Advanced Diploma in Public Procurement Law

Last Updated: Monday, September 6, 2021


While the European Union (“EU”) public procurement regime has long been in place, it has received greater prominence in recent years, in particular, following the introduction of the remedies regime in 2010, and the automatic suspension of the conclusion of a contract following a challenge.

Public purchasing is also central to the internal market and the EU procurement rules have been reformed, with three new directives adopted in 2014 and implemented in Ireland in May 2016. There is a significant volume of CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) case law in this area, as well as an expanding national jurisprudence. It is an important and rapidly evolving area of law.

Programme Aims and Learning Outcomes

This unique Diploma will provide participants with a comprehensive and practical knowledge of the public procurement regime, and will address a range of issues in depth, from invitations to tender, to conducting the various procurement processes, selection of tenderers, tender evaluation, contract conclusion and procurement litigation. 

Participants will also acquire an understanding of how procurement can be used to achieve innovation and promote government policies. Participants will have a thorough grounding in the differences between the utilities and public sector regimes, and the intersection between procurement law and competition, state aid and intellectual property.

On completion of the course, you should be better able to:

  1. Examine the legal framework in which public procurement operates and the applicable rules;
  2. Identify situations which may give rise to procurement litigation, 
  3. Describe and explain current legal issues affecting the tender and evaluation process,
  4. Describe and explain key provisions and case law affecting this area,
  5. Apply knowledge to factual problem scenarios.


The Diploma will appeal to procurement professionals, public sector and utilities employees, academic and government researchers, industry, policy–makers, practising lawyers, regulators and judges. It will also appeal to businesses who undertake big or small public and private contracts.


The coordinators of the course are Dr Catherine Donnelly SC and Dr Aoife Beirne BL

Course Content and Delivery 2021 – 2022

This course will be delivered 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. There will be no attendance in person at King’s Inns for class, though we hope to be able to host an event for students later in the course, public health regulations permitting.

Delivery is in part–time mode through the medium of lectures and seminars, presented by leading experts in the area. The course will take place over approx. 18 weeks with lectures on Wednesdays from 8.30 am to 10.00 am during the academic term.

Course Start Date: Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Most classes are recorded using e–learning software and made available to students for streaming via our Virtual Learning Environment. This means that, while all students are welcome to attend class live, 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 online before lectures take place. Online tutorials and IT support are available to help students navigate their way through our Library and legal resource databases.

Please note the course content is subject to change. 

Course Content

  • Course Introduction from Coordinator(s) – live online session, not recorded
  • Introduction to Public Procurement Law
  • The Scope of the Public Procurement Rules
  • Procedures, Contracts and Drafting the Tender Documentation
  • Conducting a Lawful Process I
  • Conducting a Lawful Process II
  • Intersections between Public Procurement and Competition Law
  • Innovation in Public Procurement and Intellectual Property
  • Sub–threshold Contracts
  • Contract Conclusion
  • Frameworks
  • Procurement in the Utilities Sector
  • Public Procurement and Secondary Policies
  • Public Procurement Litigation I
  • Public Procurement Litigation II
  • Transparency in Public Procurement
  • Public Procurement: A View from the Bench 
  • Seminar: Practical Problems in Procurement

Previous Speakers

  • The Hon. Mr Justice David Barniville
  • Eileen Barrington SC
  • Dr Aoife Beirne BL
  • Aaron Boyle, Partner, Arthur Cox
  • Kerri Crossen, Partner, Philip Lee
  • Anna–Marie Curran, Partner, A&L Goodbody
  • Joseph Dalby SC
  • Dr Catherine Donnelly SC
  • Nathy Dunleavy BL
  • Joanne Finn, Partner, DAC Beachcroft
  • Dr James Kinch, CSSO
  • Patrick McGovern, Retired Partner, Arthur Cox
  • Audrey Murtagh, CSSO
  • Jonathan Newman SC


This is a professional development course. It is awarded independently by The Honorable Society of King’s Inns and delivered by seasoned, highly experienced practitioners. To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant is required to successfully complete one written assignment.

Provisional assessment schedule: Assignment will be released closer to the end of term 2.

COURSE FEE 2021–2022

Course fee: €2,550. View fee structure and other charges here

Barrister–at–Law graduates who are subscribing members to King’s Inns receive a 10% discount on this course. View more information here.


There are no admission requirements for this course. 

Application Deadline: Sunday, 3 October 2021

In order to verify your personal details, you must first create an account on the Application Portal through the ‘apply here’ button below. Once you verify your email address in the Portal, you can then proceed with your application. 

The process is very short and your place on the course will not be secured until payment is received in full. Payment can be made through the application portal using your credit or debit card. An automated payment receipt will be generated confirming your place on the course.

If your employer is paying for your studies, you will require a PO number, 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. You will also be able to download a copy of the invoice through the application portal.

Register and apply here

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Carmel Norman

“I found this diploma course a very valuable learning experience. The materials and the online resources were great which made researching much easier. As the course was delivered online this year, with the majority of the lectures pre–recorded, it allowed me to view the lectures and study the papers in my own time. The process of submitting the assignments online was also very easy. I would highly recommend this course to anyone working directly or indirectly in the area of public procurement.” (Class of 2020–2021)

Carmel Norman, Administrative Officer, Central Procurement Unit, Dublin City Council