In short


A round-up of today's other Law Matters in brief.

US expert on disability law to visit Galway

ONE OF the world’s leading experts on disability law and policy, Prof Michael Stein, is to deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway tonight.

A former classmate of US president Barack Obama at Harvard, Prof Stein is the executive director of the Harvard Project on Disability at Harvard Law School.

The free public lecture will be held this evening at 6.30pm in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway.

The visit is being hosted by the Centre for Disability Law Policy, school of law, NUI Galway. For more details, visit the centre’s website –

Arbitration seminar

On Saturday January 31st, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Bar Council and the Law Society are holding a seminar on the Arbitration Bill 2008.

The Bill will repeal all existing arbitration law and replace it with a single piece of law that will apply the UNCITRAL model law on international commercial arbitration to all arbitration in the State.

Speakers will include Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Colm Ó hOisín SC, Ciarán Fahy, engineer and chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; surveyor Seán McCormack, G Brian Hutchinson, school of law, UCD; Anthony Hussey, solicitor and James O’Donoghue, architect.

The seminar will take place in the headquarters of Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Dublin 4 from 9am to 1pm, and will cost €100. Further details from, or book online at

International pro bono declaration

The International Bar Council, the governing body of the International Bar Association (IBA), has recently passed the IBA Pro Bono Declaration, which aims to establish and raise awareness of pro bono culture across all areas of the legal profession.

Among the issues raised in the declaration is that law firms be encouraged to “specify a proportion of their time or resources which they will devote per lawyer to pro bono legal service each year”. Governments, it says, should “assist and encourage pro bono legal service, through measures such as treating it as not being subject to tax, and where such service is presently taxed, such taxes should be rescinded”.

The declaration’s wording can be found at

‘Dictionary of Irish Law’

The fifth edition of the Dictionary of Irish Law, by Brian Hunt, has been published by Tottel. The book defines the principal words, concepts and phrases in use in legal proceedings, their legal source, whether statutory or judicial, and gives a brief introduction to the law. It is extensively cross-referenced to articles and books with more information. It is available from bookshops and directly from the publisher at €115.

Conference on victims’ rights

The Federation for Victim Assistance, a voluntary federation for the victims of crime, is holding a conference on victims’ rights on Saturday, February 7th in the Green Isle Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin.

Speakers include former MEP Pat Cox, Prof Marc Groenhuijsen, Assistant Garda Commissioner Louis Harkin and journalists Carol Coulter, legal affairs editor of The Irish Times, and Ger Colleran, editor of the Star.

O’Keeffe -v- Hickey

Ronán Dolan SC, with James O’Driscoll SC and Feichin McDonagh SC, was for the State in this case in the Supreme Court, replacing Ann Power SC, now a judge of ECHR, who was junior in the High Court case.