UCD SLS Manual on Students' Rights

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The UCD Student Legal Service Manual on Students' Rights with foreword by the Honorable Chief Justice Ms Susan Denham aims to promote students' rights and entitlements in a clear and accessible format. Topics include student debt, consumer, employment, landlord and tenant rights, and more contemporary issues such as rights on a night out and data protection. For more information email: studentlegalservice@ucd.ie www.facebook.com/ucdstudentlegalservice

Text of UCD SLS Manual on Students' Rights

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION Page 5

    By Professor Colin Scott, Dean of Law, UCD.

    FOREWORD Page 6

    By the Honourable Chief Justice Mrs. Susan Denham.

    INTRODUCTION Page 8

    By Sarah OMeara, Chairperson, UCD SLS 2011/2012.

    STUDENT DEBT Page 9

    PUBLIC INTEREST LAW ALLIANCE Page 14

    EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS Page 16

    CHARITY MOOT COURT Page 18

    STUDENT LEGAL INFORMATION CLINICS Page 18

    CONSUMER RIGHTS Page 19

    KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEEK Page 22

    LANDLORD & TENANT RIGHTS Page 23

    TAX INFORMATION Page 26

    DATA PROTECTION Page 28

    EMIGRATION Page 30

    RIGHTS ON A NIGHT OUT Page 34

    ANTI-DISCRIMINATION Page 36

    1

  • Disclaimer

    The Student Legal Service assumes no responsibility for and gives no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided at

    clinics or in this manual and/or for any consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, legal or otherwise. The members do not accept any liability whatsoever arising

    from any errors or omissions to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of the information data provided at the clinic. The information provided in this manual is not a complete

    source of information on all aspects of the law.The Student Legal Service takes no responsibility for any information or advice passed from a client to

    a third party.If you need professional or legal advice you should consult a suitably qualified person.

    All enquiries should be directed towards:

    UCD Student Legal ServiceBox 32,

    UCD Student Centre,UCD,

    Dublin 4

    Email: studentlegalservice@ucd.ie

    University College Dublin Student Legal Service 2012

    Printed in Ireland by Jaycee3 Temple Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

    Cover Design by Anita Murphy

    2

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    Many Thanks to the Student Legal Service Committee and the Contributors who made

    this manual possible:

    Student Legal Service Committee:

    Aidan Forde

    Alicia GriffLn Anita Murphy

    Aoife MacDermott

    Demi Mullen

    Eilish McPhillips

    Jack Kelly

    Jennifer O Brien

    Lisa Foley

    Olivia Van WallagheP Patrick Fitzgerald

    Sarah O Meara

    Contributors:

    Aislinn O Toole

    David Walshe

    Deirdre O Reilly

    Gerry Liston

    Greg Talbot

    Sarah Taheny

    Yvanne Kennedy

    Manual Editors:

    Alicia GriffLn Anita Murphy

    Demi Mullen

    With Special Thanks to:

    Ms. Chief Justice Susan Denham, Dr. Fiona De Londras, Professor Colin Scott, Dr.

    Kevin Costello, Mr. Brian Hutchinson, Dr. Miriam Keane, Mr. Ciarn Ahern, Ms.

    Maureen Reynolds, Mr. Richard Butler, Jaycee Publishers and countless others

    who helped the Student Legal Service throughout the year and made this manual possible

    through generously sharing their time.

    3

  • Tel: 01 415 0462

    E-mail: proflaw@gcd.ie

    Enrol online at www.gcd.ie

    The Professional Law School: *ULIWK&ROOHJH'XEOLQ

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    knowledge, condence and technique to answer any question on the exam. Grith College lighten the load and I would recommend them to anyone - Gavin Clare

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  • INTRODUCTION

    I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce this important manual and to give my

    support to the initiative and achievements of the UCD Student Legal Service (SLS). The SLS

    is a very significant part of student life in the UCD School of Law and in the University more

    generally. From small beginnings some years ago the Society has, under a series of highly

    committed leaders, become a large student organisation, embracing an ever wider range of

    opportunities for its members and services to the wider community. These activities include

    providing information clinics to students, engaging with the wider public interest law

    community, putting on charitable events , engaging in rights awareness activities and, of

    course, the production of this manual. The activities of the SLS demonstrate the vitality,

    enterprise and commitment of law students and are indicative of a wider commitment to

    excellence amongst the students, staff and alumni of the School. UCD School of Law is

    celebrating a centenary of law graduates in 2011-12 and is looking forward to moving to the

    purpose-built Sutherland School of Law building in the heart of the UCD campus in 2013,

    bringing with it further opportunities to enhance clinical aspects of legal education at UCD.

    The appeal of the SLS is, I believe, that it enables students to see how the special knowledge

    they acquire in their studies might be of immediate use to others who have difficulties and

    who require information or support. The wider significance of this is that it supports students

    in thinking about how their knowledge can underpin opportunities to transform the situation

    of others, whether by giving out legal information, seeking greater awareness of rights, or

    taking up advocacy positions in respect of key social and economic issues which might be

    addressed through policy changes or through a campaign of litigation. The transformative

    potential of law is not always fully appreciated or remembered, or we think of it only the in

    the context of momentous occasions in which the civil or political rights of citizens were

    enhanced, often in far off places. But many students have been motivated to study law by the

    idea that their knowledge and experience may make a difference to our society in smaller

    ways. This manual exemplifies that ideal. The person facing debt issues who receives good

    advice to try to resolve matters with their creditors will be in a much better position to get

    through a difficult period than the person who, unsupported, hopes the problems will go

    away. A person who has been advised that they can expect satisfactory quality in products

    and also the remedy should those expectations are not met is less likely to be fobbed off by an

    opportunistic retailer. This manual is packed with good information about these and many

    other matters which affect students, including landlord and tenant rules and your rights when

    enjoying a night out.

    I congratulate the members of the UCD Student Legal Service on the production of this

    manual, and on their many other activities, in the expectation that all who read this manual

    will find some useful information and some interesting wider reading which will enable them

    also to see the transformative potential of law.

    Professor Colin Scott

    Dean of Law

    University College Dublin

    March 2012

    5

  • 6

  • 7

  • INTRODUCTION

    It is with a great sense of pride that I write my introduction to the Manual on

    Students Rights 2012. As The Honourable Chief Justice Mrs. Susan Denham states

    in her foreword, access to law and access to legal information are a vital part of a

    democracy. This is the premise from which the University College Dublin Student

    Legal Service commences its work. The Manual, through its accessible presentation

    of detailed legal information on a wide range of areas affecting students, serves as a

    centralised focus point of all the legal information our Volunteers have amassed

    through their personal academic studies, SLS research, and generous advice from the

    lecturers of the School of Law in UCD. It has become an essential resource on the

    university campus, and is distributed to both incoming and continuing students

    throughout the academic year.

    The SLS, true to its Constitution, aims to promote greater awareness among students

    of their legal rights and entitlements, to promote innovative and progressive forms of

    legal education in UCD and Ireland, and to encourage volunteerism among law

    students in UCD. The Dean of the School of Law, Professor Colin Scott, notes

    importantly how SLS brings about this practical use of the legal knowledge students

    gain in lectures, in voluntarily channelling it into legal information clinics and

    publications to assist their peers as they run into disputes of legal consequence from

    time to time. I count myself extremely fortunate to have worked with so many SLS

    Volunteers this past academic year. It is with huge pride that I have chaired the SLS

    Committee and Service. Volunteers give so selflessly of themselves, and of their time,

    in seeking to bring the law and access to legal information within the reach of

    students of all faculties and backgrounds on the UCD campus, despite academic

    deadlines, sporting commitments and part-time jobs. Time and time again it is evident

    that the officers of the SLS are among the most talented within the School of Law,

    and the fact that the Student Legal Service brings them together, as volunteers,

    seeking to share their knowledge and use their skills and abilities for the benefit of

    other students, is a tremendous and encouraging feat in the consideration of the future

    generation of Irelands graduates and lawyers.

    I wish to sincerely thank The Ho