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Course Overview

The law is steeped in tradition, but is also an ever evolving field which impacts on everything that we do. This is no more apparent than in the function and work of public sector bodies, many of which are created and regulated under statute and subject to special legal principles and rules which are loosely known as public law. Knowledge of the key principles and rules of public law is critical for all public administrators, who need to be versed on the rules and principles that apply to public administration in Ireland.

For organisations in the public sector, there are special rules concerning access to the documentation and materials on which key decisions are taken as they affect the delivery of public services or key policy and legislative decisions. The Freedom of Information Acts and Data Protection Acts provide an additional mechanism for securing access to documents that are generated by prescribed bodies. There are also special rules that apply to the giving and receipt of legal advice by public bodies with specific types of legal privilege that only apply to public sector bodies. Recent court decisions have also clarified the extent to which legal professional privilege attaches to advice provided by in house counsel within organisations.

Public bodies exercising regulatory or prosecuting functions also encounter the issue of legal professional privilege in the context of document disclosure and seizure of documents, particularly electronic documents. There are also certain principles that underpin how public bodies must conduct themselves in their decision making functions. Issues such as constitutional justice, fair procedures and legitimate expectation are an important backdrop to how public administration is delivered.

An awareness and understanding of the key legal rules that apply to public administration and the delivery of public services is central for all public servants. The aim of this course is to provide public servants with the information, knowledge and competencies in the area of public law so that they have the ability to fulfil their roles and securing an accredited qualification following a condensed and focused course. The course will take a practical approach, focusing on the key legal principles, but applying them to everyday situations. Delegate participation and interaction will be encouraged by way of group exercises and discussion.

This programme has been specifically designed for the public sector in Ireland. The case studies which have been prepared for attendees to work with are based on the real-world experiences of those working in a public sector environment. A key aim of the course is the delivery of a practical awareness and understanding of the public service’s roles and obligations arising under Irish law.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this 2-day course, participants will have developed a deeper and more comprehensive knowledge of the following elements of public law:

  • The different sources of law in Ireland
  • Irish Constitutional Law (an introduction)
  • The powers of the Legislative, the Judiciary and the Executive arm of government
  • The personal rights under the Constitution
  • The principles of constitutional justice
  • The judicial review process
  • Public Law Doctrines
  • The issues that arise for the state as defendant
  • Vicarious liability and its implications
  • Different types of damages
  • Different types of privilege and when it arises


Who Should Attend:

The course will be of direct interest to lawyers and non-lawyers working in the public service. For lawyers it will provider a useful refresher and update to the key principles of public law, in a manner which fulfils CPD requirements and provides an accredited qualification. For public servants who do not have a legal qualification, the course will provide a useful and practical understanding of this complex area, which has an impact on their working lives.


Assessment and Certification:

Each participant is assessed on the basis of coursework and a formal examination on the final day of class. They will be required to demonstrate their uptake of skills and knowledge gained from all of the course’s modules. Assessment methods will include assignments which will count towards the total final grade, work based projects and summative testing on the final day in the form of a written examination and group presentations. Participants must pass the examination on the last day of the course in order to receive their certificate

This course is accredited by the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM). Delegates will receive an ICM continuing professional development (CPD) certificate on successful completion of the course.


Course Tutors


Claire Hogan - Certificate in Public Law - 5 & 6 February 2020Claire Hogan is a barrister with a mixed Civil and Public Law practice.

She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in Law and French, and was elected a Trinity Scholar in her Senior Freshman year. She went on to attain a Master’s Degree in Law (LL.M.) from the University of Cambridge, for which she was awarded a Cambridge University European Trust Scholarship. In 2009, Claire qualified as a barrister with the highest overall degree mark and became a John Brooke Scholar of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns. Claire returned to the Law School in Trinity College Dublin to complete a Ph.D. on the theme of constitutional freedom of religion.


Sharon Dillon Lyons - Certificate in Public Law - 5 & 6 February 2020

Sharon Dillon-Lyons is a Barrister-at-Law. She practises in civil litigation including tort and contract law. She has experience working in policy and compliance with non-governmental organisations; specifically legal duties of bodies including legislative compliance with data protection, freedom of information and health and safety. She also has experience of best practice tools to monitor implementation of policies, procedures and compliance with legal and contractual obligations.



Full Course Details

Title: ICM Certificate in Public Law

Day 1: Thursday 22nd September 2022

Day 2: Friday 23rd September 2022

Time: 9:30am to 4:00pm

Method of Delivery: Online

Fee: €1,250



Multiple Delegate Discount

3+ Delegates – 5% Discount
5+ Delegates – 10% Discount
10+ Delegates – 15% Discount

To avail of our multiple delegate discount for 3 or more delegates, you must email registrations@pai.ie with the name and details of all those you wish to book. All those you wish to book on must be booked at the same time.

For 1 or 2 attendees, manually enter in the number of tickets you wish to purchase below.


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Public Law September 2022

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