BiographyDr Lydia Bracken is the Assistant Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) and a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Limerick (UL). She is a graduate of UCC (BCL, 2010; LLM, 2011; PhD, 2015) and the Honorable Society of King's Inns (Barrister-at-Law, 2012). Lydia also completed a Masters in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship at UL in 2020. Lydia researches in the areas of child and family law, with a particular focus on the legal recognition of 'non-traditional' and 'new' families.
Lydia is the author of two books, Same-Sex Parenting and the Best Interests Principle (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Child Law in Ireland (Clarus Press, 2018), and has published her research in high-ranking national and international journals. Lydia's research has been influential in guiding national debates on law reform in Ireland and abroad: for example, Lydia has presented her research to the Special Joint Oireachtas Committee on International Surrogacy; the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth on the rights of the child in domestic and international surrogacy; the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health during pre-legislative scrutiny of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017; as well as the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) Task Force on LGBTI Rights; and her research has been cited by the Law Commission for England and Wales and the Law Commission for Scotland, among others.
Lydia chairs the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and led the faculty's successful Bronze Athena SWAN award application in 2020. She is a member of the University of Limerick Athena SWAN Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee and sits on many other University committees in UL, including the Space Management Committee, and the Education and Student Experience Committee.
Lydia is the inaugural course director of both the Graduate Certificate in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Policing and Criminal Justice. She was Director of Clinical Legal Education at the School of Law, UL from 2016 -2019.
Research InterestsMy research interests are in the areas of child and family law and European human rights. In particular, I am interested in examining the legal recognition of 'non-traditional' and "new" families and exploring how such recognition can be provided in a manner that respects the rights and interests of children. Topics within my research include issues pertaining to parentage, parental responsibilities and guardianship, adoption, and the legal regulation of assisted reproduction including surrogacy.
- 2021 - Irish Research Council New Foundations 2020
- 2020 - Local Enhancement Project
- 2019 - National Forum Seminar Series 2019/20
- 2019 - Erasmus+ Mobility Grant
- 2019 - National Forum Seminar Series 2018/19
- 2019 - National Forum Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (Collaborator)
- 2016 - Irish Research Council New Foundations 2016
- 2014 - Aidan Synnott Travel Bursary
- 2013 - Department of Children and Youth Affairs Research Scholarship
- 2012 - School of Law Research Scholarship
- Member , Health Research Institute
- Council Member , Irish Association of Law Teachers
- Street Law: Experiential practicum where final year law students taught law at a local DEIS secondary school. Organised in collaboration with the UL Access Office and the secondary school.
- Management Committee, COST Action: LGBTI+ Social and Economical (in)equalities (2020 to present)
- Board Member, Council of Gaisce: The President's Award (2017 to 2020)
- Editorial board member, Irish Judicial Studies Journal (2018 to present)
- External Examiner, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (2019 to 2022)