Ucc Faculty Of Law Essay Competition 2010

This represents an outstanding success for both the individual students and the Law Faculty in a highly competitive awards scheme, in which 90 scholarships were awarded nationally across all disciplines in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law. Since 2003, IRCHSS scholarships have now been awarded to 23 PhD students in UCC Law Faculty. Each scholarship covers annual fees and provides €16,000 per annum maintenance funding. Full details of the students’ research projects are as follows:


Carole Deschamps: “Legal Regulation of the Patentability of Computer-Related Inventions in the US and in Europe: the Need for Reform and International Harmonisation” (Supervisor: Louise Crowley)

Alan Desmond: “Regularisation of Irregular Migrants in Ireland and Poland: A Right to Regularise under National, EU and International Law?” (Supervisor: Dr Siobhán Mullally)

Suzanne Doyle: “The Place of Mental Illness within the Law” – An Analysis of Ireland’s Mental Health Laws in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (Supervisors: Dr Mary Donnelly & Dr Darius Whelan)

Maria Murphy: “The Analytical Approach of the European Court of Human Rights in Surveillance Cases - The Implications, Justifications and Future of the Court’s Reasoning, with a Focus on the Legislative Impact in Ireland and the UK” (Supervisor: Professor Maeve McDonagh)

Fiona O’Regan: “The Potential of Victim Participation in the International Criminal Court to provide Restorative Justice for Victims of Gender Based Violence” (Supervisors: Dr Fiona Donson & Dr Siobhán Mullally)

Pictured above from left to right are Fiona O’Regan, Maria Murphy, Carole Deschamps and Dr Conor O’Mahony, Director of Graduate Studies. Not pictured are Alan Desmond and Suzanne Doyle.

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A legal education typically revolves around reading cases, statutes, textbooks and articles and attending lectures. However it is difficult to excel in legal studies unless one knows how to engage in comprehensive legal research and how to present one’s arguments and ideas in a coherent, logical and structured manner either in written or oral form. Here at UCC, the Law School is committed to providing these essential skills as part of our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. To this end, a skills course is incorporated into each year of the various undergraduate degree programmes offered by the Law School and into all of the taught postgraduate courses.

At undergraduate level the skills modules are:


A skills element is incorporated into each of the thesis modules as part of our taught and research Masters postgraduate programmes:


There are also dedicated skills modules offered to our LLB students and to our PhD students:


Moreover we offer two degrees, one undergraduate and one postgraduate, that specialise in bridging the gap between the theory and the practice of law. These are the BCL (Clinical) and the LLM (Criminal Justice) degrees. We believe that the provision of dedicated Skills Modules and skills-focused degree programmes augments the overall quality of the legal education that we offer and their development is part of our continuing commitment to academic excellence.

A core aim shared by all of the Skills Modules is the desire to help students develop skills that lie not only at the very heart of the legal profession but are also valued outside it. These skills include the comprehension and interpretation of complex legal material, the development of a student’s critical analytical faculties, the preparation of a structured written argument, and the ability to think on one’s feet. In addition, students are taught how to engage with clients and fellow practitioners and how to competently present information within set time constraints.

In the undergraduate programmes each successive Skills Module builds upon skills acquired in the previous module(s). Students progress from learning how to read and interpret primary and secondary legal materials, to writing cogent legal arguments, to communicating those conclusions orally. The attainment of these skills is tested through in-class exercises and assignments. At postgraduate level the primary aims of the Skills Modules are to develop advanced research skills and to improve presentation techniques.

A Skills Booklet has been compiled by the UCC Law School Skills Committee with details on a number of key writing skills such as how to cite sources correctly, how to use secondary resources, and how to use footnotes, as well as a section on how to present an oral argument.  Please click on the following links to access the relevant material:

The documents listed below are only accessible from computers within UCC.

Table of Contents

Skills booklet

It is important to refer to the above links because they will assist you to avoid a plagiarism charge. Plagiarism and Collusion are two serious academic offences and the Law School takes both of these offences very seriously. For a definition of both offences and for details of the Procedure that will be adopted in cases of suspected Plagiarism or Collusion please refer to the following link:

Plagiarism and Collusion

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