Ireland and the Human Rights Council – Where to From Here? February 1, 2013
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Caoimhe de Barra
Caoimhe de Barra is Director of Trocaire's International Division and has worked in Trócaire since 1997.  Caoimhe worked as Assistant Regional Manager with Trócaire in Southern Africa for three years (2007 - 2010), based in Mozambique. Prior to that, she was Policy & Advocacy Coordinator for Trócaire, based in Maynooth, Ireland. Governance and Human Rights in developing country contexts have been the focus of Caoimhe's work for over 15 years. 

Gerard Corr
H.E. Ambassador Gerard Corr is the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva and other International Organisations.

From 2006 to 2010 he served as the Ambassador to Egypt, accredited to Sudan, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. From 2003 to 2006 he was the Ambassador to South Africa (and also to Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Zimbabwe). From 2001 to 2003 Mr. Corr was the Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations, New York. From 1999 to 2001 he was a Counsellor to the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union, Brussels. From 1995 to 1999 the Ambassador was Counsellor for the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Anastasia Crickley
Anastasia Crickley is head of the Department of Applied Social Studies of the National University of Maynooth, where she has played a key role in the development of the Department's professional education and training programmes for community and youth workers at postgraduate, under-graduate and part-time levels. She completed her initial Social Science degree at UCD, professional studies at University College Swansea, and further postgraduate studies at the University of Bradford. She worked for a number of years with the Irish community in Britain.

In her work, Anastasia integrates academic and professional approaches. She was the chairperson of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism until its absorption into the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in the October 2008 Budget and is a founder member of the European Network against Racism. She has long been involved in work with Travellers in Ireland through Pavee Point (National Travellers Centre) which she co-founded and chairs, as well as other groups including the National Traveller Women's Forum. She convenes the Community Sector Sub-Group of the Community Workers Co-Operative and is a board member of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland.

Anastasia was the Irish representative and elected chairperson of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency From 2008 – 2011 and was previously chairperson of the European Unions’ Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. She was Personal Representative of the Chair in Office of the OSCE on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, also focusing on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians and Members of Other Religions from 2004-2008. Anastasia is also actively involved with Council of Europe and United Nations initiatives in the fields of Human Rights and Discrimination.  In 2010 she was elected to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination where she currently serves as the Committee’s Rapporteur.

Anastasia was appointed to the Council of State by President Mary McAleese for the period 2004 – 2011. 

Philippe Dam
Philippe Dam is Human Rights Council Advocate at the Human Rights Watch Office in Geneva since mid-2008. He is in charge of advocacy activities at the Human Rights Council, including in the Universal Periodic Review. He also provides support to a network of cross regional NGOs in their engagement at the Human Rights Council. He studied administration and public law at Sciences-Po Rennes (France) and holds a Masters Degree in international administration from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Before joining Human Rights Watch, he worked at the Geneva Office of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CONGO) where he was in charge of the Human Rights Council and Information Society programs.

Annabel Egan
Annabel Egan is research associate with the EU-China Human Rights Network based at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway.

Prior to taking up her current post, Annabel lived in China for 5 years, working as freelance journalist, an editor with the Beijing bureau of the South China Morning Post and as spokesperson for the European Commission Delegation to China. From 1997-2000 she worked as a broadcast journalist with RTE having gained a masters degree with distinction in Economics and Politics from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland in 1996. Annabel completed her doctoral studies at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in 2012. Her thesis examines the EU policy of constructive engagement with China on the issue of human rights.

Suzanne Egan
Suzanne Egan has been a lecturer in international and European human rights Law at the School of Law, University College Dublin since 1992. She has published widely on human rights issues in leading peer reviewed journals and her recent book, The UN Human Rights Treaty System: Law and Procedure (Bloomsbury, 2011) was shortlisted for the Irish Association of Law Teachers, Kevin Boyle prize for outstanding legal scholarship. Suzanne is a graduate of UCD and Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto. She is also a qualified barrister. 

Prior to lecturing at UCD, she was the legal supervisor of an independent research centre on refugee law and policy in Canada (1989-1991) and a research assistant at the Law Reform Commission in Ireland (1991-1992).  She has engaged in human rights training for various non-governmental organisations, the Council of Europe as well as members of the legal profession. In 2000, she was appointed by the government to serve as a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission and was subsequently re-appointed for a second term in 2006. She has been a visiting professor at De Paul Law School, Chicago (2006) and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School's Human Rights Programme (2011-2012).

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly is an international human rights lawyer, and founder of the independent consultancy firm Human Rights Consultants (HRC). His clients have included the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe, as well as a number of international and Irish non-governmental organisations. He has been retained as an expert adviser on human rights and training issues by both An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and has been a guest inspector for the Irish Inspectorate of Prisons and Places of Detention.
Before founding HRC, he lived in Strasbourg for ten years, where he worked as Head of Unit in the Secretariat of the Council of Europe’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). In that role, he supervised the CPT’s human rights monitoring and reporting activities in relation to more than a dozen Council of Europe member States, including Ireland.  He is Co-Chair of the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations  (INCLO) and Consortium Leader of JUSTICIA, a pan-European network of human rights organisations active in 11 European Union countries and funded by the European Commission.
Educated at the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Cambridge, Mark has lectured and published extensively in the areas of human rights and criminal justice, the prevention of ill-treatment and combating racism. He currently lectures on the European Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (University of Padua, at Venice).

