Justice Brian Murray nominated for appointment to Supreme Court

Constitutional law expert represented State in opposing Graham Dwyer data case

The government has nominated Mr Justice Brian Murray for appointment to the Supreme Court.

Mr Justice Murray was appointed straight from the Bar to the Court of Appeal bench in November 2019.

A well-respected advocate with significant expertise in many areas of law, particularly constitutional and commercial law, his nomination to the Supreme Court is likely to be well received in legal circles.

As a barrister, he appeared mainly in constitutional and commercial cases including representing the State in defending a judicial review challenge taken by a former judge, Brian Curtin, over the establishment of an Oireachtas select committee inquiry following Judge Curtin's acquittal on charges of possession of images of child pornography.


He also acted for the State in several high profile data protection cases, including that taken by Austrian lawyer and data privacy activist Max Schrems over the legality of Facebook's EU-US data transfers.

He represented State owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation in the long running proceedings against businessman Sean Quinn and members of his family.

He also represented terminally ill Marie Fleming in her proceedings against the State where she unsuccessfully challenged the law criminalising assisted suicide.

Another high profile action in which he appeared on behalf of the State was when it unsuccessfully defended the action by convicted murderer Graham Dwyer resulting in a High Court finding that a 2011 data retention law should be struck down as in breach of EU law. That finding is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court.

He presented a paper to the Citizens Assembly in 2017 on the impact of retaining, repealing or altering the anti-abortion eighth amendment to the Constitution.

Educated at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Cambridge and the King's Inns, he was called to the Bar in 1989 and became a senior counsel in 2002. His nomination to the Supreme Court is intended to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of former Chief Justice Frank Clarke.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times