Dr Donal Coffey

Law

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

Biography

Donal joined the school of law as an Assistant Professor in Law in August 2020.

Donal's research interests are in the fields of public law and legal history. His interests are particularly in the fields of contemporary constitutional law and comparative constitutional history, with a specific interest in the constitutional history of the British Empire.

His PhD, completed in University College Dublin, was on Irish constitutional history in the 1930s. He subsequently published two books on this period - Drafting the Irish Constitution 1935-1937 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and Constitutionalism in Ireland, 1932-1938 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). He has published articles in the fields of international law, constitutional law, and legal history in peer-reviewed journals such as the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, the Journal of Legal History, the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, the Irish Jurist, the Dublin University Law Journal, among others.

Prior to joining the law school, Donal was a Senior Research Fellow in the Max Planck Institut for Legal History and Legal Theory in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He worked as a lecturer in the United Kingdom, in the University of Surrey, and the University of Portsmouth.

Research Interests

Donal's research interests are in the fields of Irish public law, comparative constitutional law, and legal history.

In Irish public law, Donal has published on the interaction between rights provisions and emergency powers, and the separation of powers with specific reference to the judicial branch.

In the field of comparative constitutional law, Donal is interested in the formation, maintenance, and failure of constitutional systems, and what these case studies teach us about constitutional design, culture, and more broadly about the limits of constitutional law itself.

In the field of legal history, Donal is interested in the legal history of the British Empire. Donal has published articles on the doctrine of secession in the Commonwealth, the Anglo-Irish oath controversy of 1932, and the contours of British constitutional law in the inter-War period. Donal is interested in the process of decolonisation from a constitutional point of view.

Donal also researches and publishes on Irish constitutional history. Donal has written two monographs about Irish constitutional history in the 1930s, as well as chapters on topics such as the judiciary in the Irish Free State and the development of the judicial branch in the Free State.

Books

  Year Publication
2018 Drafting the Irish Constitution, 1935–1937 Transnational Influences in Interwar Europe.
Donal K. Coffey (2018) Drafting the Irish Constitution, 1935–1937 Transnational Influences in Interwar Europe. Cham: Palgrave MacMillan. [Details]
2018 Constitutionalism in Ireland, 1932–1938 National, Commonwealth, and International Perspectives.
Donal K. Coffey (2018) Constitutionalism in Ireland, 1932–1938 National, Commonwealth, and International Perspectives. Cham: Palgrave MacMillan. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2020 'Constitutional law and empire in interwar Britain: universities, liberty, nationality and parliamentary supremacy'
Donal K. Coffey (2020) 'Constitutional law and empire in interwar Britain: universities, liberty, nationality and parliamentary supremacy'. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, [full-text] [Details]
2019 'The Influence of the Weimar Constitution on the Common Law World'
Donal K. Coffey (2019) 'The Influence of the Weimar Constitution on the Common Law World'. Rechtsgeschichte, [full-text] [Details]
2019 'Suspension and Expulsion of Members of the Council of Europe: Difficult Decisions in Troubled Times'
Kanstantin Dzehtsiarou and Donal K. Coffey (2019) 'Suspension and Expulsion of Members of the Council of Europe: Difficult Decisions in Troubled Times'. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, [full-text] [Details]
2018 'The Right to Shoot Himself: Secession in the British Commonwealth of Nations'
Donal K. Coffey (2018) 'The Right to Shoot Himself: Secession in the British Commonwealth of Nations'. Journal of Legal History, [Details]
2016 'The Commonwealth and the Oath of Allegiance Crisis: A Study in Inter-War Commonwealth Relations'
Donal K. Coffey (2016) 'The Commonwealth and the Oath of Allegiance Crisis: A Study in Inter-War Commonwealth Relations'. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, [Details]
2016 '1916, 1921 and the 'Destruction of the Legal Unity of the British Empire''
Donal K. Coffey (2016) '1916, 1921 and the 'Destruction of the Legal Unity of the British Empire''. Dublin University Law Journal, [Details]
2015 'Don’t Stop Me Now (Without Reasonable Suspicion)'
Donal K. Coffey and Charlie Eastaugh (2015) 'Don’t Stop Me Now (Without Reasonable Suspicion)'. King's Law Journal, [Details]
2012 'The Need for a New Constitution: Irish Constitutional Change 1932 – 1935'
Donal K. Coffey (2012) 'The Need for a New Constitution: Irish Constitutional Change 1932 – 1935'. Irish Jurist, [Details]
2011 'The Judiciary of the Irish Free State'
Donal K. Coffey (2011) 'The Judiciary of the Irish Free State'. Dublin University Law Journal, [Details]
2011 'Discussion: Custom and Living Law'
Donal K Coffey (2011) 'Discussion: Custom and Living Law'. Jurisprudence, [DOI] [Details]
2009 'British, Commonwealth, and Irish responses to the abdication of King Edward VIII'
Donal K. Coffey (2009) 'British, Commonwealth, and Irish responses to the abdication of King Edward VIII'. Irish Jurist, [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
2021 'Article 44.1 and the “Special Position” of the Catholic Church in the Irish Constitution, 1937–1972'
Niamh Ní Leathlobhair and Donal K. Coffey (2021) 'Article 44.1 and the “Special Position” of the Catholic Church in the Irish Constitution, 1937–1972' In: Law and Religion in Ireland, 1700-1970. Cham: Palgrave MacMillan. [DOI] [Details]
2021 'Irland'
Donal K Coffey (2021) 'Irland' In: Konfliktlösung im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Springer. [Details]
2019 'The Failure of the 1930 Tribunal of the British Commonwealth of Nations: A Conflict between International and Constitutional Law'
Donal K. Coffey (2019) 'The Failure of the 1930 Tribunal of the British Commonwealth of Nations: A Conflict between International and Constitutional Law' In: Experiments in International Adjudication: Historical Accounts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Details]
2018 'Comparative and Institutional Perspectives on the Exercise of Judicial Power in the Irish Free State'
Donal K. Coffey (2018) 'Comparative and Institutional Perspectives on the Exercise of Judicial Power in the Irish Free State' In: Judicial Power in Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration. [Details]
2017 'Commentary on North Western Health Board v HW and CW (the PKU case)'
Donal K. Coffey (2017) 'Commentary on North Western Health Board v HW and CW (the PKU case)' In: Northern/Irish feminist judgments. Judges' troubles and the gendered politics of identity. Oxford: Hart Publishing. [Details]
2017 ''The union makes us strong:' National Union of Railwaymen v. Sullivan and the demise of vocationalism in Ireland'
Donal K. Coffey (2017) ''The union makes us strong:' National Union of Railwaymen v. Sullivan and the demise of vocationalism in Ireland' In: Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution. Manchester: Manchester University Press. [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
2014 'Legitimacy and Independence of International Tribunals: An Analysis of the European Court of Human Rights'
Kanstantin Dzehtsiarou and Donal K. Coffey (2014) 'Legitimacy and Independence of International Tribunals: An Analysis of the European Court of Human Rights' Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, . [Details]
2009 'The Judicial Pension Levy: A Reply to Professor Gwynn Morgan'
Donal K. Coffey (2009) 'The Judicial Pension Levy: A Reply to Professor Gwynn Morgan' Irish Law Times, . [Details]
2004 'Article 28.3.3, The Natural Law and the Judiciary - Three Easy Pieces'
Donal K. Coffey (2004) 'Article 28.3.3, The Natural Law and the Judiciary - Three Easy Pieces' Irish Law Times, . [Details]

