**POSTPONEMENT of British Legal History Conference (BHLC) 2021**

As a result of continuing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in particular in relation to international travel, the organisers of the British Legal History Conference 2021 have decided to postpone the conference to 6-9 July 2022.  This decision has been taken in consultation with the BLHC Continuation Committee. 

The theme for BLHC 2022 is unchanged: Law and Constitutional Change and, as originally planned, the conference will be organised in association with the Irish Legal History Society.

 

A fresh call for papers will be made on 15 March 2021

Registration will open in February 2022.

The conference website will shortly be updated.

 

To preserve the usual biennial pattern of BLHCs, arrangements will be made by the BLHC Continuation Committee for the conference following the Queen’s, Belfast event to be held in 2024.

Piublicaton of “Law and Revolution in Seventeenth-Century Ireland”

We are delighted to announce the publication of ‘Law and Revolution in Seventeenth-Century Ireland’. Edited by Dr Coleman Dennehy, this volume brings together a collection of essays arising from a conference held in 2014 in the House of Lords at the Bank of Ireland, Dublin.

The contributors to the volume are Andrew Carpenter, Stephen Carroll, John Cunningham, Coleman A. Dennehy, Neil Johnston, Colum Kenny, Neasa Malone, Aran McArdle, Bríd McGrath, Jess Velona, Philip Walsh and Jennifer Wells.

Copies will be distributed to members free of charge in the usual way once the Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The book can also be purchased directly from Four Courts Press.

 

Contents:

Electoral law in Ireland before 1641

Bríd McGrath

 

Competing authorities: the clash of martial and common law in early seventeenth-century Ireland

Stephen Carroll

 

‘Necessarye to keepe order in Ireland’: marital law and the 1641 rebellion

Aran McArdle

 

Henry Burnell’s Landgartha: family, law and revolution on the Irish stage

Nessa Malone

 

The New English, the past, and the law in the 1640s: Sir William Parson’s ‘Examen Hiberniae’

John Cunningham

 

Not every judge a phoenix: King’s Inns under Cromwell 

Colum Kenny

 

The Black Book of King’s Inns, Dublin, 1649-63: an annotated, chronological and contextualized transcription

Colum Kenny

 

Taking war crimes law seriously in revolutionary Ireland: a legal analysis 

Jennifer Wells

 

Martin Blake of Ballyglunin, County Galway: from transplantation to restoration-a case study of land, law and estate protection

Philip Walsh

 

Appointments to the bench in early restoration Ireland

Coleman A. Denehy

 

Lawyers and the circulation of scurrilous verse in restoration Dublin

Andrew Carpenter

 

The speech of Sir Audley Mervyn, speaker of the house of commons, demanding reforms in the court of claims: a reinterpretation through the lens of legal history

Jess Velona

 

Charles II’s legal officers and the Irish restoration land settlement, 1660-5

Neil Johnston

Law and Revolution in Seventeenth-Century Ireland

Law and Revolution in Seventeenth-Century Ireland

In October 1641, violence erupted in mid-Ulster that spread throughout the whole kingdom and lasted for more than a decade. The war was neither unpredictable nor was it out of step with the rest of the Stuart kingdoms, or indeed Europe generally. As with all wars, particularly the multi-national and multi-denominational, the Irish wars of the 1640s and 1650s had many complex and interrelated causes. Law, the legal system and the legal community played a vital role in the origins and the development of the conflict in Ireland that took it from a dependent kingdom to becoming part of a republican commonwealth. Lawyers also played a fundamental part in the return of the legal and political ‘normality’ in the 1660s. This collection of essays considers how the law was part of this process and to what extent it was shaped by the revolutionary developments of the period. These essays arise from a conference held in 2014 in the House of Lords at the Bank of Ireland, Dublin, under the auspices of the Irish Legal History Society.

Contributors: Andrew Carpenter, Stephen Carroll, John Cunningham, Coleman A. Dennehy, Neil Johnston, Colum Kenny, Neasa Malone, Aran McArdle, Bríd McGrath, Jess Velona, Philip Walsh and Jennifer Wells.

Coleman A. Dennehy teaches at the University of Limerick, is a Humanities Institute (UCD) research associate and a former IRC Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow, having previously taught history at University College London and law at the University of Vienna. In addition to many articles and chapters, he published an edited collection, Restoration Ireland (Aldershot, 2008) and also a monograph, The Irish parliament, 1613–89 (Manchester, 2019).

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE HERE

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, THIS VOLUME WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED TO MEMBERS UNTIL LATER IN THE YEAR

Launch of Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts 1754-1921

Mary Phelan, Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts 1754-1921 (Four Courts Press 2019).

This book was launched by Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh of the Court of Appeal at a reception at DCU on Tuesday 21 January 2020. The event was well-attended by academics from a number of disciplines including law, history, translation studies, Irish studies and linguistics.

                 

Professor Dorothy Kenny from the DCU School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies welcomed attendees and the interdisciplinary and ground-breaking nature of the research was highlighted by Professor Patrick Geoghegan, President of the Irish Legal History Society. Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh spoke about the position of the Irish language in the State and in the courts, noting the continued relevance of a number of themes running through the book.

Dr Mary Phelan is a lecturer in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS)  at DCU. She is the chairperson of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association and her research is in the field of Translation Studies, particularly historical provision of court interpreters and contemporary provision of interpreters in courts, police stations, hospitals and other settings.

 

The book is available for purchase directly from Four Courts Press, and is supplied free of charge to all ILHS members.

Irish speakers, interpreters and the courts, 1754–1921

Irish speakers, interpreters and the courts, 1754–1921

The extent and duration of interpreter provision for Irish speakers appearing in court in the long nineteenth century have long been a conundrum. In 1737 the Administration of Justice (Language) Act stipulated that all legal proceedings in Ireland should take place in English, thus placing Irish speakers at a huge disadvantage, obliging them to communicate through others, and treating them as foreigners in their own country. Gradually, over time, legislation was passed to allow the grand juries, forerunners of county councils, to employ salaried interpreters. Drawing on extensive research on grand jury records held at national and local level, supplemented by records of correspondence with the Chief Secretary’s Office in Dublin Castle, this book provides definitive answers on where, when, and until when, Irish language court interpreters were employed. Contemporaneous newspaper court reports are used to illustrate how exactly the system worked in practice and to explore official, primarily negative, attitudes towards Irish speakers. The famous Maamtrasna murders trials, where, most unusually for such a serious case, a police constable acted as court interpreter, are discussed. The book explains the appointment process for interpreters, discusses ethical issues that arose in court, and includes microhistories of some 90 interpreters.

Mary Phelan is a lecturer at the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, Dublin City University. Her published works relate mainly to contemporary interpreter provision and translation.

This book is sent free of charge to all members of the ILHS, and can be purchased directly from Four Courts Press here.

Visiting Scholar Dr Claudia Passarella

In 2018 Dr Claudia Passarella from the University of Padua visited Dublin to conduct research into Irish judges and juries. This trip was funded by the Irish Legal History Society Post-Doctoral Bursary. Dr Passarella was able to access a range of legal and historical sources during her stay in Dublin, at UCD Special Collections, Trinity College Early Printed Books, the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives of Ireland.

This research was ultimately published in 2019 in the international peer-reviewed journal Comparative Legal History as “The juries’ wisdom in the administration of criminal justice: Irish jurisdiction and the Italian justice system in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

 

Article Abstract:

This article aims to investigate the relationship between professional judges and laypersons in criminal matters, with special reference to the decision-making procedure performed by the Irish system and the Italian system in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The paper focuses on judges’ and jurors’ duties both before and after the verdict. This field of research provides context for a careful consideration on some fundamental issues, such as the judges’ charges and their influence over the jury, the principle of reasonable doubt, the distinction between unanimous verdicts and verdicts by majority vote, and the consequences of a disagreement among jurors. A comparative approach reveals how two European countries with a distinctive legal tradition faced the same problems by adopting different solutions.

 

Dr Pasarella’s other publications, in both English and Italian, can be viewed here: https://unipd.academia.edu/claudiapassarella

Winter Discourse 2019

Our 2019 Winter Discourse takes place this 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

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.