Advanced Diploma in Medical Law

Page last updated: Friday, April 12, 2024


This course provides a comprehensive overview of Medical Law with a focus on both domestic and European in that area. Participants will develop an understanding of the practical application of Medical Law principles, the legal obligations on medical professionals and regulatory practice.

One topical area that the course will cover is the commencement of the Assisted Decision–Making (Capacity) Act 2015, which commenced fully in 2022. This is a landmark piece of legislation which will massively overhaul the law on capacity in Ireland. The legislation deals with, amongst other things, enduring powers of attorney, advanced healthcare directives and sets up a system to support people in making decisions which will replace the wardship system in Ireland.

Medical practitioners should note that this course for 2022–2023 is approved for 15 external CPD credits by the College of Psychiatrists in Ireland, on the basis of full attendance and completion of the course. External CPD credits approved by the medical training bodies in Ireland (College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Physicians, College of Anaesthetists and Irish College of General Practitioners) benefit from mutual recognition and approval between those bodies.

Programme Aims and Learning Outcomes

This course aims to inform participants about the legal environment surrounding the medical professions in Ireland. In particular, participants will:

  1. Develop a critical understanding of the theories, concepts, principles and policies underpinning medical law in Ireland;
  2. Examine the legal framework in which medicine is carried out and consider its implication for clinical practice;
  3. Identify situations which may give rise to legal claims;
  4. Describe and explain the current legal issues affecting clinical practise and hospital management;
  5. Examine the role of different actors and bodies in regulating the health care professions;
  6. Use legal terminology relating to this area of the law competently and correctly;
  7. Describe and explain key principles in this area;
  8. Debate potential legislative reforms in this area;
  9. Identify factual, legal and practical issues arising in the context of a problem question scenario;
  10. Formulate and present written and oral arguments.

Who is the course for?

The course attracts clinical and managerial healthcare professionals and hospital administrators who wish to improve their knowledge of medico–legal aspects of healthcare. It is also of interest to those interested in moving into a medical career. In addition, to lawyers working or seeking to enhance their expertise in medical law, policymakers and regulators. 

Having a diverse group of professionals studying this course together allows participants to learn from each other, especially during tutorials and Q&A sessions. 

“This course was well–rounded and comprehensive. It addressed so many issues in healthcare and I found learning the ‘why’ behind the healthcare policies invaluable. There is a breadth of lecturers who work as barristers and solicitors dealing with the worst–case scenarios daily and it shows in the practical application of their lectures. 

If you have any professional or personal interest in this area, I encourage you to apply, I don’t think you would regret it even if, like me, you have no legal background.”

2023 Graduate


The designer and lead lecturer of the course is barrister and author Colm Scott–Byrne BL.

Colm specialises in medical law, professional regulation and constitutional law. He has lectured at a number of different institutions in medical law and is currently the author of the Medical Law update for Bloomsbury Professional.

Course Content and Delivery 2023–2024

This course takes place in an online format only, live via Zoom, with recordings of lectures available after class is over. Interactive elements such as class discussions / tutorials will not be recorded and will be cast live only.

The course takes place over four weekend modules from October to February, with live tutorials and lectures on Friday evenings (5.45 pm to 9 pm) and on Saturdays (9.30 am to 3.30 pm), plus one weekday evening.

Lectures from high calibre experts, both legal and clinical, will be complemented by tutorials which will enable participants’ close focus and honing of skills most relevant to their own decision–making context. This course will provide valuable insights into the legal framework affecting medical practice in Ireland. Contributors will be top clinical and legal experts. Where possible, a service user perspective will be included.

Course Start Date: Friday, October 13, 2023 

Classes are recorded using eLearning software and made available to students for streaming via our Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). This means that, while all students are welcome to attend class live via Zoom, most of the sessions will be recorded so that students who are unable to attend can catch up on the material by streaming the video in their own time.

All class notes are available to read through our Virtual Learning Environment. Online tutorials and IT support are available to help students navigate their way through our library and legal resource databases.

King’s Inns is built on networking and engagement. Over the year, we invite students to attend and participate in various social events, fireside chats and talks. Events take place either online or in–person. All of this contributes to the learning experience that is King’s Inns.