Mary Lawlor
Mary Lawlor has a background of  over 35 years experience in human rights. She set up Front Line Defenders - the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders - in 2001. Front Line Defenders concentrates all its activities on human rights defenders at risk who work non-violently for the rights of others as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The aim is to protect defenders of human rights and provide them with “round the clock” practical support so that they can continue their work to build civil and just societies.

As Director she represents the organisation and has a key role in its development.  She has led Front Line missions to the field, managed and evaluated programs, raised funds and has been invited as guest speaker to many international and intergovernmental meetings.    

Prior to Front Line, Mary was Director of the Irish Section of Amnesty International from 1988-2000. She became a Board member in 1975 and  was elected Chair from 1983 - 1987.  She has wide experience of developing and sustaining a human rights organisation.

Mary Lawlor has a BA in Psychology and Philosophy and post graduate degrees in Montessori Teaching and Personnel Management.

In 2007, Front Line Defenders was awarded the King Baudouin International Development Prize.

The following year, Mary Lawlor was awarded the Irish Life WMB Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2008.

Most recently, Mary received with the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Special Recognition Award 2011.

Ray Murphy
Ray Murphy is co-director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway.

In addition to his position at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, he is on the faculty of the International Institute for Criminal Investigations, Justice Rapid Response and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law at San Remo, Italy. He also conducts training on behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Pearson Peacekeeping Center, Canada. He is a member and vice chair of the Executive Committee of Amnesty International (Ireland). He is a national director of the E.MA programme at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice and he is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Human Rights Institutes.

Ray was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2006 and worked with Human Rights Watch in New York as a resident scholar. In 2007 he was awarded the National University of Ireland, Galway President’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and in 2008 he received the National Award for Excellence in Teaching by the National Academy for the Integration of Research & Teaching & Learning (NAIRTL).

He is a former Captain in the Irish Defence Forces and he served as an infantry officer with the Irish contingent of UNIFIL in Lebanon in 1981/82 and again in 1989. He practiced as a barrister for a short period before taking up his current appointment at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He was Chairperson of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission from 1997 to 2000. He has field experience with the OSCE in Bosnia in 1996 and 1997. He has also worked on short assignments in west and southern Africa and the Middle East for Amnesty International, the European Union and the Irish Government.

Ray completed his B.A. in Political Science and Legal Science in 1979, and then took a Bachelor in Law (LL.B.) degree in 1981. He studied at Kings Inns in Dublin where he completed a B.L. degree and was called to the Irish bar in 1984. He completed a Masters degree in International Law (M.Litt.) at Dublin University (Trinity College) in 1991. In 2001 he completed his Ph.D. in International Law at the University of Nottingham, England.

Michael O’Flaherty
Michael O'Flaherty is Professor of Human Rights Law and co-director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway and Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

He is a member of numerous human rights advisory bodies and editorial boards internationally and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.  His latest book is, “Human Rights Diplomacy: Contemporary Perspectives” (ed.), published in 2011.

From 2003 to 2012 he was professor of Applied Human Rights and co-director of the Human Rights Law Centre at the University of Nottingham. From 2004-2012 he served as a member (latterly Vice-Chair) of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Prior to taking up his posts at the University of Nottingham, he served in a number of senior positions with the United Nations. He established the UN human rights field missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994) and Sierra Leone (1998) and subsequently guided UN headquarters support to its human rights programmes across the Asia-Pacific region. 

Colm O’Gorman
Colm O’Gorman is Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. He is the founder and former Director of One in Four, the national NGO that supports women and men who have experienced sexual violence. He has also served as a member of Seanad Éireann and is an author and regular media commentator and contributor.

Niamh Reilly
Niamh Reilly is co-director of the Global Women's Studies Centre and a senior lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway. She is also co-convenor of the NUI Galway-University of Limerick research network, Gender ARC ( Niamh earned a PhD in politics from Rutgers University, NJ, USA (2000) where she also worked for several years at the Center for Women's Global Leadership.   She has published widely on transnational women's movements, feminist theory and human rights. She is author of Women's Human Rights: Seeking Gender Justice in a Globalizing Age (Polity Press, 2009), which was selected as an "Outstanding Academic Title for 2010" by the American Library Association/CHOICE. Her current book is a co-edited collection entitled Religion, Gender and the Public Sphere (Routledge, forthcoming, 2013).  Niamh has many years' experience working with United Nations processes and civil society organisations internationally and in Ireland and has served as an independent expert on the Irish government's Department of Foreign Affairs' Standing Committee on Human Rights (1997-1999) and its Consultative Group to draft Ireland's National Action Plan on UN Security Council 1325 (2010-2011). From 2004 to 2005 she served as a gender expert on Amnesty International's Stop Violence against Women (SVAW) Campaign. Before joining NUI Galway in 2007, Niamh was a UK Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at the Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster (2005-2007) and a postdoctoral fellow in Women's Studies and Politics at the University of Limerick Ireland (2003-2005).