Two days, 9.30am to 4pm


Tea and Coffee on arrival and at mid-morning break;
light lunch.


About our Certificate in Public Law

The law is steeped in tradition, but is also an ever-evolving field that 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 that 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.

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. Attendee 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

Following the successful completion of the course, delegates will have acquired knowledge or refreshed their understanding of the following:

  • The different sources of law in Ireland
  • Introduction to Irish Constitutional Law
  • 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

Intended Audience

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.


This course is endorsed by the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM). Attendees will receive an ICM continuing professional development (CPD) certificate on successful completion of the course, including a single assignment to be completed after the taught aspect of the course has ended.

Upcoming Dates

Did you know?

PAI offer all of our courses as In-House programmes. For more information, see our page on In-House Training.