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World-class educators from the University of Galway, Harvard Law School, and New England Law will be teaching in our six-week Summer Program. We’re also pleased to share that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John G Roberts, Jr., will be co-teaching a course on the history of the Supreme Court. Law students have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore international and human rights law in the breathtaking setting of Galway, Ireland, through this study abroad program—open to both New England Law | Boston students and students from other ABA-accredited law schools.

Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher, a perennial favorite destination among our study abroad students (Image credits: Hannah Haven '21)

Summer 2024 Galway Program

June 9th to July 19th   

Students must sign up for at least 1 course in each session. A maximum of 3 courses are allowed to be taken. 

Session 1

International Humanitarian Law

Prof. Ray Murphy/Prof. Shane Darcy

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the general principles and laws comprising international humanitarian law (‘IHL’) and related issues. The course examines the role of IHL in situations of armed conflict and what constitutes a war crime. It critically examines the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols. It pays particular attention to the criteria for determining if a situation of armed conflict exists and the nature of the conflict.  It examines the conduct of hostilities, and the rules governing the treatment of combatants and prisoners of war. It looks at current situations of armed conflict, especially Ukraine. It explains and evaluates the protection of civilians under IHL and the concept of ‘protected persons’. The course evaluates the implementation of IHL and how individuals are held accountable for war crimes. Finally, the course explains the nature of UN peacekeeping operations in post conflict situations. 


International Criminal Law

Prof. Victor Hansen 

This course will focus on major international crimes including war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, aggression, and terrorism. In addition to discussing these crimes the course will focus on general legal principles of criminal liability such as joint and indirect perpetration, superior responsibility, and the defense of obedience to orders. We will compare the similarities and differences between these international crimes and theories of liability with traditional crimes in domestic courts. The course will also examine the relationship between humanitarian law and human rights law in the international criminal setting. Finally, the course will examine the various international, quasi-international and domestic forums where these crimes are prosecuted as well as jurisdictional issues. Students will be required to participate in a number of small group problem-solving exercises related to the subject matter as well as complete a final paper for the course.  

Session 2

International Human Rights Law

Dr. Edel Hughes

The course aims to provide students with a general introduction to the sources, systems, and foundations of international human rights law. It also aims to include a critical lens that will give students the skills to apply the law utilizing a robust understanding of the origins, impacts, and power of international human rights law.


Private Civil Rights Enforcement: A Comparison Of Approaches Under The US And Irish Constitutions

Prof. Charles Sorenson 

The Supreme Court of the United States in Historical Perspective

Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., and Prof. Richard Lazarus

This course is a comparative history of Supreme Court jurisprudence.
This two-week course is preceded by a one-week, pass-fail prerequisite, Private Civil Rights Enforcement: A Comparison Of Approaches Under The US And Irish Constitutions taught by Professor Sorenson. The Irish constitution was based directly upon the U.S. Constitution and contains similar individual civil rights. Nevertheless, both the nature of those rights and the ways in which individuals can enforce those rights differ significantly. This mini course will examine private rights of action created under the Irish Constitution and the mechanisms for enforcement of those rights compared to those under United States law for redress of civil rights violations. Your general familiarity with the United States Constitution, especially the amendments to the Constitution, will be presumed.

2024 Galway Program Faculty


Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr.

Chief Justice Roberts received an A.B. from Harvard College in 1976 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1979. He served as a law clerk for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1979–1980, and as a law clerk for then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1980 Term. He served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States from 1981–1982, Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan, White House Counsel’s Office from 1982–1986, and as Principal Deputy Solicitor General from 1989–1993. From 1986–1989 and 1993–2003, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. He served as a Judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2003–2005. Nominated as Chief Justice of the United States by President George W. Bush, he assumed that office on September 29, 2005. [Source: Supreme Court of the United States]


Professor Richard J. Lazarus

Professor Lazarus is the Charles Stebbins Fairchild Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he teaches environmental law, natural resources Law, Supreme Court advocacy, and torts. Professor Lazarus has represented the United States, state and local governments, and environmental groups in the United States Supreme Court in 40 cases and has presented oral argument in 14 of those cases. His primary areas of legal scholarship are environmental and natural resources law, with particular emphasis on constitutional law and the Supreme Court. He has published two books, The Making of Environmental Law (U. Chicago 2004), Environmental Law Stories (Aspen Press, co-edited with O. Houck 2005), and The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court (Belknap Press 2020). He was also the principal author of Deep Water – The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling (GPO 2011), which is the Report to the President of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, for which he served as the Executive Director. [Source: Harvard Law School]


