For Immediate Release

Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law


UW Law School to Host Roundtable with N. Ireland Consul

Andy Pike, Consul for Northern Ireland to the U.S., will speak at a roundtable lunch discussion at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, March 30, 2006 in Gates Hall 115.  Because of limited seating, the luncheon is not open to the public.  The 2006 recipient of the William Sampson Fellow in Comparative Public Interest Law will be announced at the lunch.

Pike will also speak that evening at 7 p.m. in Kane Hall 110 on the topic, "Northern Ireland:  Clinching the Peace".  The evening event is free and open to the public.

Pike has been the United States Consul (Northern Ireland) since February 2004.  His responsibilities involve working with the Irish-American community, the US government and US media, and representing the United Kingdom’s interests on Northern Ireland across a range of issues from the Peace Process to prosperity.

Pike served as BBC head of press, publicity and public relations for England immediately before taking up his present post.  Before that, he served for many years in the Diplomatic Service and completed a number of overseas postings as diverse as Yemen, Vanuatu and Poland.  From 1998 to 2002 he was head of press and public affairs and political officer at the British Embassy in Dublin from which grew his close interest in Irish and Northern Irish affairs. He is expected to remain in his present role until 2008.

The Sampson Fellow program, sponsored by the law school's European Law Initiative (ELI), provides an externship opportunity for one UW law student to spend up to four months working in Europe at a human rights non-profit or NGO.  Traditionally, Sampson Fellow's have worked with the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) in Dublin, Ireland. 

"I was able to see first-hand what public interest law looked like in a comparative jurisdiction," said John Smelcer (3L), the 2004 Sampson Fellow recipient.

The Sampson Fellowship, established in 1997, was named in honor of William Sampson, an Irish Protestant human rights attorney who was imprisoned, disbarred, and banished from Ireland to the U.S. in the early 19th century.  After entry to the American bar, Sampson won the first religious freedom case in American constitutional law, The Catholic Question in America (1813) in which Sampson argued for the protection of confessions to Roman Catholic priests.

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