In February 2018 the Royal Irish Academy will host “REPRESENTATION, GENDER AND POLITICS: PAST AND PRESENT”, an interdisciplinary conference reflecting on the centenary of the Representation of the People Act (1918) and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 which allowed women to stand for and vote in general elections for the first time.

This conference, produced in partnership with the Houses of the Oireachtas, critically reflects upon this history whilst also celebrating the lives and experiences of women in Irish politics, past and present.

With contributions from Maria Luddy, Margaret Ward, Myles Dungan, Mari Takayanagi, Senia Paseta, Diane Urquhart, Sonja Tiernan, Mary E Daly, Catherine Martin, Frances Fitzgerald, Ivana Bacik, Fiona O’Loughlin, Alice Mary Higgins, Clare Daly, Louise O’Reilly, Jane Suiter, Yvonne Galligan, Fiona Buckley, Gail McElroy,  Sarah Childs, Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Michael Peter Kennedy.

Full Price €20
Students and Unwaged €10 
Email info@ria.ie
Details available here.

 

Professor Norma Dawson awarded CBE

We are delighted that one of our former presidents, Professor Norma Dawson, was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to legal education and the development of the legal profession in Northern Ireland.
Norma Dawson

Professor Dawson is a distinguished legal historian and holder of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. She was President of the Irish Legal History Society from 2009-2012. She is also a former Head of the Law School at Queen’s University Belfast. Last year she was made an Honorary Bencher of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland.

Her research interests are intellectual property law, especially the law of trade marks, cultural property law, and legal history. She has taught in areas including Equity and Trusts, Trade Mark Law, Land Law, Charity Law, Landlord and Tenant Law, Irish Legal History, Planning Law and Introduction to Property Law. She has published widely in these areas, and her list of publications can be viewed here.

A Letter of Rights: Bringing the ‘Great Charter’ to Irish musical audiences.

We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right’

 – Clause 40 of Magna Carta

In November 1216, The Great Charter of Ireland (Magna Carta Hibernae) was issued and arrived in Ireland in February 1217.  800 years later it is still noted as an international symbol of freedom and rights paving the way for the democratic systems which exist in in the world today.

Commissioned by Salisbury Cathedral in 2015, British and American composer, Tarik O’Regan has collaborated with poet and librettist Alice Goodman to create a commemorative piece for Magna Carta – ‘A Letter of Rights‘ for chamber choir and orchestra.

Marking the 800th anniversary of the arrival of Magna Carta in Ireland, Chamber Choir Ireland and the Irish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Paul Hillier will perform this large-scale work in Belfast, Limerick and finally in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, where a 14th century copy of Magna Carta is currently exhibited.   Partnering A Letter of Rights in the programme is Handel’s brilliantly virtuosic Dixit Dominus.

Chamber Choir Ireland and Irish Chamber Orchestra are recognised as leaders in their artforms both on the island of Ireland and internationally and are delighted to once again partner for this unique programme of the new and the old. The tour has been made possible through a Touring and Dissemination of Work award from the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

 

Performances:

Thursday 23rd February, St. Thomas’ Parish Church, Belfast 7.30pm, £15/5  Tickets viawww.belfastmusicsociety.org

Saturday 25th February, St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick 8.00pm, €25/22 Tickets viawww.irishchamberorchestra.com/events/a-letter-of-rights

Sunday 26th February, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 7.30pm, €25/22 Tickets viawww.irishchamberorchestra.com/events/a-letter-of-rights

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:

 

Sir John Baker on Coke’s Dismissal

The Judicial Studies Board of Northern Ireland was pleased to welcome Professor Sir John Baker to deliver a lecture entitled ‘1616: The Dismissal of Lord Chief Justice Coke’ on 20 October. The subject of Sir John’s talk was particularly relevant to the perennially important themes of the independence of the judiciary and the maintenance of the rule of law.

Biographical Details: 

Professor Sir John H Baker Q.C., LL.B., Ph.D. (Lond.), M.A., LL.D. (Cantab.), Hon. LL.D. (Chicago), F.B.A.; Downing Professor Emeritus of the Laws of England Sir John was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, and University College London (LLB, PhD). He was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1966 and was elected an Honorary Bencher in 1988.

