), Dublin. Numbers on the law degrees were relatively small until reforms in the 1950s opened up the study of law to more students.


This growth and professionalisation of legal education, established separately from the legal profession, was further enhanced through the appointment of the first permanent law professors in the 1960s.


Today the School has thirty academic staff and more than 1,300 students studying for nine undergraduate degrees, professional certificates and diplomas, masters programmes for law and non-law graduates, and two PhD programmes, one in Law and the second in European Law and Governance. Three Irish heads of government studied law at UCD – Taoisigh John A Costello, Liam Cosgrave and Brian Cowen.  Other distinguished graduates include: Peter Sutherland SC; former Chief Justice, John Murray; President of the High Court, Nicholas Kearns; Supreme Court Justices, Donal O’Donnell, Elizabeth Dunne and Mary Laffoy; former Managing Partner of Arthur Cox, Eugene McCague; Managing Partner William Fry, Myra Garrett; Managing Partner, Mason, Hayes & Curran, Emer Gilvarry; journalist and broadcaster, Miriam O’Callaghan;  Justice for Magdalenes campaigner, Maeve O’Rourke; distinguished academics Professor Conor Gearty (LSE), Professor Gráinne de Búrca (NYU), Professor Deirdre Curtin (Utrecht) and Professor Imelda Maher (UCD).

About Peter Sutherland:

Peter Sutherland SC is an alumnus of UCD School of Law and a former tutor and later visiting professor on a Master’s programme. He was Attorney General in two governments in the 80s and made a particular contribution to international law as Commissioner for Competition in the EU and as Founding Director General of the World Trade Organisation.

He is currently Special Representative for Migration of the Secretary General of the United Nations and is Chairman of the London School of Economics. Peter is also non-executive Chairman of Goldman Sachs International.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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UCD officially opens €25 million Law School named after Peter Sutherland
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