Annual Conference

Annual Conference

The Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland holds its Annual Conference in the month of May, usually between the liturgical feasts of The Ascension of The Lord and Pentecost.  The venue is a location, usually a hotel, which can accommodate over 100 delegates.  The conference venue alternates among the three jurisdictions of the three Episcopal Conferences which make up the Society. That is, England and Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. In the fourth year of the cycle the Conference is held in Rome.   Some past locations have included Swords, London Colney, Sligo, Renfrew, Edinburgh, Killarney, Harrogate, Gateshead, Derry, Aviemore, Galway Bay, Rome and Stirling.  

Attendance at the Annual Conference is for members of the Society. If you would like to be considered as a member please contact the administrative Secretary. 

A non-refundable registration fee is requested to cover the costs of administration and the travel and accommodation expenses of the Speakers and invited Guests.  The registration fee is requested in December/January prior to the Conference.   Payment for the Conference, which includes accommodation and meals, is settled well before the start of the Conference. 

Speakers at the Annual Conference are individuals who possess valuable expertise and experience in the field of Canon Law. At past conferences speakers have included, among others, members of the Society, members of the Roman Curia and Dicasteries, Members of Religious Orders, Professors of Canon Law, Dignateries, The Hierarchy, Members of a Diocesan Curia, Members of a Tribunal, Civil Lawyers and members of the Judiciary.

All enquiries regarding the Annual Conference are made to the Administrative Secretary. 

Mrs Kate Dunn
Administrative Secretary CLSGBI
Diocesan Curia
8 Corsehill Road
T: 01292 294 392

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The Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland

The 2023 Annual Conference of the Society will take place at the Galway Bay Hotel, Galway Bay, Salthill, Galway, Ireland, from Monday 1st to Friday 5th May 2023.

Registration will open late 2022 and communication sent to our members by our administrative office.  

For further information, please contact: 

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Past Conferences

2021 Virtual Conference on Wednesday 5th May

The Keynote Speaker was Fr Hans Zollner SJ, President of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical University, Rome, Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and a Consultor of the Congregation For Clergy, who spoke on “Safeguarding Observations for the Evaluation and Revision of Canonical Penal Law”.

2020  The Galway Bay Hotel, Galway Bay, Ireland.    Postponed to 2023 due to COVID

2019 The Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling    'Priest-less Parishes - The Experience of an Irish Rural Parish' by The Rev Albert McDonnell, Chancellor, Diocese of Kildare.  'Freedom of Association, Ecclesial communion and the Discernment of Charisms', by Dr Philip Milligan, Legal Officer, Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Rome. 'Qualities of a Person, Cann 1097.2 and 1098, based on Total Sentences from 1990-2000', by Ms Malgorzata Koterba, Chancellor Assistant and Advocate, Archdiocese of Craców. 'Testing Positive?  The Obligations of Diocesan Bishops toward the care and welfare of clergy in the light of Cann 384 CIC', by Dr Ed Morgan, Judge, Diocese of Salford. 'Reflections on Defending the Bond and other aspects of the Nullity Process', by Mr Paul Robbins, Defender of the Bond, Oslo/Westminster/Nottingham

2018  The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, England. 

2017 Casa Bonus Pastor

2016 The Salthill Hotel, Galway Bay, Galway, Ireland.

2015 The Aviemore Highland Resort. Dr Eithne D'Auria, “The Use of Experts in the Matrimoniall Nullity Process”, Prof Edward Peters, “The Synod of bishops at a Crossroads”, Rev William Agley, ‘Restricting Priestly Ministry: The Unassignable Priest”, Rev James Conn, “ ”, Rev Gerard Canon Tartaglia, Usefulnesss of a First Instance Inter-Diocesan Tribunal, Rev Christopher Dawson, “Suitability for Ministry and the Right to Privacy”.

2014 The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, England.
Rev Gianfranco Ghirlanda SJ, “The Pastor: Proper Shepherd of the Parish Community”; Rev Kristian Paver, “Implementing the Apostolic Constitution Angelicanorum Coetibus four years on: Developments and Continuing Questions,” Rev Patrick Connolly, “The Meaning of Scandal: Theological and Canonical Reflections in a Changed Ecclesial Context”, Right Rev Jean Ignacio Arrieta, “The Renewal of Canon Law since Vatican II and its Current Precepts”, Right rev Mgr Fred Easton, “The development of Can.1342.1 (CIC) and its Impact on the Use of the Extra-Judicial Penal Process”, Dr Myriam Wijlens, “Novus Habitus Mentis: Challenges Posed by Pope Francis to Canon Lawyers and Canonical Structures”.

2013 (13-17 May): The Salthill Hotel, Galway Bay, Galway, Ireland
Fr Luke Beckett OSB, Consultation and Spiritual Leadership in Religious Life; Mgr Kenneth Boccafola, The Lack of Faith and its Effects on the Validity of the Matrimonial Consent of the Baptised; Dr Anne Asselin, The Final Preparation of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelisation: Canonical Issues and Ways Forward; Mgr Kevin Gillespie, The Special Faculties granted to the Congregation for the Clergy for the Salvation of Souls and the Good Order of the Ecclesiastical Community -Context, Purpose and Use; The Most Rev Donal Murray, The Interaction betweenen the Law and Heart; The Rev Paul Hayward, The Judicial Legacy of Benedict XVI.

2012 (7-11 May): The MacDonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland
Fr Robert Ombres OP: "Canon Law and Pastoral Care: The Situation of Runaway Religious." Mgr Roch Page: "Subsidiarity in the Church”; Fr Paul Churchill: "Dignitas Connubii”; Archbishop Joseph Tobin CCsR: "The Relationship between Religious Priests and the Diocesan Bishop”; Fr William Richardson: "Sanctions in the Church” Mr Martin Corrigan: "Priest-Penitent Privilege: Does it still Exist in Common Law?"

2011 (16-20 May): The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, England
His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke: "Vigilance of the Signatura for the Right Administration of Justice”; Rev Paul Hayward: "Personal Jurisdictions and Ordinariates”; Mr Michael Ashe QC SC: "Human Rights”; Sr Rachel Harrington: "Role of Episcopal Vicar for Religious”; Prof Luis Navarro: "Clergy and New Ecclesial Movements”; Prof Frank Morrisey: "Canon 1097 – Error"

2010 (3-7 May): The City Hotel, Derry, Northern Ireland
Rev. Bernard O'Connor (Member of the Congregation for Eastern Churches): "The Role of the Congregation for Eastern Churches”’ Rev. Mgr. John Alesandro (Lecturer in the School of canon Law at the Catholic University of America): "The Formation of the Indissoluble Marriage Bond”; Rev. Jesu Pudumai Doss (Lecturer in Canon Law at the Pontifical Salesian University):"Freedom of Enquiry and Expression of Theologians: Some Juridical Considerations”; Mr. Edward Morgan (Barrister): "The Effect of the Civil Law on Data Protection (in the Various Civil Jurisdictions Represented) on Canonical Proceedings”; Mgr John Conneely (Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Westminster): "Catholic-Muslim Marriages: Difficulties and Opportunities"

2009 (4-8 May): Macdonald Highland Resort, Aviemore, Scotland
Rev Simon Blakesley “Parishes Mergers”; The Rt. Hon. Elish Angiolini, Q.C., The Lord Advocate of Scotland; Rt. Rev. Brian Farrell, LC; Rev. Mgr. Gordon Read, “Ecumenism and its Prospects in the 21st Century”:“Certain Aspects of Canonical Form”: Very Rev. Francis Marini; Sr. Sharon Holland, IHM, “Sacraments involving Latin Rite & Oriental Rite Catholics”:“Public Juridical Persons”:

2008 (4-9 May): Casa la Salle, Rome, Italy GOLDEN JUBILEE OF THE SOCIETY
Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, "The Role of the Legislator in the Church": Mgr Charles Scicluna, "BONUM ECCLESIAE as a criterion for regimen and the exercise of rights in the 1983 Code of Canon Law”: Archbishop Velsaio De Paolis, CS, "The Pastoral Care of Migrants according to the Church Documents – A Review of the main documents of the Church on the pastoral care of migrants": Urbano Cardinal Navarette Cortes, SJ, ”The Experience of a Canonical Practitioner":

2007 (7-11 May): Swallow Hotel, Gateshead, England
Rev Francis Morrisey OMI, ”Formation for a Healthy Priesthood – A Canonical Overview": Rev Anthony Randazzo, "Where are we with Rights in the Church?": Rev Brendan Killeen, "The Role of Love Within Marriage – An Historical Re-Examination": Mr Mark Chopko, "Intersection of Civil & Canon Law – The Experience of the USA with regard to the abuse of children by clergy”: Dr Evelyn Mann, ”Gender Dysphoria": Rev James Conn, SJ, "Norms for Priestly Formation – Local Norms":

2006 (15-19 May): Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo, Ireland
Rev John Kennedy, ”Favor Fidei": Rev Augustine Mendonça "What is New? An Analytic Glance at Selected Themes found in Dignitas Connubii": Rt Rev Mgr Robert Deeley, "Some Notes on Graviora Delicta and the Delict of Solicitation":" Mr Edward Morgan, The Employment Status of Clergy": Rt Rev Mgr John Dolan "A Reflection on the Role of Canon Law in the life of the Church": Rev Michael Mullaney, ”Historical Overview of Incardination until the Code of 1917":

