Democracy in Crisis?

Democracy in Crisis?

Friday, 3rd May - Sunday, 5th May 2019

It’s true –  Burren Law School 2019 will be the final Law School - and we intend to go out with a bang ! Join  us on May Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate  26 years of camaraderie , discussion, controversy, debate  and friendship. In 2019, the School’s programme will address the future of democracy, current challenges for democracies internationally and what this might mean for politics and human rights at home and abroad. Topics will include the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland and Ireland’s changing relationship with the EU and the US.

Confirmed speakers include Chief Justice Frank Clarke, Barra McGrory QC, (former DPP for Northern Ireland), US-based journalist Marion McKeon, Professor Conor Gearty, (professor of Human Rights Law, LSE); Eamon Ryan TD and Caitriona Crowe, author and broadcaster. Bill McKibben writer, activist and founder of the leading climate change NGO will contribute via video link (TBC). Speakers will be joined by others from the literary world, to encourage  us to reflect creatively upon the theme.
Each May Bank Holiday weekend for the last 25 years, the Burren Law School has aimed to recreate the tradition of legal learning associated with the Brehon Law Schools, allowing the past to illuminate the present in what has always been a stimulating and entertaining event. The school has proven to be of interest to the public at large, as much as to members of the legal professions, politicians, historians, journalists, academics and others. Over the years, we have brought the most renowned national and international legal speakers to this idyllic location in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, for in-depth debate and discussion. The interaction between attendees and speakers is among the highlights of the weekend, as well as the opportunity to continue the discussions late into the evening.
Over the years, our judicial speakers have included the late Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, former Chief Justice John Murray, Mr Justice Ronan Keane, Mr Justice Niall Fennelly, Mr Justice Paul Carney, Mr Justice Bryan MacMahon, Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell, Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, Mr Justice Roderick Murphy and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan. Other great speakers have included Garrett FitzGerald, Emily O'Reilly, Colm Toibin, John Hume, Brian Lenihan, Maurice Hayes, Mary Banotti, Alan Dukes, Catriona Crowe and Emily Logan.
As supporters and valued past attendees of the School, we hope you can join us for the last year of the Burren Law School in what promises to be a weekend packed with debate and discussion, all against the setting of the stunning Burren landscape.



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Burren Law School, Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, Ireland.
+353 65 7077200

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