2022 Public Law Conference

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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University College Dublin is holding the 2022 Public Law Conference on the centenary of the enactment of Ireland’s first constitution. The conference theme is ‘The Making (and Re-Making) of Public Law’. This theme is epitomised in the making and evolution of the Irish Constitution, and reflects the challenges faced by the new Irish state in successfully integrating written constitutionalism and the common law tradition in a post-revolutionary and post-colonial context.

The Call for Papers closes Monday, 15th November 2021.

The questions that confronted Ireland’s new public law order in 1922 continue to recur across different times, in different common law jurisdictions, and in differing social and political contexts  The theme therefore invites engagement with a range of issues concerning how public law (broadly construed) develops over time, including both how public law changes, that is how it is made and re-made, and also the ways in which it may remain constant.

One of the aims of the Public Law series is to enable dialogue to take place between participants from different legal systems. In order to allow this to happen within manageable parameters the focus of the conference is on common law jurisdictions. Inside these parameters the convenors welcome abstracts on the theme from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including papers adopting doctrinal, historical, theoretical, comparative, institutional or empirical approaches.

2022 Public Law Conference

Papers might address specific topics relating to the following (non-exhaustive) list of sub-themes:

  • The making and re-making of public law doctrine.
  • The making and re-making of public law theory.
  • The making and re-making of the idea of public law.
  • The making and re-making of the judicial role in public law adjudication.
  • The making and re-making of public law institutions.
  • Public law, colonialism and post-colonialism.
  • Revolutions, evolutions and transitions in public law systems, including processes of constitution-building.
  • Adapting public law to local contexts; convergence and divergence among common law systems over time.
  • Public law and the changing nature of the state, public administration and public power.
  • The changing sources of public law including for example international law, Indigenous law and culture, soft law, and conventions.
  • Reform of public law.
  • Conceptions of sovereignty, fragmented sovereignty, contested sovereignty, external sovereignty.
  • Federalism, devolution, regionalisation.
  • Sustaining and improving systems of public law, including maintaining democratic machinery and giving voice to historically under-represented or excluded groups.
  • The influence and implications of identity, nationalism and popular representation for public law.
  • Common law, political and written constitutionalism.
  • Public law in a changing context including COVID-19, algorithmic decision-making and technology, climate change, and the rise of significant nodes of ‘private’ power, including big tech.

Papers engaging with these subthemes might do so from the perspective of public law’s past, present, and/or future.

Submission of Abstracts

Prospective speakers are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 500 words addressing any aspect of the conference theme. Submissions must be made via the electronic submission system, which is now open, and abstracts must be submitted by Monday 15 November 2021. You will be informed by Tuesday 31 December whether or not your abstract has been accepted for presentation.

Abstracts are invited from those at any career stage. Up to 60 papers may be accepted and papers will be selected on the basis of merit and fit with the conference theme. Those who have their abstracts accepted will be required to submit a full written paper by 16 May 2022 for distribution to conference delegates. Please note that speakers will have to meet their own expenses and pay the conference fee in the ordinary way. In common with previous conferences it is intended that an edited collection will be published by Hart Publishing, the conference sponsor, of a small selection of the papers given at the 2022 conference.

Doctoral Students

The 2022 conference, like previous conferences, will include dedicated panels for doctoral students, and a fee-waiver programme has been established for doctoral candidates whose papers are accepted.

Richard Hart Prize

The Richard Hart Prize for the best paper by an early career scholar will be awarded at the 2022 conference. Those who are eligible and wish to be considered for the Prize should indicate this by ticking the relevant box in the electronic application system. The eligibility criteria are as follows:Anyone who (a) is studying for, but who has not yet been awarded, a doctoral degree in Law; or (b) was awarded a doctoral degree in Law on or after 1 July 2019; or (c) was appointed to their first full-time academic position on or after 1 July 2019. No person who has held a full-time academic position for more than three years as of 1 July 2022 shall be eligible for the prize. The conference convenors’ decisions as to eligibility shall be final.

Please note that the Prize will be awarded on the basis of the full written papers submitted in advance of the conference. The winner of the prize will receive an award of €500.


Interested in studying Law? Search our list of courses around the country.

Steven Galvin

PgCert in AI for Managers
Digital Marketing at Moate Business College


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