Winter Discourse 2019

Our 2019 Winter Discourse takes place on Friday 6 December. Professor Richard English will deliver a paper entitled Legacies of the Irish Revolution: Ernie O’Malley and the IRA.

The Discourse begins at 6 pm in the Upper Bar Library, Royal Courts of Justice. All welcome.

The Speaker

Richard English is Professor of Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, where he is also Distinguished Professorial Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Professor English’s research focuses on the politics and history of nationalism, political violence, and terrorism, with a particular focus on Ireland and Britain.  His books include Does Terrorism Work? A History (OUP, 2016), Modern War: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2013), Terrorism: How to Respond (OUP, 2009), Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland (Pan Macmillan, 2006), Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA (Pan Macmillan, 2003), Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual (OUP, 1998), and Radicals and the Republic: Socialist Republicanism in the Irish Free State 1925-1937 (OUP, 1994).    He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an Honorary Fellow of Keble College Oxford, and an Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews.  Professor English has given invited Lectures on his research in more than twenty countries.  In 2018 he was awarded a CBE for services to the understanding of modern day terrorism and political history.

The Venue

ASLH Conference 2019 in Boston

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History takes place from 21-24 November in Boston, Massachusetts. Full details about the conference are available here.

These Conferences have taken place since 1973. The 2020 Conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois.

A Tribute to Sir Anthony Hart

The Irish Legal History Society was deeply saddened to hear of the death of our friend, colleague and former President, Sir Anthony Hart.

Sir Anthony was a founder member and one of the first two Vice-Presidents of the Irish Legal History Society. He served as President from 1991 to 1994, during which period he invested much time and attention in widening the membership of the Society, not least in the United States of America. His service to the Council of the Society continued unbroken until his death. His contribution to the development of the Society was wise, unassuming, influential, and sustained.  Through his membership of the Selden Society and his regular attendance at the British Legal History Conferences, he was an enthusiastic source of encouragement to many young legal historians and won many friends for the Irish Legal History Society.

Sir Anthony Hart

Sir Anthony was awarded the Gold Medal of the Society in 2012 for his outstanding contribution to legal scholarship. The author of A History of the King’s Serjeants at Law in Ireland (2000), and A History of the Bar and Inn of Court of Northern Ireland (2013) he also published papers in the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly and in two volumes in the Society’s collected discourses series.

Throughout his career, his commitment to historical research and to reconciliation was inspiring. In the days to come many tributes will be paid to him for his career as a lawyer and his legacy as a judge as well as his work chairing the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland. At this tragic time, the Society wishes  to pay its own tribute to his considerable contribution to the scholarship of legal history and its appreciation across Ireland.

BLHC 2019: St Andrews

The British Legal History Conference was hosted at St Andrews, Scotland, from 10-13 July 2019. The conference theme was Comparative Legal History.

As always, there was a strong Irish presence among both the papers and the delegates.

Full details about the programme  are available here

Recent articles on Irish Legal History

Recent issues of the Law and History Review have included articles on aspects of Irish Legal History:

  • Lynsey Black, “On the other hand the accused is a woman…”: Women and the Death Penalty in Post-Independence Ireland’ (2018) 36(1) Law and History Review 139-172 (available here)

 

  • Ciara Molloy, ‘The Failure of Feminism? Rape Law Reform in the Republic of Ireland, 1980–2017’ (2018) 36(4) Law and History Review  689-71 (available here)

Law and History Review is one of America’s leading legal history journals, encompasses American, European, and ancient legal history issues.

Launch of Molyneux at Iveagh House

January 2019 saw the launch of Patrick Hyde Kelly’s edition of William Molyneux’s The Case of Ireland’s Being Bound by Acts of Parliament in England, Stated.

Regarded as the most celebrated Irish political pamphlet published before 1801, William Molyneux’s Case of Ireland, stated (1698) was written to demonstrate that English statutes did not have force in Ireland until they had been re-enacted by the Irish parliament.

The book was launched at Iveagh House  on Friday 25 January by Professor Ian MacBride.

The book is available for purchase from Four Courts Press, and is free to members of the Society.

Calling Time at the Bar: Helena Normanton and Her Challenge to the Legal Profession

2019 marks the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 which facilitated access to the legal profession for women.

Dr Judith Bourne, ambassador for the First 100 Years Project, spoke at Queen’s University Belfast on 8 March to reflect on this historic change and explore the story of Helena Normanton, the first woman to practice as a barrister in England. Normanton was the first woman to be admitted to an Inn of Court after the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 and was called to the Bar in 1922. Normanton would go on to be one of two first women King’s Counsels and one of the few women to maintain a practice at the bar at this time.

Dr Bourne is a Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Spring Discourse 2019

Judge Liz Goldthorpe delivered the 2019 Spring Discourse on the subject of Averil Deverell BL, the second woman called to the Bar of Ireland and the first to practice in the South. Deverell went down to the Law Library to practise in January 1922, and remained in practice until her retirement in 1969. She was among the first group of women graduates from Trinity College, University of Dublin, obtaining her law degree in 1915. She died in 1979 and in her will left a bequest setting up a lectureship in the Law School of Trinity College.

The Honourable Society of the King’s Inns holds an archive of Averil Deverill’s papers, details of which can be found here.

The Spring Discourse took place on Friday 22 February at the Law Society of Ireland, and was well-attended.

 

William Molyneux’s The Case of Ireland’s Being Bound by Acts of Parliament in England, Stated

William Molyneux’s The Case of Ireland’s Being Bound by Acts of Parliament in England, Stated

Regarded as the most celebrated Irish political pamphlet published before 1801, William Molyneux’s Case of Ireland, stated (1698) was written to demonstrate that English statutes did not becomeof force in Ireland until they had been re-enacted by the Irish parliament. For all its fame, The Case’s mass of legal precedents and seemingly contradictory arguments make it a work that requires elucidation for the modern reader. This new edition presents a critical text, based on the manuscripts of The Case in the Trinity College Dublin library, together with explanatory notes, and a re-examination of the historical background and the sources on which Molyneux drew. The arguments in The Case, set out in a form analogous to presenting a legal case in court, are shown to be a significant response to the contemporary pamphlet debate on Irish woollen exports and the legal competence of the Irish house of lords, rather than the stand-alone publication the book has often been treated as.

ISBN: 978-1-84682-741-9
August 2018. 336pp; ills.

Available free of charge to all members of the Society, or for purchase from Four Courts Press

Patrick Hyde Kelly is a fellow emeritus of Trinity College Dublin. A specialist in the history of political and economic thought in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Ireland and Britain, he has edited Locke on money (2 vols, Oxford, 1991) for The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke.