Vol. 13.3, September 2009


The Irish Society of Comparative Law

The Irish Society of Comparative Law (ISCL) was established in June 2008. Our purpose is to encourage the comparative study of law and legal systems throughout Ireland and to seek affiliation with individuals and organisations with complementary aims. We are the first such organisation in Ireland.

Pursuant to these goals, we organised our inaugural, international conference and annual general meeting to be held at the University of Limerick (27-28 February 2009). The conference was made possible by the generous support of Professor Raymond Friel, the head of the School of Law of the University of Limerick.

Our first Annual General Meeting was launched by Professor Friel. At that meeting, an Executive Council was also chosen, including members from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Our Council members include:

• President: Professor Brice Dickson (Queen’s University Belfast)
• Vice-President: Dr Seán Patrick Donlan (University of Limerick)
• Secretary: Bénédicte Sage (University College Cork)
• Treasurer: Dr Marie-Luce Paris (University College Dublin)

Between them, and suggesting the importance of comparative law in an age of mobility and globalisation, the Council Members themselves represent three nationalities.

We were fortunate to have Professor Attila Harmathy as our first plenary speaker. Professor Harmathy is a Vice-President of the International Academy of Comparative Law, former Judge of the Constitutional Court of Hungary, and a real gentleman. He spoke on "The European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Protection of Property". After his speech, Professor Harmathy informed the members of the ISCL that the Society had been formally recognised by the International Academy of Comparative Law.

Over fifty papers were delivered at the conference by attendees from Ireland, Britain, and beyond. Still more diverse was the wide range of paper topics. These included British imperial law, commercial law, contract law, copyright law, criminal law, environmental law, European law, family law, human rights, language rights, law and religion, law and politics, labour law, the law of obligations, legal history, legal theory, privacy law, procedural law, property law, and public law. To foster the development of comparative law in Ireland, a number of doctoral students were also invited to speak. These suggest that the future of comparative law in Ireland is in good hands.

The conference ended with a second plenary speaker, Professor John Bell of the University of Cambridge. Professor Bell is the author of numerous works on comparative law, French law, and public law. Appropriate to the occasion, he spoke on the subject of "Collaborative Research: The Future of Comparative Law?" I took extensive notes.

The Executive Council has continued to develop our potential. A website has already been created (http://www.iscl.ie)). A National Committee for the Republic of Ireland has been selected to work with the International Academy of Comparative Law. That committee and a number of national reporters will participate in the Academy’s XVIIIth International Congress to be held in Washington DC (25 July-1 August 1 2010). An Advisory Body, drawn from throughout Ireland, is also being created. We’re finalising arrangements for our inaugural annual lecture to take place in Dublin in the autumn of 2009. The 2010 conference is also being organised. It will be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland and hosted by the Law Faculty of Queens University Belfast.

The future of the ISCL is promising. Included here is but a small sample of the papers delivered at our last conference.

• Dr Pablo Cortés, An Analysis of Offers to Settle in Common Law Courts: Are They Relevant in the Civil Law Context?
• Margaret Devaney, A Comparative Assessment of Personal Injuries Compensation Schemes: Lessons for Tort Reform?
• Dr Seán Patrick Donlan, "The Debt Is Forgotten": A Compendious View of Arthur Browne, c1756-1805
• Dr Mariolina Eliantonio, The Future of National Procedural Law in Europe: Harmonisation vs Judge-made Standards in the Field of Administrative Justice
• Magdalena Kancler, To Be or Not to Be Born? Civil Liability for Damage Resulting from Birth in a Comparative Context: Recent Polish and Irish Caselaw Concering Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Conception
• Pat McInerney, Negligently Inflicted Psychological Harm and the "Sudden Shock" requirement: A Comparative Analysis
• Frank McNamara, European Migration: The Impact of EU Member States’ Political and Social Concerns on Migration Law and Policy
• Giovanni Tamburrini, Non-profit Organizations and Patrons’ Protection: A Comparative Legal and Economic Analysis of Civil Law and Common Law Systems

We look forward to seeing the readers of the Electronic Journal of Comparative Law at future conferences.

Dr Seán Patrick Donlan
Vice-President of the Irish Society of Comparative Law
School of Law, University of Limerick, Ireland

EJCL home Archives Search Comments Help EJCL home