Two new members named to Law Reform Commission

Wed, Jul 25, 2012, 01:00

TWO NEW members have been appointed to the Law Reform Commission following the announcement that Mr Justice John Quirke has become president of the advisory body. The new members are Marie Baker SC and the Galway university legal academic Prof Tom O’Malley.

Donncha O’Connell has been reappointed by the Government, joining full-time commissioner Finola Flanagan.

Ms Baker is a graduate of UCC and was called to the Bar in 1984. She became a senior counsel in 2004. Her main areas of interest are family law, conveyancing, trusts, banking and general chancery, with recent focus on the impact of Nama legislation. She practises mainly in the Commercial and Chancery courts.

She has lectured in commercial and contract law and was a member of the Government-appointed commission which reported on pre-nuptial agreements.

Prof O’Malley holds three first-class degrees from NUI Galway. He has taught law at NUIG since graduating from Yale University in 1987. He has also taught in the Criminology Centre in Oxford University, Leiden University in the Netherlands and the law faculty of the Paris V University.

He is also a practising barrister, specialising in criminal law and judicial review, and is the author of a number of highly regarded texts on sex offences, sentencing and criminal procedure. He is a member of the steering committee for the Irish Sentencing Information System.

Mr O’Connell was called to the Bar in 1992. He joined the faculty of law in NUI Galway in 1993 having obtained an LLM in Edinburgh University. He lectures in constitutional law, European human rights law, law reform and public interest law.

He was dean of the faculty of law in NUIG from 2005 to 2008. He is founder and editor of Irish Human Rights Law Review, published annually by Clarus Press.

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.

In 2002 he was appointed as the Irish member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights. He is also a member of the Legal Aid Board and is a member of the board of directors of the Druid Theatre Company. From 2009 to 2010, he was visiting senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights in LSE, and has lectured widely abroad.

Ms Flanagan is a barrister and former director general of the Office of the Attorney General. She is also a member of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters.

Mr Justice Quirke was called to the Bar in 1974 and became a senior counsel in 1984. He was appointed a High Court judge in 1997 and was a member the board of the Courts Service from 2003 to 2009.