2005 (16-20 May): Dean Park Hotel, Renfrew, Glasgow, Scotland
Rev Fintan Gavin, ”Marriage Preparation – A Lifetime's Journey (Canon 1063)”, Rt Rev Mgr William A Varvaro, "Some Recent Jurisprudence on Bonum Coniugum”; Sister Sharon Euart, RSM, ”Structures for Participation: Instruments of 'Pastoral Revitalisation in the Church": Rev John Lucas, "Levels of Church Authority: Conflict of Complementarity Relations between First and Second Instance Tribunals”; Most Rev David Motiuk, ”Comparative Canons for the Eastern and Western Codes": Rev Dominic Golding, "The Canonical Provisions for the Catholic School with Particular Application to England & Wales":

2004 (10-14 May): Moat House Hotel, Cardiff, Wales
Rev James Coriden , “The Nature of the Marriage Bond, the Status of the Divorced and Remarried and the Processes of Ecclesial Reconciliation”: Mgr Ralph Brown, “Innocent or Guilty: What Charges our Presumptions?”: Rev Becket Soule, OP, “Canonical Defamation: Historical Background and Current Issues”: Mgr Anthony B Boylan “Liturgicam Authenticam – Is this Liturgical Renewal?”; Prof Norman Doe. “Towards a Ius Commune of the Anglican Communion”; Sr Marjory Gallagher, SC. “The Relationship between the Bishop and Consecrated Life: Particular focus on Hermits, Consecrated Virgins and New Groups”:

2003 (19-23 May): Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, Ireland
Sr Rachel Harrington SND , “The Principle of Subsidiarity”: Rev Kristian Paver , “Privacy, Information and Fairness Civil Rights and Canon Law – Conflict or Partnership?”: Rev J M Sherba “Canon 1096 on Ignorance”: Mgr D C Hogan, “Pope Benedict XIV and Canon Law”: Mgr Roch Pagé, “Associations of Christ’s Faithful – Selected Issues”: Rev John Conneely, “Polygamy”:

2002 (13-17 May): Dean Park Hotel, Renfrew, Glasgow, Scotland
Rev Pasquale Stilla; Rev Nicholas Gosnell, "The Permanent Diaconate: Theological and Canonical Considerations": Rev Lawrence Wrenn "Sacramentality and the Invalidity of Marriage": Mgr Charles Scicluna, "Marriage and the Military: Fighting the Cause and Causing the Fight!":"Recourse against Singular or Particular Administrative Acts of the Diocesan Bishop": Very Rev Dr Ireneu Craciun "Elements of Canonical Organization, Synodality and Primacy in the Orthodox Church”: Rev James Conn, SJ "Parishes-of-Choice: Canonical, Theological and Pastoral Considerations":

2001 (14-18 May): Swallow Hotel, Gateshead, England
Rev Beckett Soule, OP "The Diocesan Synod": Rev Prof Augustine Mendonça "The Effects of Alcohol and Sedative-Hypnotic Drug Intoxication on Marital Consent: A Case Study”: Mgr Peter Magee,”Canon Law and International Law: Some Reflections on their Relationship”: Rev Robert Ombres, OP "How Can This be Justified? Reflections on Canon 868, §2 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law": Rev Prof Luc de Fleurquin, "Paedophilia and Episcopein" Dr Myriam Wijlens, ”Structures for Episcopal Leadership in Europe":

2000 (15-19 May): Great Southern Hotel, Killarney, Ireland
Rev Stephen Gasche"Canon 1101, §2: Partial Simulation – Contra Bonum Coniugum – A Nullity Heading Awaiting Jurisprudence": Rev John Huels OSM "Diocesan Faculties and their Delegation": Rev John Huels OSM "Diocesan Faculties for Priests": Bishop Thomas Doran "Canon 369: The Role of the Bishop in the New Millennium – Personal Reflections": Mgr Brian Ferme, "Developments in Church Magisterium: The Pontificate of John Paul II": Rev Eugene O'Hagan "The Exercise of Judge's Discretion in Access to Information and the Acts":

1999 (17-21 May): Dean Park Hotel, Renfrew, Glasgow, Scotland
Rev John McAreavey "The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, with Particular Reference to his power of Governance: A Canonical Reflection in Response to Ut Unum Sint" Rt Rev Mgr Ralph Brown, :"From Total Simulation to Error Determining the Will":" Rt Rev Raymond Burke, Administrative Justice in the Suppression of a Parish": Rev Clarence Gallagher, SJ, ”Diversity in Unity: Rome & Constantinople in the Ninth Century": Rev Michael Hilbert, SJ "Canonical Issues Relating to Trans-Sexualism":

