AuthorSusan Denham
PositionChief Justice, Four Courts, Dublin
[2017] Irish Judicial Studies Journal i
It gives me great pleasure to write the foreword to the inaugural Irish Judicial
Studies Journal. The Committee for Judicial Studies and the School of Law at the
University of Limerick are to be commended for their innovation in bringing this
excellent initiative to fruition.
This publication will be a valuable tool for the Judiciary in keeping them
informed of developments in a constantly changing and increasingly complex
legal environment. The host of engaging articles, cases, commentary and book
reviews, will also be of interest to the wider legal community of academics,
practitioners and students.
The article by Mr. Justice Peter Charleton, Mr. Ross Pratt-O’Brien and Ms.
Emma Libreri on blasphemy brings to the fore an issue of particular interest in
Ireland, in light of provision in the Irish Constitution for an offence of
blasphemy, and current proposals for reform. In a multicultural European
community, the question of the extent to which respect for religious beliefs
ought to limit freedom of speech gives rise to much debate.
Of great interest to judges will be the article by Ms. Justice Marie Baker, charting
the development of the McKenzie Friend. The article by Niamh Barry BL and
Macdara Ó Drisceoil BL on the constitutional right to protest and the ‘freemen
on the land’ movement, reflects the practical changes in the courtroom
environment in the aftermath of the economic recession, where the presence of
litigants in person has become increasingly prevalent.

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