Conference in Cork - Saturday 6 April 2019

The annual Mental Health and Capacity Law conference takes place on Saturday 6 April at Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC.

 This conference is jointly hosted by the Centre for Criminal Justice & Human Rights, School of Law, UCC and the Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association.

 Topics to be considered will include recent case-law on the Mental Health Act 2001, developments in capacity law and comparative reflections on mental health law in England & Wales. 

 The conference is topical as there have been two relevant amending Acts passed in 2018:

- the Mental Health (Renewal Orders) Act 2018

- the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 2018 [not yet commenced] 

 In addition, discussions are continuing on the implications of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, due to be commenced in 2020.  The commencement of this Act will further the state’s progress towards implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Ireland ratified in 2018. 

 Details of the conference may be found at

 For further information please contact Deirdre Kelleher, or on 021 490 3642.

Speakers will include:


·         Judge Anselm Eldergill, Court of Protection, England

·         Ms Barbara Brennan, See Change Co-Ordinator and Mental Health Consultant

·         Ms Áine Hynes, Partner, St. John Solicitors, Dublin

·         Dr Miriam Kennedy, Consultant Psychiatrist, Highfield Healthcare, Dublin

·         Mr Paul Brady, Barrister

·         Mr Richard Hammond, President, Southern Law Association, and Chairperson, Mental Health and Capacity Task Force of the Law Society of Ireland


Conference Convenors:  Dr Darius Whelan, School of Law, UCC and Ms Joan Doran, Solicitor, Chair, Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association 


- Conference Fee - €120   

- NGOs €50

- Academics - €50

- Devilling barristers and trainee solicitors - €50 

- Students – Free

 Further Information from Ms Deirdre Kelleher, School of Law, UCC, phone (021) 490 3642, email

 CPD points are available for Solicitors and Barristers 

College of Psychiatrists of Ireland – 3.5 Hours CPD Credit.    (

2018 Cork Conference Documents and Recordings

Documents and recordings from our 2018 conference in Cork are available at


Ms Freda McKittrick, Head of Barnardos Guardian ad Litem Service: ‘Catching or Falling? The experience of working with children in the Mental Health and Child Care Systems’: Slides Video  

Ms Katharine Kelleher, Partner, Comyn Kelleher Tobin, Solicitors, Cork: ‘Section 25 Mental Health Act 2001 in practice from a legal perspective’: Slides Video  

Dr Anne Jeffers, Consultant Psychiatrist: ‘Learning from the Patient: Experience with the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland REFOCUS Group’: Slides Video  

Dr Lisa Butterly, Historian: ‘A Jury of My Peers’: Video  

Ms Patricia Hickey, General Solicitor for Minors and Wards of Court: Introductory Remarks   

Mr Michael Lynn, Senior Counsel: ‘Recent Developments in Mental Health Law’: Slides  

Ms Brid Breathnach, Deputy Official Solicitor and Senior Civil Litigation Lawyer, Office of the Official Solicitor, London: ‘Serious medical treatment applications in the Court of Protection in England and Wales - a practitioner's perspective’: Slides Video  

Ms Áine Hynes, Partner, St. John Solicitors, Dublin: ‘Dealing with Capacity Issues in Practice - Recent Developments’: Slides Video 

Mental Health Act, 2001 Seminar Slides and Documents

Mental Health and Capacity Committee, Dublin Solicitors Bar Association and Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association.
Mental Health Act, 2001 -   Review, Updates and Future  

27 June 2017, Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin   

This seminar was chaired by The Hon. Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan  

Slides and Documents

Slides: ‘Future Directions in Irish Mental Health Law’   
Professor Mary Donnelly, School of Law, University College Cork

Slides: 'A.B. v Clinical Director of St. Loman's Hospital' 
Mr Michael Lynn, S.C. 

Document: ‘Some Notes on our Mental Health Laws’   
Mr Niall Nolan, Barrister 

Slides: ‘Mental Health Act 2001 ‐ 10 years from 1 Nov 2006’  
Ms Orla Keane, Head of Legal Services, Mental Health Commission  


Professor Mary Donnelly  UCC
Mary Donnelly is a Professor of Law at University College Cork and researches in the fields of mental capacity/mental health/health law. Her books include Healthcare Decision-Making and the Law: Autonomy, Capacity and the Limits of Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) and  she is co-author of End-of-Life Care: Ethics and Law (Cork University Press, 2011) and co-editor of Ethical and Legal Debates in Irish Healthcare: Confronting Complexities (Manchester University Press, 2016). She was a member of the Expert Group to review the Mental Health Act 2001 (2013-2015) and is a member of the Health Service Executive National Consent Advisory Group/Assisted Decision Making Steering Group and the Ministerial Working Group to develop a draft Code of Practice on Advance Healthcare Directives and she is Chair of the Technical Expert Group to develop Codes of Practice under the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015.
Michael Lynn SC
Michael Lynn SC is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. He practices in civil and criminal law, and has a particular interest in human rights. Among the cases in which he represented applicants this year are: T.R. v. Clinical Director of St. Loman’s, in which part of the Mental Health Act 2001 was declared to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights; Sinnott v. Minister for the Environment, in which the applicant, a man with a visual impairment, successfully challenged the government’s failure to provide technical assistance enabling him to vote secretly; N.H.V. v. Minister for Justice, in which the Supreme Court held that the absolute prohibition on refugee applicants seeking employment was contrary to the Constitution; Lawlor and Cadwell v. Minister for Justice, in which two women who worked in the Magdalene laundries as schoolchildren successfully challenged decisions excluding them from the redress scheme; and Secular Schools Ltd. v. Minister for Education, in which Secular Schools successfully challenged the procedure by which its application for patronage of a new school in County Cork was dismissed.”

