Search icon

Office of the University Advocate

The Office of the University Advocate is established by the Code of Conduct enacted by the Academic Council of the University of Limerick.
The Code of Conduct can be found in the Handbook of Academic Regulations & Procedures which is located on the UL Policy Hub 
Under the Code of Conduct, the role of the University Advocate is as follows:

2.2 All complaints shall, in the first instance, be referred to a University Advocate, who shall:

(i) Consider a complaint and decide if there is a case to answer.

(ii) Categorise a complaint as a major or minor offence.

(iii) Refer a minor offence to the Minor Offences Committee.

(iv) Refer a major offence to the Discipline Committee.

(v) Prosecute all case in the disciplinary process.

The jurisdiction of the University Advocate is currently limited to members of the Campus Community, which is defined as follows:

1.1 This Code of Conduct and the matters contained therein shall govern the conduct of and apply to all persons studying, whether whole-time, part-time or otherwise, in the University of Limerick, and such persons shall thereafter be referred to as the Campus Community.

The University Advocates have been appointed by the President of the University of Limerick.

The current University Advocates are: Dr Laura Donnellan, Professor Mike Hinchey and Ms Shirley Ryan who were appointed on 20th April 2021. (Please note that the University Advocates should not be contacted directly. Contact should be made via the Complaint, Discipline & Vetting Unit at email: or by submission of an Official Complaint Form to CDV Unit. Forms can be found on Make a Complaint webpage)

Role of the Advocate

The University Advocate is an independent officer who acts at all times to vigorously protect and vindicate the interests of the University.

The role of the University Advocate is to investigate and prosecute complaints about alleged violations of the Code of Conduct of the University.

Underlying Principles

The office of the University Advocate is guided by a number of key principles:

  1. A robust investigation and prosecution of violations of the Code of Conduct using the over-riding principle of the need to vindicate the interests of the University of Limerick.
  2. A clear separation of function between the office of the University Advocate and the adjudicative and administrative bodies of the University ensuring prosecutorial independence.
  3. Efficient and verifiable case management.
  4. Transparency and accountability within the limits of the autonomy of the office.

The best interests of the University include not merely faculty and management of the University but also students of the University, past, present and future, and other members of the University community.

The University Advocate's involvement in the disciplinary process of the University can be divided into three distinct elements:

  • Complaint
  • Investigation
  • Prosecution

Refer to Discipline Committee