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How to Change solicitors

Consider a shoe repairer. You leave your shoes with the repairer to have new soles put on. If you are like the writer, you want rubber soles glued to the original leather sole. (By implication, the shoes are brand new). Under the Constitution of Ireland the protection of private property is guaranteed. The shoes are your private property. You return to the repairer and ask for your shoes. The repairer declines to return them; there is the small question of […]


Judicial Discretion

We know so little. The human mind is still a mystery. We construct hypotheses to carry us over these unknown terrains, the hypothesis being intended to carry the endorsement of the communal wisdom. Inevitably, it represents the conventional wisdom, but that may be the price we pay in setting up human institutions like a court. This presumed-to-be-correct “knowledgeâ€? often appears in the exercise of judicial discretion. We expect the judge to apply those fine judgments for which no prescribed rules […]


Law Professors’ blogs

Should law professors blog? Certainly, subject to a prior, professional equipment, check:generally, all sentient, carbon-based lifeforms are qualified. Professors, having surveyed your premises (in space, not in logic) and discovered the absence of this, go ahead. (“this”, refers to the first item on the list)


The Conveyancing Committee

The Conveyancing Committee is comprised of working solicitor members (working in private practice) brought together by the Law Society of Ireland to give guidance, and set procedures, in the resolution of questions that may arise in conveyancing transactions. Conveyancing is what lawyers do when transferring or mortgaging land or buildings. The members are unpaid for their work. They are, of necessity, deeply involved in conveyancing practice and, of course, earn their living from doing so. They tend not to belong […]


The Richmond Hospital

The Richmond Hospital in North Brunswick St. has a new phase of life as a District Court building. It’s a fine two story building of red brick and terracotta with two wings on either side of a fine staircase to the entrance. Court 52 is clearly occupying what was once a hospital ward; broad and well lit, with gracious ceiling height in proportion to the size of the space. The structure inspires confidence in its developers, the medical men (and […]


Refute this!

This is a very risky posting. It’s about words, and how we use them. The subject word is “refuteâ€?. This is a word which politicians and lawyers (or policemen; Sir Ronnie Flanagan being the latest) have use for, but it is its misuse that is the focus of attention. It is sometimes used as a substitute or synonym for “denyâ€? or “contradictâ€?. I contend that this misuse is not accidental. It is chosen because at some level of consciousness the […]


Magna Carta repealed!

This web site is not intended to be an academic forum (although, if leather armchairs are on offer, it aspires to resemble an academic common room). No apologies are offered therefore for the earlier failure to alert the nation to the repeal by Ireland of Magna Carta (25 Edw. 1 Magna Carta) According to Wikipedia England (Britain) had already repealed it. Nevertheless, why have our barons and churchmen permitted this abrogation of their rights immemorial? It is instructive that this […]


McGarr v Department of Finance in Legal Gazette

It was pointed out to me that my case against the limiting of Civil Service promotional opportunities to those with set years of service is cited in some detail in the cover article in the new edition of the Legal Gazette. The Gazette is the magazine for Irish Solicitors, produced by the Law Society of Ireland. The principle established in McGarr v The Department of Finance, taken together with other cases, has now resulted in the Gazette refusing to run […]