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Dr Síofra O’Leary elected as judge at the European Court of Human Rights

Human Rights, International Law, Ireland, Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Europe, 2015

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, has congratulated Dr Síofra O’Leary on her election today by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as a judge in respect of Ireland at the European Court of Human Rights.

Minister Flanagan said:

“Ireland attaches the highest importance to European Court of Human Rights as the cornerstone of human rights protection in Europe.

“The authority and credibility of the Court depends on the quality of its judges. It needs high calibre judges and I have no doubt that Dr O’Leary meets this standard and that she will perform their functions as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights with the highest degree of professionalism.”

Press Office
21 April 2015

Note for Editors:

• Dr O’Leary was educated at University College Dublin and at the European University Institute Florence Italy. Dr O’Leary has been working at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg since 1996 and has been a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges since 2003.

• The previous Irish judge in respect of Ireland at the European Court of Human Rights, Judge Anne Power-Forde, resigned from the Court with effect from 1 October 2014.

• The other two candidates were Professor Siobhán Mullally (UCC) and Professor Gerard Quinn (NUIG).

• The Government were asked by the Council of Europe, in accordance with its normal practice, to submit a list of three candidates from which its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) would elect a replacement judge in respect of Ireland.

• Following a public advertisement 29 applications were received which were considered by a Selection Panel convened by the Attorney General to advise on persons qualified to act as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights composed of: Mr Liam O’Daly (Director General of the Office of the Attorney General), Professor Donncha O’Connell (Established Professor of Law and Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, part-time Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission) and Ms Justice Catherine Mc Guinness (retired Supreme Court Judge). A shortlist of nine candidates was drawn up and those persons were interviewed by the Selection Panel at the end of November. The Selection Panel recommended three candidates for nomination and the three names were approved by Government in December and submitted to the Council of Europe thereafter.

• In February the Advisory Panel of Experts on Candidates for Election as Judge to the European Court of Human Rights established by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe confirmed the suitability of the three candidates for the position of Judge of the European Court of Human Rights and the names were transmitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

• The three candidates were subsequently interviewed by the Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights at the end of March. All three candidates were highly regarded by the Committee.

• Judges were also elected in respect of Andorra, Austria, Finland and Liechtenstein. Further information on the election is available on the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly website: