The legal route to terminating the ’employment control framework’?
Readers of this blog will by now be well familiar with the Irish ’employment control framework’, the state-imposed mechanism for restricting the capacity of universities to hire and promote staff, even within budget. Following the publication of the new framework, the influential Trinity College Dublin law professor Eoin O’Dell published a compelling legal analysis in his blog pointing to the various flaws in the way in which the framework was adopted, and in the proposed enforcement of it.
Based on this analysis, TCD Provost candidate Colm Kearney has indicated that, if elected to the post, he would move immediately to restrain the implementation of the ECF by seeking a court injunction. I can see the attraction, at least in principle, of this approach, but I would not myself advocate it immediately, because winning any such litigation may prompt a political backlash with further and more restrictive legislation following it. In any case, litigation in Ireland is notoriously costly and often not exactly speedy. I would prefer the continuation of a strong and united front of people across higher education attacking the framework; I believe there is a good chance that this campaign will succeed and that the ECF will be revoked.