Spring Discourse 2017

Our 2017 Spring Discourse will take place on Friday 17 February at 5.30, at Regent House, Trinity College Dublin.

John F. Larkin, QC, Attorney General for Northern Ireland will deliver an address on: ‘The Irish Convention, 1917-18: Centenary Reflections’

Admission is free and all are welcome to attend. Members of the Society are invited to attend a dinner afterwards; please email secretary@ilhs.eu for information.

About the Speaker

  • John F Larkin QC  was educated at St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School and at Queen’s University Belfast.
  • He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in Michaelmas Term 1986 and later to the Bar of Ireland.
  • Between 1989 and 1991 he was Reid Professor of Criminal Law in Trinity College Dublin.
  • He took silk in Michaelmas term 2001. In the last ten years his practice has been mainly in Constitutional and Administrative Law and Human Rights.

Following the transfer of policing and criminal justice powers to Northern Ireland he was appointed Attorney General for Northern Ireland on 24 May 2010. He is the first person to hold the office separately since its functions were assumed by the Attorney General for England and Wales in 1972

Venue

.Regent House is located at the front of Trinity College Dublin’s campus, on College Green, Dublin 2. The discourse will take place in the room overlooking College Green in which the Convention met 100 years ago.

 

 

Podcasts: Law and the Idea of Liberty in Ireland

The Irish Legal History Society marked the 800th anniversary of the transmission of Magna Carta to Ireland with a two-day conference in Christ Church Cathedral in November 2016. The conference explored the legal-historical background to Magna Carta in Ireland, the reception of the charter into English law in Ireland, the political and polemical uses to which the charter was put, and its twentieth and twentieth-first century invocations as a living presence in contemporary Irish law. Professor Paul Brand (All Souls, Oxford) delivered a keynote address on the impact of Magna Carta on the development of English law in medieval Ireland.

Speakers included: Claire Breay, Sean Duffy, Ian Campbell, Coleman Dennehy, Sparky Booker, Colum Kenny, Adrian Empey, James Kelly, Patrick Geoghegan, John Larkin, Bláthna Ruane.

The conference was recorded for podcasting by Real Smart Media, and is available here:

 

Law and the Idea of Liberty in Ireland: From Magna Carta to the Present

The Irish Legal History Society will mark the 800th anniversary of the transmission of Magna Carta to Ireland with a conference.attachment-1

Magna Carta is one of the most famous documents in the history of the world, credited with being the first effective check in writing on arbitrary, oppressive and unjust rule — in a word, on tyranny. The fame of Magna Carta spread across the world as England, and later Britain, came to girdle the globe in its power.

What is the place of Ireland in the story of Magna Carta’s global dissemination? Four centuries before the Great Charter crossed the Atlantic, it was already implanted across the Irish Sea. A version of the charter issued in November 1216 in the name of the boy-king Henry III was sent to Ireland, where it became fundamental to the English common law tradition in Ireland that survives to the present.

The conference will explore the legal-historical background to Magna Carta in Ireland, the reception of the charter into English law in Ireland, the political and polemical uses to which the charter was put, and its twentieth and twentieth-first century invocations as a living presence in contemporary Irish law. Professor Paul Brand (All Souls, Oxford) will deliver a keynote address on the impact of Magna Carta on the development of English law in medieval Ireland.

A particular concern of the conference will be to explore the paradoxes presented by the reception of Magna Carta into Irish law, above all the contested and often highly restrictive-idea idea of ‘liberty’ that developed in Ireland from the Middle Ages onwards.

This conference wil be held in the Music Room of Christ Church Cathedral, which boasts its own copy of Magna Carta in the Liber Niger held in the cathedral treasury.

Speakers include: Claire Breay, Sean Duffy, Ian Campbell, Coleman Dennehy, Sparky Booker, Colum Kenny, Adrian Empey, James Kelly, Patrick Geoghegan, John Larkin, Blathne Ruane.

 

WHEN: Friday, 25 November 2016 at 10:30 – Saturday, 26 November 2016 at 16:00

REGISTRATION: This event is free but booking is essential. Places can be reserved via Eventbrite

WHERE: Music Room, Christ Church Cathedral – Christ Church Cathedral, ChristChurch Place, Dublin 8

PROGRAMME

Friday, 25 November 2016

10.15                                    Registration
10.45                                    Welcome and opening remarks

 

11.00                             Session 1.  Chair – Bernard Meehan, Medieval History Research Centre, TCD

 

Claire Breay           ‘Celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta at the British Library in 2015’

Seán Duffy              ‘The political background to Magna Carta: King John and Ireland’

12.30–1.30                  Lunch (attendees to make their own arrangements)

 

1.30 – 3.00                   Session 2.  Chair – Maebh Harding, University of Warwick

Adrian Empey       ‘Conquest and common law’

Peter Crooks          ‘1216, 1366 and all that: Magna Carta and exclusionary liberties in late medieval Ireland’

 

3.00 – 3.30                   Coffee break sponsored by  Four Courts Press Limited

 

3.30 – 5.00                   Session 3.  Chair – James McGuire MRIA

Ian Campbell          ‘Magna Carta in Irish political theory, 1541–1660’

Coleman Dennehy           ‘Nisi per legale judicium parium suorum: parliament, politics, and the right to trial by peer

Colum Kenny         ‘Myth, Mervyn and the “Irish Magna Carta” of 1662’

5.00                                      Tea and Coffee to welcome ILHS members

5.30                         Irish Legal History Society Annual General Meeting

6.00 The Irish Legal History Society Winter Discourse and Keynote Conference Address

Chair: The Hon. Mr Justice Deeny, President

Professor Paul Brand Emeritus Fellow, All Souls Oxford: ‘Magna Carta in Ireland, 1215–1320

 

 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

9.30 – 10.45                 ILHS Council Meeting

11.00 – 12.30    Session 5.  Chair: – Kenneth MilneChair, Christ Church Cathedral Library and Archives Committee

Jimmy Kelly            ‘Era of Liberty? The politics of political rights in eighteenth-century Ireland’

Patrick Geoghegan           ‘Daniel O’Connell, Magna Carta and the idea of liberty’

12.30 – 1.30                 Lunch (attendees to make their own arrangements)

1.30 – 3.00                   Session 6.  Chair: – Sir Anthony Hart

Tom Mohr               ‘Liberty in an Irish Free State, 1922–37’

Bláthna Ruane      ‘Magna Carta and modern Irish constitutionalism’

John Larkin            ‘Magna Carta and the Irish statute books’

 

 

For further details contact: Dr Peter Crooks (pcrooks@tcd.ie) or Dr Thomas Mohr (thomas.mohr@ucd.ie)

 

The Society gratefully acknowledges the support so generously given by the sponsors of this conference and without which it could not have taken place.

  • Christ Church Cathedral Library and Archives Committee
  • The Grace Lawless Lee Fund, Trinity College Dublin
  • The Medieval History Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin
  • The Humanities Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Sir Anthony Hart
  • The Law Society of Ireland

The Society would also like to thank its publishers Four Courts Press for sponsoring the coffee break on Friday and the publishers whose leaflets are enclosed in the conference pack.

Presidential Discourse 2015

On 27 November outgoing President of the Society, Mr Robert Marshall, delivered his presIMG_0445 - Copyidential discourse. His paper, entitled ‘Lisnafanna: A Townland in Turmoil on the Cavan Headford Estate 1870-1900’, was based on a  close study of the Headford estate papers. The paper provided some fascinating insights into the existence and operation of subversive or subaltern law on a Cavan estate in the late nineteenth century.  It looked specifically at the National League’s boycotting campaign and how this operated at a local and personal level. Interestingly, even on an estate where the Plan was in place, roughly two thirds of rent was still paid.

Mr Marshall went on to consider the legal procedures and processes which followed the fatal shooting of one of the boycotters. The coroner’s inquest saw the apportionment of some blame to the constabulary. Although a verdict of murder was returned by the coroner’s jury, the grand jury, by contrast, found ‘no true bill’, and the case did not proceed to trial.

All of this illustrates the role of the community in policing and sanctioning certain behaviours, and it the paper also explored the complex relationship between the ‘official’ law and the subaltern code.

A full text of the paper will be published in one of the Society’s upcoming collections of essays.

