Law, Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized, Veganism, Vegetarianism

Is Veganism Compatible with being Pro-Choice?

Last month I attended a protest in Dublin against slaughterhouses, where the impassioned cry rang out: ‘HUMANE MEAT IS A LIE. NO ANIMAL WANTS TO DIE’. I am guessing the vast majority of that crowd was pro-Choice, as I am myself. But I wonder is there a contradiction if we urge people to stop killing other animals, but remain silent …


Ireland, Law, Literature, Philosophy, Poetry, Politics, Uncategorized

Can Justice be Poetic?

The Irish nation is rightly proud of its poetic inheritance. At first glance this sacred tradition has nothing to do with the law, but I argue that by engagement with our great poets we may arrive at a deeper understanding of the broader idea of justice. The lawyers and politicians who hand down our laws have studied poetry in school …


The complex legacy of Judge Adrian Hardiman

(Unpublished April 2016) This year saw the premature passing of Supreme Court Justice Adrian Hardiman who devoted his rhetorical gifts to crafting judgments sure to inform our laws for years to come. He combined an acute attention to detail with wistful literary flourishes suggesting gifts in a more artistic domain. It is perhaps unsurprising that he devoted spare time to …

Black Point: a year in the King’s Inns

(adapted for Village Magazine, September 2012) ‘I am sure you’ll all soon be living in Regency houses after successful careers at the bar’, were some of the saccharine words that greeted our first day at the King’s Inns as the Under-Treasurer welcomed us to our new lives as fledgling barristers. Before long we had been ushered into groups, and what followed …

Poverty at the heart of the ‘oldest profession’.

(Published in the Law Society Gazette April, 2016) The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 had a second reading before the Oireachtas on January 28th this year. Alongside more stringent measures against trafficking and underage participation in prostitution and pornography the Bill proposes that the purchase of a sexual service should be a crime with a maximum penalty of one …

Unmasking the shroud of Legalese

(Unpublished, 2010) For the past two summers I have taught law in Oxford to Americans of High School age. The students’ enthusiasm and dedication in allowing their summer months to be spent in academic study is impressive and also indicative of the competitiveness of the application process for prestigious American universities. What is most interesting from a teaching perspective is …