Fordham Law

Local politicians quizzed by American law students

June 29, 2009

Students from one of America's leading law schools have quizzed local politicians about governing in a post-conflict society, the education system, and inequality in Northern Ireland during a special meeting at Stormont.

Over 50 students and staff from Fordham Law School in New York are on a two-week summer school visit to Queen's University Belfast, before moving on to University College Dublin (UCD).

Last week (Wednesday 24 June) they attended a special reception at Queen's where they were welcomed by Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie, Head of Queen's School of Law, Professor Colin Harvey, and the future Lord Chief Justice for Northern Ireland, Sir Declan Morgan.

The evening brought together leaders in the legal community, including justices of the High Court and public officials such as the Chief Executive of the Equality Commission, Evelyn Collins.

Professor Colin Harvey, Head of Queen's School of Law, said: "I am delighted to welcome the academics and students from Fordham Law School on their ninth annual visit to Queen's.

“The politicians' panel at Stormont provided them with the opportunity to question MLAs about the democratic arrangements here and how they are working in practice.  Parliament Buildings is a perfect setting for the event. The success of this part of the programme depends on the co-operation of our local politicians and their support is much appreciated by the School of Law.

“During their visit to Queen's, Fordham students are learning about Northern Ireland's experience in conflict resolution, and study subjects such as human rights law, alternative dispute resolution, and technology and human rights. This is an excellent opportunity for them to gain a unique insight into the rule of law in a post-conflict society and we are pleased to be able to share our expertise and experience with them.

“Like Queen's, Fordham Law School has been educating some of the brightest legal minds for over a century. Fordham is a leading force in legal education in the United States, and I hope that the close relationship with Queen's will continue into the future."

Professor Bill Treanor, Dean of Fordham Law School, said: "This is the ninth year of the Programme, which since its inception in 2001 has sent almost 400 students to Queen's, many of whom will become leaders of the American bar and business.  Queen's University and UCD are two of the most prominent law schools in the UK and Ireland, and indeed Europe.

"This summer school is an excellent opportunity for our students to experience life in the new Northern Ireland and interact with internationally renowned academics, local legal professionals and politicians. This is an ideal environment for Fordham students to learn from Northern Ireland's experience of conflict resolution."