About the Event
The Attorney General’s Office in partnership with Politics Plus, the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Bar of Northern Ireland organised a Constitutional Law Summer School from Wednesday 10 August – Friday 12 August 2016.
The Constitutional Law Summer School explored major constitutional law issues, with a particular focus afforded to the Northern Irish perspective. The Summer School aimed to contribute to the maintenance of a positive legal and political culture in Northern Ireland.
With over fifty delegates from varied backgrounds within law, politics, academia and policy-making, the Constitutional Law Summer School, was a great success, enabling the delegates to learn more from experts on crucial issues, including European politics and constitutional centenaries.
The Attorney General, John Larkin QC, opened the conference with an engaging session on the multi-faceted layers of the constitutions of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The first day of the conference also included a session on the challenges of devolution from Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh perspectives.
The second day of the conference had a special focus on European politics. The delegates heard from experts including; Dr Dagmar Schiek from Queen’s University Belfast School of Law; Juris Rudevskis, Pamela McCormick, Michelle Lafferty and Ian Wimpress, solicitor to the Attorney General. These sessions provided the delegates with key insights into the European Court of Human Rights, the nature of the European Union constitution, and the impact of European law. The speakers stressed the pivotal role of EU constitutional law in promoting social mobility and equality.
Politics Plus were delighted to host an evening dinner at Parliament Buildings on Thursday 11 August 2016. The dinner offered the delegates a chance to network with the speakers, their fellow peers and the Attorney General.
On the final day, as well as hearing a further briefing from the Attorney General on constitutional centenaries, the delegates heard from Dr Thomas Mohr from the School of Law in University College Dublin, who discussed the relationship of the Privy Council and Ireland from 1914 to 1998.
The conference closed with the final session on statute law revision, hearing from Mr Justice Richard Humphreys and Brenda King, First Legislative Counsel. The delegates also had the unique opportunity of hearing from the Mental Capacity Bill Team who gave them an overview of how a policy becomes a law through the Northern Ireland legislative process.
Delegates enjoyed the Constitutional Law Summer School, emphasising their positive experience of the sessions, calling them ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘excellent’.
Politics Plus actively strive to provide professional development opportunities and to promote engagement at all levels of government and public life to build a strong and stable Northern Ireland society.