The Law School at the University of Limerick hosted a conference on October 17 on “Drones: Coming to the sky near you! Legal and ethical implications for increased drone usage.”
Following this conference, early 2016 will see the introduction of an academic module on “Advanced Lawyering: Legal challenges facing drone usage” which will build on the material and ideas presented at the conference. It will be the first such course in Ireland at University level.
A small group of law students will, under the direction of Raymond J Friel, Director of Research at the Law School, investigate and research the legal and ethical challenges that arise in the use of drones within civil society, in particular the increasing commercial and private use of drones, the interaction with existing legal principles and identify any gaps in the legal environment that need to be addressed.
Due to the generosity of two US lawyers, Professor William Murphy from the Law School at the University of New Hampshire and Mr Paul Remus, patent attorney in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Law School has become the proud owner of its very own drone, a DJI Phantom 3 Go Pro worth over €1,000.
Professor Murphy said “UL is renowned for the integration of academic research with real world problems and drones represent an exciting but challenging future that Ireland, and UL, has an opportunity to lead the world on.”
To ensure translational research, the students will get to operate the drone in a variety of real time situations on the campus, including exploring the potential use of drones for photography, environmental and land management and campus safety.
Paul Remus notes that “We have only begun to touch upon the boundless possibilities that this technology presents and I am delighted to be involved in this innovative programme by donating this state of the art drone.”
Students will be involved in the production of a number of online guides to the use of drones in various contexts, the legal framework within which they should be used and good practice guidelines. The guides will be accessible by the wider public.
Ray Friel said “This new opportunity for our students typifies the ethos of the University of Limerick and the Law School in particular. Building on our international relationships we are able to provide an invaluable multi-disciplinary experience for our students while yet again pushing the boundaries in research with every day applications arising from our expertise in science and engineering at UL. We are exceptionally grateful for the vision and generosity of our two donors, Professor Murphy and Paul Remus in making this possible.”
From L to R: Professor William Murphy, Raymond J Friel, Paul Remus