Donal Coffey’s work on legal history focuses on the period between the First and Second World War. His PhD was on the constitutional history of Ireland in the 1930s and was published in two volumes by the Palgrave MacMillan Modern Legal History series in 2018. It examined the Irish Constitution by contextualising it within the broader scheme of inter-war European constitutions, and with reference to the legal history of the British Commonwealth of Nations. His current research examines the British Commonwealth of Nations as a legal system in the inter-war years. Drawing on archival work from each of the Commonwealth countries, it examines the structure as a multipolar legal system, where a multiplicity of views existed on each legal issue.
Donal Coffey was born in Ireland (Cork) in 1982. He read law in Trinity College Dublin (graduated 2006). He completed his PhD studies in University College Dublin (graduated 2011). His thesis was submitted in 2010 and entitled ‘Irish Constitutional History 1936-1937’. He was awarded the Irish Legal History studentship, sponsored by the Irish Department of Justice and administered by the Irish Legal History Society.
He lectured at the University of Potsmouth (2011-2014) and the University of Surrey (2015). He lectured Constitutional Law, International Human Rights Law, and Jurisprudence.
He is currently the managing editor of the American Journal of Legal History.