1998 (11-15 May): Moathouse Hotel, Standish, England
Rev Michael Carragher, OP "Donations for Ecclesiastical Purposes": Rev Mgr Kenneth Boccafola, "Deceit and Induced Error About a Personal Quality": Rev Patrick Shanahan, WF "African Views of Marriage": Rev W Becket Soule, OP, "Excommunication for Heresy (C. 1364.1): Historical Background and Current Issues": Professor Luc de Fleurquin,, "The Faculties of Auxiliary Bishops": Paul Barber, MA "Canon Law and Civil Law – Partnership or Conflict?":

1997 (19-23 May): Corrib Great Southern Hotel, Galway, Ireland
Rev Dr Johanna Will-Armstrong "The Development of Church Law and Ecumenism: A Protestant Perspective" Dr Lynda Robitaille :"The Ground of Conditioned Consent”: Rev Robert Geisinger, SJ "The Canonical Concept of Presbyteral Maturity in the First Millennium and in Modern Times": Rev Anthony McDaid "Rights and the Administrative Process": Rev Francis Morrisey, OMI "The Weight to be given to recent Vatican Documents regarding the ordination of women": Rev Aidan McGrath, OFM "Coeliacs, Alcoholics, Eucharist and Priesthood":

1996 (20-24 May): Dean Park Hotel, Renfrew, Glasgow, Scotland
Dr Myriam Wijlens" The Role of the Bishop as Legislator": Rev Patrick Hannon "Theological Reflections on the 'Good of the Spouses' (c. 1055, 1): Rev Patrick Connolly "Reflections on the Canonical Implications of the 'Good of the Spouses' (c. 1055,1)": Sister Myra Poole, SND "Church Law and Mysticism: The Influence of the Mystical Tradition in the Developing, Challenging and Renewing of Law": Rev John R Amos "Laypeople holding Ecclesiastical Office and the Employment of Laypeople within the Church: Rights and Obligations": Rev Gordon Read "Diocesan Policies on the Reception of Anglican Priests into the Catholic Church":

1995 (15-19 May): All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney, England
Most Rev Cormac Murphy-O’Connor "The 1993 Ecumenical Directory": Most Rev Thomas Doran "Jurisprudence of British and Irish Tribunals concerning Canon 1095: A Rotal Perspective”: Rev John McAreavey "Eucharistic Communion and Belonging to the Church": Rev Michael Hilbert SJ "A Case judged before the Roman Rota concerning the Rights and Obligations of the Faithful": Rev Paul Churchill "Sacred Power and the Co-operation of the Laity in its Exercise: A Reminder of the Problem":

1994 (16-20 May): Emmaus Retreat & Conference Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Bishop Thomas Finnegan "Rights and Obligations of the Faithful":Vincent Lampey "Adult Children of Alcoholics and their Due Discretion to Marry": Jean Thorn "Right of Defence in Canon Law”: Rev Aidan McGrath OFM, "The Juridical Significance of the Approval of the Rule of St Clare in 1253": Rev Frank Morrisey OMI "Canonical Issues in Respect of the Clergy and Sexual Abuse of Children" Rev Michael Brown :"The Use of the 1962 Roman Missal":

1993 (10-14 May): All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney, England
Fr John Watts "The Canonical Implications of AIDS": Fr Lawrence Wrenn "Examination of Replies of the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts": Fr Ivan Payne & Fr Eugene O'Hagan "A Case Study on Force and Fear as Ground of Nullity: Presentation of an Actual Case Preceded by some Reflections on the Pontifical Commission's Response on the Natural Law basis of Grave Fear as a Ground of Nullity": Rev Peter Kitchen "The Right Intention for Marriage": Fr Francis Morrisey, OMI "The Eastern Code: An Overview and Comparative Study":Mr John Larkin "The Presumption of Innocence in Criminal Proceedings in Canon and Civil Law":

1992 (18-22 May): Domus Mariae, Rome, Italy
Archbishop Tauran, "Human Rights and the Holy See in the Service of Peace": Mgr Jose Maria Serrano Ruiz "Psychological Considerations in Marriage Nullity Cases": Fr Frans Daneels "The Rights of Defence in Judicial Proceedings”: Archbishop Jan Schotte "The Synod of Bishops – A Permanent but Flexible Reality":

1991: All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney, England
Rev Paul Baaillargeon "Parental Rights and Obligations with Regard to Education of Children According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law": Rev John Cunningham "The Relationship between the Parish Priest and the People of God in the 1983 Code": Prof Simon Lee "The Code of Canon Law as an Expression of Natural Law": Rt Rev Mgr Michael Corley "Incardination in Theory and in Practise": Rev John Guest "Planning the Future – A Survey of Marriage Preparation, Policies and Practices in Great Britain and Ireland”: Rev Anthony Ford "Problems of Identity in Cases of Lack of Due Discretion":