Friday, April 29th to Sunday, May 1st 2016
Is the law as enacted by politicians and adjudicated by judges and regulators adequate to the task of ensuring that the common good prevails over vested interests in these turbulent times? This is the theme that will be examined by a distinguished line-up of speakers from the judiciary, the academy and the arts at this year’s Burren Law School that takes places over the May bank holiday week-end in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare. The School will feature the time-honoured Brehon and arts perspectives on the theme which make the Burren Law School an unique event in the Irish calendar.
Brexit, mass migration and Donald Trump in the Whitehouse are just some of the spectres confronting contemporary western civilisation as vested interests and whole societies feel threatened as never before by the chill winds of global competition, creative technological destruction and mass migration challenging the established order. Those who are economically and politically powerful or well organised have a habit of fiercely protecting their prerogatives – monopolists versus new entrants, citizens versus migrants, trade-unionists versus the unemployed, the elderly versus the young. Are the sophisticated judicial and regulatory mechanism we have put in place really a match for the power of vested interests?
Does judicial review and consultation really mean that the public interest is best served? When can they make things worse? Are there better solutions that we can try? Does the increasing use of social media change things? And to what extent does all of this lead to a lack of confidence in our decision-making institutions and processes, and the rise of populism and nationalism?