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Posted: 21 January 2007

Peter Sutherland gives €4 million for new Law School at UCD

Peter Sutherland SC has made a major leadership gift of €4 million towards the development of a new law school at University College Dublin campus at Belfield.  This follows the recent inauguration of Professor Imelda Maher as the Sutherland Chair of European Law at UCD.

Peter Sutherland SC, Chairman of BP and of Goldman Sachs International
Peter Sutherland SC, Chairman of BP and of Goldman Sachs International

The gift will be a significant factor in raising additional funds from Government and other sources for the €20 million development.

The UCD School of Law has 30 full time staff, over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  Its long history has influenced the emergence of the Irish State as most Attorneys General and Superior Courts justices along with numerous cabinet ministers and business leaders have been UCD law graduates.

Speaking of the Sutherland donation, the President of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady said: “In recent years the UCD School of Law has created new degrees that combine law with business, politics, economics and history, reflecting the dynamic relationship between law and commerce, society and public policy. 

“Peter Sutherland is one of our most distinguished alumni. His generosity will enable us to transform the undergraduate experience of our law students.  It will enhance the linkages with the humanities, social sciences and business.  It will facilitate the development of 4th level legal education and research.  It will also increase our capacity in Continuing Professional Education in key areas such as European law, commercial law, competition law and intellectual property rights, as well as the development of new programmes in humanitarian law and public international law.”

The UCD School of Law includes the Institute of Criminology, whose work on re-offenders was recently highlighted in the national media.  The School has recently been awarded the contract for the codification of Ireland’s criminal law by the Department of Justice and Law Reform. 

Peter Sutherland with Professor Imelda Maher, the recently inaugurated Sutherland Chair of European Law at UCD
Peter Sutherland with Professor Imelda Maher, the recently inaugurated Sutherland Chair of European Law at UCD

The school has formal links with the University of Melbourne, De Paul Law School (Chicago), the University of Minnesota, Osgoode Hall (Toronto), the University of New South Wales (Sydney), Fordham University and the University of California at Davis, as well as a joint Irish/French degree in civil law and the Maitrise.

The Minister for Education and Science, Ms Mary Hanafin, TD expressed Government support for the development of the UCD School of Law, referring to UCD as a “dynamic and pro-active institution”.

Mr Peter Sutherland is chairman of BP (the largest company in the world outside the United States) and of Goldman Sachs International.  He is former chairman of AIB Group.  He currently serves on the boards of Investor AB and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. 

He was Attorney General between 1981 and 1984, EC Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy between 1985 and 1989 and Director General of GATT between 1993 and 1995 and then the first Director General of the World Trade Organisation.

Among his many accolades he has received fourteen honorary doctorates. His awards include an honorary Knighthood (UK 2004), a Knight of the Legion d’Honneur (France), the Gold Medal of the European Parliament (1988), the first European Law Prize (Paris 1988), The David Rockefeller International Leadership Award (1998) and the Robert Schuman Medal for his work for European Integration.

His publications include the book, ‘Premier Janvier 1993 ce qui va changer en Europe’ (1989) and numerous articles in law journals.

Mr Sutherland is a former tutor and visiting professor at UCD.  During his undergraduate years he played for and captained UCD rugby club and is still a keen supporter of the team.

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