Professor Charles Sorenson

Professor Sorenson has taught Civil Procedure, Comparative Civil Rights Enforcement, Federal Courts, and The Law and Ethics of Lawyering. An associate dean from 2004 to 2006, he supervised the law school’s judicial internship programs and directed the summer abroad program in Galway, Ireland for many years. He has written articles on civil procedure, first amendment rights, and legal ethics. Before joining the New England Law faculty in 1991, he was a trial attorney with the Federal Programs Branch, Civil Division, US Department of Justice. He previously served as a law clerk for the Honorable Donald R. Ross of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. [Source: New England Law | Boston]


Professor Shane Darcy

Professor Shane Darcy is the Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights in the School of Law at the National University of Ireland Galway, where he teaches business and human rights, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. He is the author of Judges, Law and War; The Judicial Development of International Humanitarian Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and To Serve the Enemy: Informers, Collaborators and the Laws of Armed Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2019). He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Business and Human Rights Journalthe Irish Yearbook of International Law and Criminal Law Forum. [Source: University of Galway]


Professor Victor Hansen

Before joining New England Law | Boston faculty, Professor Hansen served a 20-year career in the US Army, as a Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) officer. As a JAG officer, he served as a regional defense counsel for the US Army Trial Defense Service, a military prosecutor, and supervising prosecutor. He has been involved in military capital litigation as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney.  Professor Hansen also served as an associate professor of law at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of several articles and books on criminal and military law, evidence, and national security issues. [Source: New England Law | Boston]


Professor Ray Murphy

Professor Ray Murphy is a professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law University of Galway. He is also on the faculty of the International Institute for Criminal Investigations (The Hague). Prof. Murphy was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for International Law, Al-Haq, Palestine in 2014. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2006 and worked with Human Rights Watch in New York as a resident scholar. He has conducted international training on behalf of the ICRC, No Peace Without Justice, Amnesty International, the UN, the International Institute for Humanitarian Law and the Pearson Peacekeeping Center, Canada.  He is also a Commissioner with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.   Prof. Murphy is a former Captain in the Irish Defense Forces and he served as an infantry officer with the Irish contingent of UNIFIL in Lebanon in 1981/82 and again in 1989. He was Chairperson of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission from 1997 to 2000. He has field experience with the OSCE in Bosnia in 1996 and 1997. He has also worked on short assignments in west and southern Africa and the Middle East for Amnesty International, the European Union and the Irish Government. [Source: University of Galway]


Dr. Edel Hughes 

Dr. Edel Hughes is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Galway.  Dr. Edel Hughes joined the School of Law in January 2020.  She holds a BCL (Law and French) from University College Cork and LLM and PhD degrees from the University of Galway. Prior to joining the University of Galway, Edel held lectureships at the University of Limerick, the University of East London, and Middlesex University London. Edel's research interests are in the law and politics of human rights, human rights and conflict-affected settings, and EU external relations and human rights. She is currently principal investigator on an Arts and Humanities/Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office funded project examining the impact of invisibility on conflict-related sexual violence against men in the context of the war in Syria. [Source: University of Galway]

An Unbeatable Study Abroad Experience for Law Students

New England Law | Boston offers an exciting and unique summer study abroad opportunity for law students at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, University of Galway. Taught by experts from Ireland and the United States, the program focuses on international and comparative human rights law and accountability for human rights violations. 

Featuring thought-provoking and rigorous courses, the Galway Program has attracted many distinguished visiting faculty members over the years, including U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. 

Outside of class, law students explore the beautiful city of Galway, go to Irish courts, attend social events, and visit the Aran Islands. Students often choose to travel more extensively on the weekends as well.

River Corrib Cruise
River Corrib Cruise
NUI Galway
NUI Galway
Students in Galway
Students in Galway

I would recommend students participate in the Galway Program because the classes offered are interesting, the group trips are incredible, and the opportunity to go to another country to learn was amazing!”
—Mary Byrne ’24