Professor Ian MacBride on the Penal Laws

The Society was delighted to host Professor Ian MacBride from King’s College London for the 2015 Spring Discourse. Professor MacBride’s paper, ‘Why the history of the penal laws has still to be written’  was a thought-provoking analysis of the reasons surrounding the relative dearth of scholarship surrounding the penal laws. The discourse took place at the UCD Sutherland School of Law and was well-attended by members of the Society and others.

2015 Spring Discourse

Professor Ian MacBride of King’s College London delivered the 2015 Spring Discourse at the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin, on 27 February.

His paper asked ‘Why the history of the penal laws has still to be written’.

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Traditionally signed on the Treaty Stone at Limerick on 3rd October 1691, the treaty of Limerick provided: “The Roman Catholics of this kingdom shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion as are consistent with the laws of Ireland, or as they did enjoy in the reign of king Charles the second: and their majesties, as soon as their affairs will permit them to summon a parliament in this kingdom, will endeavour to procure the said Roman Catholics such farther security in that particular, as may preserve them from any disturbance upon the account of their said religion.” The breach of this Treaty institutionalised religious discrimination against Roman Catholics and Dissenters who would not conform to the uses of the established church

2014 Autumn Discourse

The 2014 Autumn Discourse was delivered by Dr Coleman Dennehy speaking to the topic “Appointments to the Irish bench in the early Restoration period”
concluding a conference on LAW AND REVOLUTION IN IRELAND: LAW & LAWYERS BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE CROMWELLIAN INTERREGNUM (The flyer for the conference is available here. )

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The Four Courts at Christ Church (1608-1796)

2014 Spring Discourse

The 2014 Spring Discourse took place at the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Stranmillis Road, Belfast In a change to the Society’s usual format, this year we invited a number of excellent speakers to address the Society on a range of topics over two days:

  • Professor Lord Bew (School of Politics, Queen’s Univeristy Belfast): ‘Parnell and the Law.’
  • Sir Anthony Hart: ‘The Law in Action in Ulster, 1898.’
  • Professor Peter Gray (School of History, QUB): ‘Making a Poor Law for Ireland’.
  • Dr Thomas Mohr (UCD Sutherland School of Law): ‘The Oath and the Treaty.’

The flyer for the event is available here.

 

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2013 Autumn Discourse

Continuing the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Society, the 2013 AGM took place on Friday 8 November at the Stormont Hotel, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast. The AGM was followed by the launch of the Society’s 25th Anniversary Volume, Daire Hogan and Colum Kenny (eds), Changes in Practice in Law (Four Courts Press, 2013), by Mr David Ford MLA at the Stormont Parliament buildings.

Dr Conor Mulvagh of UCD Dublin then presented a paper entitled “Legislative landmine?: evaluating the third Home Rule Bill”

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2013 Spring Discourse

2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Legal History Society in the Provost’s House of Trinity College Dublin. It is therefore fitting that we returned to Trinity for this year’s Spring Discourse. An excellent paper was delivered by Mr Daire Hogan in the Debating Chamber of the Graduates Memorial Building, on Friday 15th February, entitled: ‘ . . . “I want the chancellorship. You can get it for me”; James Campbell’s path to judicial office, 1915 – 1918.’

James Campbell, first Baron Glenavy
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[James Campbell, First Baron Glenavy and Lord Chancellor of Ireland]

About the Speaker
Mr Hogan is a recently retired partner at McCann FitzGerald. He served as the first honorary Treasurer of the Society and was President 1995-98. In addition Daire was a co-editor of the first publication Brehons Serjeants and Attorneys . He lectured to the Society on RR Cherry, published as an essay in Mysteries and Solutions and also edited jointly with Dr Eamonn G Hall ‘The Law Society of Ireland 1852-2002, Portrait of a Profession’ Four Courts Press 2002.

Other Events
As part of the proceedings on Friday 15th February, the first W.N. Osborough Composition Prize in Legal History was awarded to Dr Maebh Harding from the University of Portsmouth (pictured below). Dr Harding’s essay, ‘The Curious Incident of the Marriage Act (No. 2) 1537 and the Irish Statute Book’ is published in Legal Studies (2012).

DrGeogheganspeakinginthepresenceofProfOsboroughonpresentationtoDrMaebhHardingofthefirstcompo