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Dr. Desmond Ryan

Associate Professor (Law)

Dr. Desmond Ryan LL.B. (Dubl.), B.C.L., M.A. (Oxon.), Ph.D. (Dubl.), Barrister-at-Law, F.T.C.D. is an Associate Professor in the School of Law at Trinity College Dublin. He is a practising barrister at the Bar of Ireland and is also called to the Bar of England and Wales and the Bar of Northern Ireland. Dr. Ryan's principal areas of research interest are in Employment Law and Tort Law, with a particular emphasis on the contract of employment, vicarious liability and dismissal law. He is interested in all aspects of the law of obligations and is the convenor of the Private Law Group. He welcomes approaches from prospective doctoral candidates seeking to engage in research in these and related areas. Dr Ryan teaches Employment Law, Tort Law, and Current Issues in Tort Theory and Practice on the LL.B. programmes and he has served as both Director of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate) and as Director of the LLM Programmes. He has published widely in journals including The Cambridge Law Journal, Professional Negligence, The Modern Law Review, The Civil Justice Quarterly, Legal Studies, The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer, the Dublin University Law Journal, the Irish Employment Law Journal and the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.
     Constitutional Law   Employment and Labour Law   Tort and Personal Injury Law
Details Date
Convenor for Ireland, Society of Legal Scholars 2015-present
Details Date From Date To
Convenor for Ireland and Member of Executive Committee, Society of Legal Scholars 2005 (Member); 2016 (Convenor)
Founder and Co-Director, Private Law Discussion Group, Trinity College Dublin 2012 present
Founding Member, Employment Law Association of Ireland 2011 present
European Employment Lawyers' Association 2011 present
Health and Safety Lawyers' Association of Ireland 2012 present
Desmond Ryan, Emerging institutional reforms of the labour law dispute resolution machinery in Ireland, and their implications for labour law norms, Labour Law Research Network, Warsaw, Poland, 24 June 2023, 2023, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Desmond Ryan, Damages for false imprisonment by the state: counterfactual and vindicatory approaches in comparative perspective, Obligations X, Banff, Canada, 14 July 2023, 2023, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Desmond Ryan, Marta Lasek-Markey, Andrea Mulligan, Linda Hogan, Bryana Tunder, Conscientious Objection in an Uncertain Time: New Challenges in Ireland, Religions, 14, 2023, p1 - 16, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Connecting Cautiously: Vicarious Liability in Ireland in Comparative Perspective in, editor(s)Paula Giliker , Vicarious Liability in the Common Law World, Oxford, Hart, 2022, pp103 - 119, [Desmond Ryan ], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
The influence of Chief Baron Palles on the development of the doctrines of vicarious liability and the non-delegable duty of care in, editor(s)Oonagh B. Breen and Noel McGrath , Palles: The Legal Legacy of the Last Lord Chief Baron, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2022, pp160 - 175, [Desmond Ryan], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Allison Silink and Desmond Ryan, Twenty Years on from Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd - Is There Now a 'Tailored Close Connection Test' for Vicarious Liability in Cases of Sexual Abuse, or Not?, Professional Negligence, 38, (1), 2022, p5 - 23, Journal Article, IN_PRESS
Allison Silink and Desmond Ryan, The relevance of "control" in both stages of the test for vicarious liability in relationships that are "akin to employment" : an analysis of Blackpool in the Court of Appeal, Professional Negligence, 38, (4), 2022, p229 - 238, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Desmond Ryan, The Duty of Care in Negligence: University College Cork v Electricity Supply Board, Irish Supreme Court Review, 2022, p185 - 201, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Desmond Ryan, Nano Nagle School v Daly, Irish Supreme Court Review, 2, 2021, p61 - 74, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Desmond Ryan and Mark Bell, Disability, Reasonable Accommodation and the Employer's Obligations: Nano Nagle School v Daly, Modern Law Review, 83, 2020, p1059 - 1071, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL

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Desmond Ryan, Redmond on Dismissal Law, Third, Dublin, Bloomsbury Professional, 2017, 1 - 641pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Employment Law in, editor(s)Professor William Binchy Raymond Byrne, Director of Research, Law Reform Commission , Annual Review of Irish Law 2008, Dublin, Thomson Round Hall, 2009, pp311 - 324, [Des Ryan], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Employment Law in, editor(s)Professor William Binchy Raymond Byrne, Director of Research, Law Reform Commission , Annual Review of Irish Law 2007, Dublin, Thomson Round Hall, 2008, pp257 - 279, [Des Ryan], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Elected a Visiting Fellow, Exeter College Oxford October 2016-June 2017
Provost's Teaching Award, Trinity College Dublin, 2011 2011
Invited as Academic Visitor, University of Melbourne Law School Centre for Employment Law and Industrial Relations July-August 2017
Nominated for a Provost's Teaching Award (ineligible for application due to having received this award in 2011) 2014
Employment Law and the contract of employment The relationship between statute and common law in employment law and tort law Tort Law esp. Negligence and Vicarious Liability Private Law Theory: Obligations