Irish-American Exchange on Human Rights at NDLS

Author: Susan Good

Notre Dame Law School will host the inaugural “Irish-American Exchange on Human Rights” on campus, October 9-10, 2009. The event will bring together faculty and students from two of the world’s leading institutions of human rights education—the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School, and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland-Galway—for a series of presentations and responses on human rights issues of the day. The event is open to the public and the agenda is available at /about/conferences/irish-american-exchange-on-human-rights.

Bringing “the Center” and “the Centre” together is a natural fit, explains Assistant Director and Concurrent Assistant Professor of Law Sean O’Brien. “Both institutions are led by scholars at the top of their fields – Prof. Doug Cassel from Notre Dame and Prof. Bill Schabas from Galway. The teaching, research, and advocacy conducted by both institutions are well known around the world and have trained hundreds of top-notch human rights lawyers between them” says O’Brien. “We expect this exchange to become an annual and much-anticipated event.” Next year’s exchange will take place on the campus of the National University of Ireland-Galway.

Since its establishment in January 2000, the Irish Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research, and advocacy, which has enabled the institution to attract high quality students to its acclaimed masters programs and to build a thriving community of doctoral researchers. The deputy director of the Irish Centre is Dr. Vinodh Jaichand, a South African lawyer and a “double-domer.” Dr. Jaichand was among the initial graduates of Notre Dame’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) in international human rights in 1987. He completed his doctoral degree summa cum laude (J.S.D) in 1996, also from Notre Dame.

The exchange is co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, an interdisciplinary project devoted to teaching and research in Irish culture in all its internal and external relations. Established in 1993 under the intellectual leadership of Professor Seamus Deane, the Keough-Naughton Institute’s faculty now includes leaders in Literature, History, Film, Television, and Theater and it is regularly supplemented by visiting professors, some of whom come to Notre Dame as Naughton Fellows in a reciprocal arrangement with Irish universities.

For more on Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, visit /center-for-civil-and-human-rights.