Book Review

  Year Publication
2021 Kennst du das Land, wo die Mangos blühn?.
Donal K Coffey (2021) Kennst du das Land, wo die Mangos blühn?. Book Review [Details]
2018 Constitution-making in Asia: Decolonisation and State-building in the Aftermath of the British Empire.
Donal K Coffey (2018) Constitution-making in Asia: Decolonisation and State-building in the Aftermath of the British Empire. Book Review [Details]
2016 The Political Theory of the Irish Constitution: Republicanism and the Basic Law.
Donal K Coffey (2016) The Political Theory of the Irish Constitution: Republicanism and the Basic Law. Book Review [Details]
2016 Aharon Barak, Human Dignity: The Constitutional Value and the Constitutional Right.
Donal K Coffey (2016) Aharon Barak, Human Dignity: The Constitutional Value and the Constitutional Right. Book Review [Details]
2015 The Law School of University College Dublin: A History.
Donal K Coffey (2015) The Law School of University College Dublin: A History. Book Review [Details]
2013 An Island's Law: A Bibliographical Guide to Ireland's Legal Past.
Donal K Coffey (2013) An Island's Law: A Bibliographical Guide to Ireland's Legal Past. Book Review [Details]
2013 Helle Prosdam and Thomas Elholm (eds.), Dialogues on Justice: European Perspectives on Law and Humanities.
Donal K Coffey (2013) Helle Prosdam and Thomas Elholm (eds.), Dialogues on Justice: European Perspectives on Law and Humanities. Book Review [Details]
2012 The Origins of the Irish Constitution, 1928-1941 Coffey, Donal K.
Donal K Coffey (2012) The Origins of the Irish Constitution, 1928-1941 Coffey, Donal K. Book Review [Details]
2011 New Beginnings: Constitutionalism & Democracy in Modern Ireland.
Donal K Coffey (2011) New Beginnings: Constitutionalism & Democracy in Modern Ireland. Book Review [Details]
2009 The Superior Courts of Law: 'Official' Law Reporting in Ireland, 1866-2006.
Donal K Coffey (2009) The Superior Courts of Law: 'Official' Law Reporting in Ireland, 1866-2006. Book Review [Details]
2007 The Making of the Irish Constitution 1937: Bunreacht na hEireann.
Donal K Coffey (2007) The Making of the Irish Constitution 1937: Bunreacht na hEireann. Book Review [Details]

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Royal Historical Society Fellow /

Teaching Interests

Constitutional law, administrative law, modern legal history, legal history of empires.