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Dr. Lydia Bracken



Dr Lydia Bracken is Assistant Dean, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) and a lecturer at the School of Law, UL. She was Director of Clinical Legal Education at the School of Law, UL from 2016 -2019. 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 researches in the areas of child and family law, with a particular focus on the legal recognition of 'non-traditional' and 'new' families. She has published her research in national and international journals including the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, International Journal of Children's Rights, European Journal of Health Law, International Family Law and the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. Lydia is also a member of the Council of Gaisce – The President's Award.

Research Interests

My 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.

Professional Activities


  • 2020 - Local Enhancement Project
  • 2019 - National Forum Seminar Series 2018/19
  • 2019 - National Forum Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (Collaborator)
  • 2019 - National Forum Seminar Series 2019/20
  • 2019 - Erasmus+ Mobility Grant
  • 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


  • Ordinary Member , Society of Legal Scholars
  • Council Member , Irish Association of Law Teachers
  • Member , Health Research Institute


  • Gaisce – The President's Award,


  • 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.