Niall Nolan BL
Niall is a barrister practising in the areas of criminal law, mental health law and Judicial Review. He is a member of the Bar of Ireland's Human Rights Committee, was a member of Judge Brian Cregan's Review Group which looked at how the Barrister at Law degree course could be updated and improved and is the Irish Member of the Advisory Council to the European Commission project "My lawyer, My rights", which project is designed to advance the rights of children involved in criminal proceedings in the EU."

Orla Keane Solicitor
Orla Keane has recently been appointed Head of Legal Services to the Mental Health Commission. She is 21 years qualified. She has practised in the area of healthcare for over 15 years. She has acted for a number of public (SCA, HSE, MHC and IBTS) and private clients during that period which has included both contentious and non-contentious work. The work includes advice on corporate governance, advice on statutory interpretation, drafting and advising on policies and procedures, advising on the establishment of reviews, advising independent review teams, acting in statutory and non-statutory inquiries, advising and acting in judicial review applications and defending clinical negligence claims / complaints to professional bodies. Orla is a qualified mediator since 2007. She has done Diplomas in both Employment Law and Corporate Governance.  She has lectured / tutored in the Law Society and has lectured on healthcare for a number of clients.

Seminar Brochure


Mental Health Act Seminar, Dublin, 25 February 2016



Thursday 25 FEBRUARY 2016
Law Society
Blackhall Place
Dublin 7
4.00pm – 7.00pm     
The DSBA Mental Health and Capacity Committee are pleased to present this seminar in conjunction with the Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association. The Seminar will be chaired by Judge Groarke, President of the Circuit court and includes talks by Patricia Gilheaney, CEO of the Mental Health Commission and by experts in the area of mental health law. It will provide updates on case law, on the review of the mental health act and will also provide guidance on best practice at tribunals and in circuit court appeals

Patricia Gilheaney, CEO Mental Health Commission- Review of Mental Health Act 2001
John Neville, Solicitor - Circuit Court Appeals.
Niall Nolan, B.L.  - “Litera Scripta Manet", update on Mental Health Case Law
Keith Walsh, Solicitor - Best practice for solicitors acting for clients before mental health tribunals

Full Brochure and Booking information:


Pictures from April 2015 conference

These are some pictures from our April 2015 conference.  Captions appear if you hover over the bottom of the image. 

Mental Health Law Conference 2015 - Centre for Criminal Justice & Human Rights, School of Law, University College Cork and Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association
25 April 2015

All pictures by David Casey

Mental Health Law Conference 2015, Cork, Sat. 25 Apr. 2015

Centre for Criminal Justice & Human Rights, School of Law, University College Cork and Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association

IMHLA logo

Mental Health Law Conference 2015

Saturday 25 April 2015

10 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.

Áras na Laoi, Room ALG30, University College Cork

To register follow this link:

Speakers and chairs include:

  •     Ms Kathleen Lynch, TD, Minister of State for Primary and Social Care
  •     Judge John O’Connor, District Court
  •     Judge Anselm Eldergill, Court of Protection, England
  •     Ms Joan Doran, Solicitor, Chairperson of IMHLA
  •     Dr Liz Brosnan, Sociologist and Survivor Activist
  •     Dr Shari McDaid, Director, Mental Health Reform
  •     Dr Maria Morgan, Consultant Psychiatrist
  •     Mr Michael Lynn, Senior Counsel
  •     Dr Darius Whelan, School of Law, UCC

- Conference Fee - €80  
- NGOs €30
- Students: No charge

Four Hours CPD for legal professionals available.

Further Information from Ms Noreen Delea, Events Manager, School of Law, UCC, tel: (021) 4903220, email    

To register follow this link:  


Seminar - Fri, 23rd January, 2015 - "Mental Health and Criminal Law"

“Mental Health and Criminal Law”

This event is a collaboration between The Association of Criminal Justice Research and Development, The Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association and Dublin City University.

Venue:  Education Centre, Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7.
Date:     Friday, 23rd January, 2015  
Time:     5.30 pm – 8.00 pm  
Cost:      €5.00 per person   

The seminar will feature the following presentations:

KEYNOTE: "Mental Disorder and Liability to Punishment: Recent English Developments"

Mr. Kris Gledhill, University of Auckland  (An abstract of Mr. Gledhill’s paper, can be found on

"Mental Disorder and Proportionate Punishment"

Mr. Tom O'Malley, National University of Ireland, Galway

 "Operating The Criminal Law (Insanity) Act:  a Legal Practitioner's Perspective"

Ms. Aine HynesIrish Mental Health Lawyers Association

The event will be chaired by Judge John O'Connor.

Please note that online registration is required. To buy your ticket and secure your place, please click here.

Attendance certificates for CPD purposes will be issued after the event, on request.

ACJRD Ltd.  Tel: 00 353 1 6174878   Email:   Web:  
ACJRD Ltd, Spade Enterprise Centre, North King Street, Dublin 7