Course Content 

Module 1: Friday, 13 to Saturday, October 14, 2023

  • Course launch and introduction (live session, recorded)
  • Principles of clinical negligence (live session, recorded)
  • Standard of care and causation in negligence (live session, recorded)
  • Clinical negligence issues: plaintiff and defendant perspectives (live session, recorded)
  • Tutorial 1 (live session, not recorded)

Module 2: Friday, 24 to Saturday, November 25, 2023

  • Expert evidence (live session, recorded)
  • Regulation of medicines (live session, recorded)
  • Medical confidentiality and medical records (live session, recorded)
  • Clinical research on humans and animals (live session, recorded)
  • Tutorial 2 (live session, not recorded)

Module 3: Friday, 19 to Saturday, January 20, 2024

  • Regulation of healthcare professionals (live session, recorded)
  • Assisted human reproduction (live session, recorded)
  • Coroner’s court (live session, recorded)
  • Health practitioner and the family (live session, recorded)
  • Tutorial 3 (live session, not recorded)

Module 4: Friday, 16 to Saturday, February 17, 2024

  • Employment issues in health care (live session, recorded)
  • Decision–making at the extremities of life (live session, recorded)
  • Consent to treatment (live session, recorded)
  • Mental health law (live session, recorded)
  • Mock mental health tribunal and / or panel discussion on mental health law (live session, not recorded)

Final Lecture: Date to be confirmed

  • A view from the Bench (live session, not recorded)

Please note the course content is subject to change in accordance with new developments in this area. 

Previous Speakers

  • Professor Harry Kennedy
  • Professor Damian Mohan
  • Professor Patrick Plunkett
  • Dr Brian Farrell
  • Michael Boylan, Solicitor
  • Mary Hough, Partner and Head of the Healthcare Team, Hayes Solicitors
  • Avril Scally, Partner, Lavelle Partners
  • Dr Ciarán Craven SC
  • Oonah McCrann SC
  • Dr Simon Mills SC
  • Asim Sheikh BL
  • Neasa Bird BL
  • Dr Andrea Mulligan BL
  • Mark Tottenham BL
  • Lyn McCarthy, Hayes Solicitors
  • Sarah McKechnie BL
  • Olive Doyle, Partner, Byrne Wallace
  • Áine Hynes SC, Partner, St John Solicitors
  • Mark Felton, Partner, Felton McKnight Solicitors
  • Kate Mitchell, Mental Health Reform

Assessment and Accreditation

This is a professional development course and it is accredited independently by The Honorable Society of King’s Inns. The skills and competence gained in studying at King’s Inns are transferable, portable and recognised internationally. It is a valuable qualification delivered by distinguished lawyers, members of the judiciary, legal and other practitioners specialising in legal education.

To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant is required to successfully complete one assessment.

Medical practitioners should note that this course for 2022–2023 is approved for 15 external CPD credits by the College of Psychiatrists in Ireland, on the basis of full attendance and completion of the course. External CPD credits approved by the medical training bodies in Ireland (College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Physicians, College of Anaesthetists and Irish College of General Practitioners) benefit from mutual recognition and approval between those bodies.

Course Fee

  • Course fee: €2,550. 
  • You should view the fee structure, payment terms, and other charges here >

Barrister–at–Law graduates who are subscribing members to King’s Inns receive a 10% discount on this course. You must receive your discount code before applying. View more information here >

Admission Requirements

There are no admission requirements for this course. A place on the highly sought–after course is not secured until the tuition fee is received in full. Once payment is received, you are automatically accepted on the course.

How do I Apply?

Application Deadline: Midnight (Irish time) on Thursday, October 5, 2023

  • In order to verify your personal details, you must first create an account on the Application Portal through the ‘register and apply here’ button below. Once you verify your email address in the Portal, you can then proceed with your application. 
  • The application process is very short and your place on the course will not be secured until payment is received in full. Once payment is received, you are automatically accepted on the course.
  • Payment can be made through the Application Portal using your credit or debit card (please make sure your bank allows you to process the full payment in one go), or 
  • If your employer is paying for your studies, you will require a valid PO number in advance of making the application, the name and email address for the person responsible for payment in your organisation. 
  • The invoice will issue directly to the person whose details you enter. The participant will also be able to download a copy of the invoice through the Application Portal. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their employer has paid in full within the timeframe required in order to secure a place. King’s Inns cannot contact your employer for payment, we can only liaise with the applicant.
  • An automated payment receipt will be generated confirming your place on the course.
  • Subscribing members: You must apply your discount code upon application. It cannot be applied after the application is made. 

Applications now closed

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Medical Law Graduate 2023

“The advanced diploma in medical law gives an excellent grounding in the fundamentals of medical law, which apply to all areas of practice. It gives valuable insights into the aspects of medical law which are relevant to clinical and academic practice. The course is delivered in an interactive manner, with excellent tutors guiding tutorial sessions and giving important feedback to students.”

Class of 2022–2023

Medical Law Graduate 2022

“This Advanced Diploma offers a solid foundation in medical law for lawyers and doctors. Although the focus is on Irish law, I found the content easily applicable to medico–legal work in other common law countries.”

Class of 2021–2022