Foreword

Author:Dr. Carol Coulter
Position:Family Law Reporter
Pages:1-1
Cork Online Law R eview 2007
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FOREWORD
I was greatly honoured to be the first non-lawyer asked to write a
preface to the Cork Online Law Review, and even more to follow in the
illustrious footsteps of as the former Chief Justice, Mr Justice Ronan Keane,
Mrs Justice Susan Denham and the President of the Law Reform Commission,
Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness. I was already aware of the valuable work
undertaken by the Review, as I found it to be the first place where an early
critical analysis of the 2004 Civil Liability and Courts Act as published.
This Act modified the in camera rule in family law proceedings, and
laid the basis for the setting up of the pilot project on family law reporting by
the Courts Service. The Courts Service engaged me to carry out this project,
and its first report has just been published. I look forward to commentary on
this and subsequent reports in the Cork Online Law Review!
Critical analysis of the operation of family law has been very limited in
Ireland, partly because the legislative framework is relatively recent. The
operation of the in camera rule has also served to shield this area from critical
scrutiny, including academic scrutiny. I have no doubt that the opening up of
family law to academic inquiry by the 2004 Act will pave the way for the Cork
Online Law Review to publish further in this important area. Without such
critical analysis no informed discussion can take place of an aspect of law that
touches the lives of tens of thousands of people, and without informed
discussion needed reform of the law cannot take place.
I congratulate all those involved in the production of the Cork Online
law Review, and, as an intermittent student of law myself, I particularly
welcome the fact that it unites the efforts of students and established
academics. I look forward to future issues.
Dr Carol Coulter
Family Law Reporter
Courts Service

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