Family & Child Law Conference 2019

Event Type Law Society Professional Training
Venue Law Society of Ireland, Dublin 7
Discounted Fee €160*
CPD Hours 2.5 General, 1 Regulatory Matters, 1 Management & Professional Development Skills (by Group Study)
Date 22 November 2019 10:00 am - 3:15 pm



Aim and Objectives
The aim of this conference is to examine recent developments in core areas of family law and practice and childcare law practice. The objective is to provide practitioners with a concise and essential overview of the many recent developments and the implications for day-to-day client advice and practice and procedure. This conference has been designed by family and childcare law practitioners for their colleagues in the profession. Legal and child care practitioners and related professionals will find attendance at this conference essential to address new legislation and consequential practice changes. Regulation and management topics relevant to family and child law will also be discussed.

Topics and Issues to be covered

  • Family & Child Law Update – pitfalls in practice, a judicial perspective 
  • Presidency of the District Court – highlights of the past seven years
  • Case Law update – a practitioner’s perspective  
  • GDPR and the family law practitioner
  • Working with families in distress
  • Practice update
  • Divorce Bill 2019:
  • Domestic Abuse
  • AHR
  • Circuit Rules
  • Child care Regulations 2019

President of the District Court, Judge Colin Daly will open this year's Annual Family & Child Law Update Conference


Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Solicitor, Chair Adoption Authority of Ireland, Child Law Expert
Dr Geoffrey Shannon is a solicitor and is a leading authority in Child Law and Family Law.  He is the current Chairman of the Adoption Authority of Ireland.  He held the role of Special Rapporteur on Child Protection for the Irish government from 2006 to July 2019. Dr Shannon has recently been asked by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Council of Europe to assist as a child protection expert in drafting new guidelines on cybercrime for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. Dr Shannon is the recipient of several awards for his work in the area of national and international family law.  These include the 2005 JCI Outstanding Person of the Year Award, the 2006 Canon Maurice Handy Award and the 2013 Irish Law Award.  On 23 June 2017, Dr Shannon was presented with the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association Award for outstanding contribution to legal scholarship for his entire work to date.


Judge Rosemary Horgan, Adjunct Professor of Law, President of the District Court
Judge Rosemary Horgan was formerly a partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn solicitors, where she practised for many years in all areas of family law. She lectured on family law issues and was a consultant to the Law Society of Ireland on family law. She was a member of the Law Society's Family Law and Civil Legal Aid Committee and Law Reform Committee.  Judge Horgan was also a member of the Editorial Board of the Irish Journal of Family Law and co-authored The Divorce Act in Practice; Family Law Practitioner published by Round Hall Sweet & Maxwell. Judge Horgan served on the Legal Aid Board (including as Chairperson) from 1980 to 1998. She was appointed to the District Court in 2011 and appointed as President of the Court in 2012. Judge Horgan obtained a BCL, and later an LLB and LLM, from University College Cork.

Dr Nicola O’Sullivan, Partner, Caidreamh Family & Practitioner Assessment & Therapeutic Services
Dr Nicola O’Sullivan holds a diploma and degree in Social Science in Youth & Community Work from University College Cork, and a Masters in Child Protection and Welfare from Trinity College Trinity College Dublin. Dr O’Sullivan holds a Doctorate in Social Care and Emotional Wellbeing from the Tavistock and Portman Trust, London. She has worked with children and families in the residential care system and community for eighteen years. Dr O’Sullivan established and managed two child protection family support services and managed a large residential unit and social care team, specialising in parent-infant mental health and early childhood development. Dr O’Sullivan lectures on the topic of parent-infant mental health, psychodynamic theory and reflective practice and neglect in childhood on the Post Graduate Diploma in Child Protection and Welfare at Trinity College Dublin. In 2018 Dr O’Sullivan began teaching on the Certificate in Mental Health in the Community in University College Cork. She is also an external examiner of the social care degree programme at the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown. Dr O’Sullivan provides consultation in complex child care cases and training to teams supporting children and families. She offers individual and group supervision to professionals across many disciplines working with children and their parents. 

Gerard Durcan SC.
Gerard is a barrister practising in the area of family and child law.



* Applicable to Law Society Finuas Skillnet members