Newstalk Interview on the ECHR

On Sunday September 8th Newstalk’s ‘World in Motion’ featured a long interview with me on the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, reflecting on its 60 years of operation. The interview, which ranged from the institutional architecture of the Court, to Ireland’s engagement with it, and its current challeges vis-a-vis Russia and the UK, is about 30 minutes in duration and has been captured by Anya Palmer on soundcloud here.

Irish Yearbook of International Law 2011 (2013): Now Published

I am delighted that the 2011 edition, which is the 6th volume, of the Irish Yearbook of International Law co-edited by Siobhán Mullally and me and published by Hart with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and A&L Goodbody Solicitors, has now been published. This volume features a symposium on climate justice, including an essay from Mary Robinson, as well as shorter articles, book reviews, and a documents section. It also features reflections from former colleagues on the work of the late Kevin Boyle. The full TOC is below the fold, and the volume can be ordered by your libraries through Hart or Amazon. Continue reading “Irish Yearbook of International Law 2011 (2013): Now Published”

Latest Publication: (2013) 3(3) IJLS 54

My latest article has just been published in a special issue of the Irish Journal of Legal Studies. The piece, co-authored with my Durham colleague Laura Graham, can be accessed here and is entitled “Impossible Floodgates and Unworkable Analogies in the Irish Abortion Debate”. The abstract is as follows:

Twenty years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Attorney General v X. [1992] 1 I.R. 1 confirmed that there is a limited constitutional right to access abortion in Ireland under Article 40.3.3˚ of Bunreacht na hÉireann, the Irish government has passed the first piece of legislation that would regulate its availability. The debate about the introduction and form of this legislation is rife with floodgate arguments, suggesting (either implicitly or expressly) that the introduction of abortion legislation within current constitutional boundaries would only be a starting point, following which so-called “abortion on demand” would flow. In this article we address three of the core legally-grounded floodgates arguments that are made, outlining how these fears are unfounded, disingenuous, and, more particularly, how comparisons to the British abortion regime are unhelpful, by reference to the constitutional position in Ireland. These arguments relate to: the lack of a time limit on the availability of abortion; suicidal ideation; and the possibility of patient-doctor collusion. This article aims to show that these arguments have no current legal purchase within the Irish context. Rather, the fears and concerns represented by these floodgates arguments are already managed by the very limited constitutional availability of abortion in Ireland. As such, we argue, these arguments ought not to be given undue weight in the debates, which should instead focus on introducing a clear, workable and effective legislative framework for women in Ireland to exercise their right to access an abortion where they wish to do so in a manner that reflects the constitutional position.

The IJLS is an open access journal published fully online by my former colleagues in University College Cork Faculty of Law.

Application for Snowden Warrant fails in Dublin: What next?

This afternoon in the High Court an application for a provisional arrest warrant for Edward Snowden under the Extradition Act 1965 was refused. There is no particularly spectacular basis for the refusal. In a short judgment, Mac Eochaidh J. held that one of the requirements of s. 27 of the 1965 Act–that the location of the alleged offence be specified in the request–was simply not fulfilled. As there was a period of time when Mr Snowden was outside of the United States after he last accessed the NSA but before the first publication it was not clear that the offences alleged had been committed in the USA. One imagines that, provided the United States knows where the offences were committed, the application will be resubmitted. Thus it is germane to think a little about what the provisional arrest warrant under s. 27 means. Continue reading “Application for Snowden Warrant fails in Dublin: What next?”