Author:Dáire AJL McCormack-George
The past year has seen a great many developments in law and society across
Europe and in Ireland. The passing of the marriage referendum, the Gender
Recognition Act 2015, and the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015
are all extremely significant domestic developments, implemented in an
attempt to “catch up” with the reality of Irish society today. The ongoing
migrant crisis on the continent and the terrorist attacks in Paris have sparked
serious debates across Europe about the role and future of the EU. The
reactive nature of the law and its institutions is highlighted in a stark manner
across all of these areas.
What role does, or should, a student law review play in this context?
Providing a forum for law students to discuss issues of interest to them in a
rigorous and engaging manner seems to be the appropriate normative
conception of a student law journal and the Editorial Board of Volume XIX
have worked to promote such an ideal throughout its work this year. The
Editorial Board continued with its traditional AuthorsNight, where we
were delighted to welcome Thomas Courtney of Arthur Cox, Des Ryan of
Trinity College Dublin, and Ursula Kilkelly of University College Cork, all
of whom made many insightful comments and provided guidance on
making one’s own contribution to the academic arena. Our first
Distinguished Speaker Series talk this year was on the eminently relevant
topic of “The Universality of Human Rights” where we were joined by Lord
Hoffmann, former Second Senior Law Lord in the House of Lords, William
Binchy of Trinity College Dublin, and Anne Power-Forde SC, former Judge
of the European Court of Human Rights.
The Editorial Board are also honoured to collaborate with the Trinity
College Dublin Law Student Colloquium this year to publish the Best
Colloquium Paper presented, and the Brian Lenihan Memorial Address, this
year by Judge Donal O’Donnell on “Some Reflections on the Independence
of the Judiciary in Ireland in the Europe of the 21st Century,” a move long
overdue. An effort has also been made to improve and secure further prizes
to encourage student publication, and we now have prizes across numerous
areas of law, as well as French, German and Irish language prizes. We are
also working on partnerships with our neighbouring journal, the UCD Law
Review, as well as the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal at the University
of Pennsylvania and the King’s Student Law Review at King’s College
London to encourage more diverse submissions.
The question which must now be asked, and answered, is whether the
Editorial Board’s efforts to foster a critical approach to legal issues has been

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