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In support of superstition (pro tem.)

To say something is superstitious is to speak relatively. The concise Oxford dictionary provides an inadequate definition of superstition;  “excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings: a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, of a practice based on such a belief.” Some people think any belief in supernatural beings is credulous; likewise any belief in supernatural causation. Other people disagree and need not cite religious reasons for […]


Reports of Compensation for PIP Breast Implant injuries

Today’s Irish Sun has, on its front page, a story suggesting that compensation will be given to women who were the victims of PIP Breast Implants injuries. Today’s reports have been mostly focussed on an agent (not a solicitor’s firm) who are offering to act as a middleman between women and French lawyers who have had some interim success in suing a certification body under French law in the French courts for damages arising from the PIP scandal. As an Irish […]


Registration of Deaths, 1860-1996

It’s difficult to know how to react constructively to the story of the bodies of children in Tuam. Philip Boucher-Hayes has quoted the response of Gardaí as to whether there was an inquiry ongoing into hundreds of of children’s remains being found. …there is no suggestion of any impropriety and there is no Garda investigation. A lawyer’s instinct is to look to law. I thought it might be helpful to look at the legislation around the registration of deaths. Perhaps ironically, the Irish […]


ECJ Advocate General’s Opinion recommends Data Retention directive be struck down

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has delivered his opinion in the Digital Rights Ireland challenge to the Data Retention Directive. He says: I propose that the Court should answer the questions referred by the High Court in Case C 293/12 and the Verfassungsgerichtshof in Case C 594/12 as follows: (1) Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the […]


Sean Sherlock makes a welcome statement of support for EU copyright reform

cc Jose Mesa

Irish Minister Sean Sherlock announces his support for EU-wide. copyright reform in new interview.


The Freedom of Information Bill 2013, legally speaking

secret stamp by RestrictedData on Flickr

The Government’s Bill to amend the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 to 2003 is, arguably, illegal. The modern understanding of the right to Freedom of Expression embraces also the right to receive information. Restrictions on the right to free speech and/or the right to receive information are, in principle, breaches of legal provisions safeguarding that right, including the Irish Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights […]


Modernising Irish Copyright

Experts come in all shapes and sizes. Some deliver the equivalent of “flat-pack” reports; you have to assemble the useful product yourself. That has not happened with the excellent Report of the Copyright Review Committee chaired by the tireless Eoin O’Dell Its report is fully and instantly usable, subject to going through Dáil Éireann. What’s not to like, when the Committee drafts your legislation and then goes on to draft suggested amendments to the District Court rules? At McGarr Solicitors, […]


What price Freedom (of Information)

Brendan Howlin’s department is defending its plans to multiply FOI fees by relying on discredited figures originally produced by B. Ahern.


Supporting Guth Magazine

As readers will know, I think journalism- in the sense of actually telling readers things they don’t know but ought to- is both rare and excellent. I also think that most of the paths journalism used to come to us are now blocked by a poverty of resources and ideas. So that’s why I was delighted to support the Guth magazine project on crowdsourcing site indigogo. Gerard Cunningham (@faduda) and Jason Walsh are attempting to do something new (which is […]


A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Section 3 of the Hotel Proprietors Act 1963  stipulates: “The proprietor of a hotel is under a duty to receive at the hotel as guests all persons who, whether or not under special contract, present themselves and require sleeping accommodation, food or drink and to provide them therewith, unless he has reasonable grounds of refusal.” Section 4 goes on to provide: “Where a person is received as a guest at a hotel, whether or not under special contract, the proprietor of […]