Donncha O'Connell

Visiting Fellow, September 2009 - August 2010

Donncha O'Connell was Dean of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway from 2005 to 2008 where he teaches Constitutional Law and European Human Rights on undergraduate programmes and Processes of Law Reform and Equality Law: Principles & Thematic Application on the LL.M in Public Law. He is the Senior Irish member of FRALEX, the legal expert group that advises the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) based in Vienna.

Donncha was called to the Irish Bar in 1992 and joined the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway (then UCG) in 1993 having completed an LL.M at the University of Edinburgh. From 1999 to 2002, while on leave of absence from NUIG, he was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, a Dublin-based NGO founded in 1976 by Mary Robinson and Kader Asmal.

Upon returning to NUI Galway in 2002 he was appointed as the Irish member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights established by the European Commission on the recommendation of the European Parliament LIBE Committee. Donncha has also participated as a Council of Europe expert in several judicial training programmes in Croatia, Georgia and Azerbaijan and has worked in a similar capacity in other countries with the Netherlands Helsinki Federation and Interights.

In 2006, Donncha became a member of the Board of Directors of Druid Theatre Company. He also chairs the Programme Forum of FOMACS, a collaborative public media project based in the Dublin Institute of Technology, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), both of which are funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. From 2002-2005 he was a member of the National Council of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd and of the Executive Committee of Amnesty International Ireland.

He co-edited (with Mike Milotte) five monographs in the Justice in Controversy series published by Irish Academic Press and is the editor of the Irish Human Rights Law Review published annually by Clarus Press. In 2009 he edited and wrote the Foreword to 60 Years, 30 Perspectives: Ireland and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a collection of essays published by New Island Books and Amnesty International Ireland.

During the period of his Visiting Fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights he will be a temporary member of the Board of Directors of the London-based NGO, Interights - The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights. In the past he has been a visiting and guest lecturer at Boston College (USA), Columbia University (USA), l'Universite de Poitiers (France), Montana State University (USA), Roosevelt University, Chicago (USA), the Department of Social Studies (TCD), the Law School (TCD), the Equality Studies Centre (UCD).

Donncha is a regular contributor to news and current affairs programmes in the English and Irish language media and writes occasional opinion pieces on law and politics for newspapers and magazines in Ireland.

For full profile see: