Mary Dobbs

      Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3578

      For media contact email
      or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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      Research Interests

      • Environmental law (international, EU, national), including the precautionary principle and GMOs;
      • Genetically modified crops - the systems, governance, enclosure, patenting, agricultural sustainbility, international trade law...
      • More broadly: socio-legal research, legal (and other) theory, comparative law, EU law ...


      Current Teaching (2016/7):

      Equity (LLB - Level 2 and 3 - Coordinator)

      Equity & Trusts (JD)

      Environmental Law (LLB - Level 3 - Coordinator)

      Law of the Home (LLB - Level 3) (Family law)

      Methods of Legislation and Law Making (LLM skills - Coordinator) 

      Research Methodologies (JD skills)


      I have previously taught in subject such as Research Projects, EU, Company and Contract Law.



      Mary completed her BCL (Law with French Law) in UCD, Dublin, having spent her third year in Université Paris II (Panthéon-Assas). She has since completed a PhD under the supervision of Professor Colin Scott at UCD that examined the question of whether the precautionary principle is viable as a legal principle. In particular, the thesis focused upon issues of legitimacy and justiciability, with a case study on the precautionary principle's role in relation to genetically modified organisms in the European Union. 

      Mary arrived at the Law School in August 2012, where she has taught and coordinated a range of different modules across the programmes. Currently, she coordinates the LLB Equity and Environmental Law modules, as well as an LLM skills module. Mary also teaches on the LLB Law of the Home (family law) module, JD Equity and Trusts, and JD Research Methodologies. She also has teaching interests and experience in the area of contract and comparative law.

      Mary undertakes research that focuses on European environmental law in particular, with a specific focus on genetically modified crops. She has examined this issue from the perspective of risk regulation, governance and agricultural sustainability. In doing so, her research has taken her across the 'public-private divide' through most recently considering the impact of 'enclosure' of plant genetic resources through patenting upon agricultural sustainability. This research was facilitated in part by a British Academy/Leverhulme grant.

      Mary engages regularly with stakeholders and civic bodies, including more recently through participating in Brexit events that consider the challenges and opportunities for Northern Ireland in the case of a 'hard Brexit'.

      During her time in Queen's, Mary has co-organised events such as the UK IVR Conference in 2015 upon the public-private divide, and the Early Academics' Essential Skills Conference for Phd students in 2014. Currently, she is organising a workshop under the remit of the TREUP project, which examines the issue of ecological sustainability. 

      Mary is also a member of a range of associations, including the Irish Environmental Law Association, the European Environmental Law Forum, the Society of Legal Scholars, the Higher Education Authority and the Irish Association of Law Teachers. 

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      ID: 61556