His first academic post was as an Assistant Lecturer in Law at University College London, in 1965. In 1967 he was promoted to Lecturer, and in 1971 moved to the University of Cambridge. There he was Librarian of the Squire Law Library until 1973, and became a Fellow of St Catharine’s College. His rooms were above the Sherlock Library until his retirement. In 1973 he became a Lecturer in Law at University of Cambridge. He was appointed Reader in English Legal History at the University of Cambridge in 1983. In 1988 he was appointed Professor of English Legal History.Image result for professor sir john baker

From 1998 until 2011 he was Downing Professor of the Laws of England. He was President of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge until 2007 when he was succeeded by Professor Sir Christopher Alan Bayly. He was also Literary Director of the Selden Society until 2011 (jointly with David Yale 1981-91, sole 1991-2011) when he was succeeded by Dr Neil Jones.

Appointments have included Visiting Professor, New York University School of Law since 1988, Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford in 1995, Honorary Fellow, Society for Advanced Legal Studies 1998, Corresponding Fellow American Society for Legal History 1992, and Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2001. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (1984) and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (1980). He was appointed a Fellow of University College London in 1991, awarded an Honorary LLD of the University of Chicago in 1991, and received the Yorke Prize (University of Cambridge) 1975, and the Ames Prize (Harvard Law School) in 1985. He was knighted in 2003. In 2004, he was awarded the Irish Legal History Society’s Gold Medal

‘Magna Carta in Ireland’ Conference

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

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 two-day conference in the Music Room of Christ Church Cathedral 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.

The conference takes place on 25 and 26 November and places can be booked via Eventbrite.

View and download the programme:

 

Further details are available here.

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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.

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.

The Irish Legal History Society on 1916

As part of the ongoing 1916 commemorations, three members of the Council of the Irish Legal History Society have contributed to the latest edition Irish Independent’s Special 1916 Supplement Series.

These supplements are aimed at a broad readership and will be made available in all secondary schools.

Dr Niamh Howlin: “The Trial of Roger Casement: A Legal Travesty?”

Mr. Felix M. Larkin: “Out of Step: Dublin Newspapers’ Response to the Rising”

Mr. Robert Marshall: “Charles Blackader: Old Black’s Military Court Fired Volleys”

A drawing of Roger Casement in the dock. Felix M. Larkin at the statue of Sir John Gray in O'Connell Street, Dublin. Gray owned the Freeman's Journal from 1841 until his death in 1875, and it remained in the hands of the Gray family until 1892. Brigadier-General Blackader at his headquarters Le Sart, France]. July 2015. Photographer: H. D. Girdwood. Credit: British Library Archibald Bodkin (later the Director of Public Prosecutions) and Travers Humphreys outside Bow Street.

Annual General Meeting 2015

The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Irish Legal  History Society took place at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland on 27 November 2015.  Reports from the Secretaries and Treasurers  were delivered, and auditors and office-holders were elected for the coming year.

Maggie Smith, the Director and Deputy Keeper of the Records welcomed members of the Society and explained the Public Record Office’s operation and collections.

The Gold Medal of the Society was awarded to the Hon Mr Justice Ronan Keane, former Chief Justice of Ireland.

Mr Robert Marshall’s term as President of the Society ended and the Hon. Sir Donnell  Deeny now takes the reins.

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PRONI tour and exhibition

Attendees at our autumn discourse and AGM in November were treated to a specially-curated exhibition and tour of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Archivist Des McCabe selected a number of significant and fascinating documents which were of interest to legal historians, and explained the workings of the Public Record Office.

PRONI is the official archive for Northern Ireland and contains millions of documents that relate chiefly, but not exclusively, to Northern Ireland.  They date largely from c.1600 to the present day (with a few dating back as far as the early 13th century).

Located in Belfast, PRONI is a government organisation founded in 1923 (shortly after the partition of Ireland). It now operates as part of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure within the Northern Ireland Civil Service .