Dr Rónán Kennedy spent three months as researcher in residence with us under the SFI Public Service Fellowship Programme. During his time with us, Dr Kennedy studied the economic, social and ethical implications of lawtech in the Irish legal services market.

Dr Rónán Kennedy alongside an image of scales and a gavel

Spotlight

Read Dr Kennedy's research paper published at the end of his residency with the Oireachtas L&RS. It examines the issues raised by the development of lawtech – software for legal services – which could reduce legal costs and improve access to justice, but could also worsen the digital divide and solidify existing biases in the legal system. The paper highlights possible areas for immediate legislative intervention, and longer-term questions for Members of the Oireachtas to consider.

Dr Kennedy is a lecturer in the School of Law at the National University of Ireland Galway, specialising in environmental law, information technology law, and the intersections between these. He was executive legal officer to the Chief Justice of Ireland, Mr Justice Ronan Keane, from 2000 to 2004.

Dr Kennedy is one of six researchers seconded to the Houses of the Oireachtas Library & Research Service as part of the SFI (Science Foundation Ireland) public service fellowship programme.