Irish Centre for Human Rights and Global Legal Action Network Establish New Collaboration on Human Rights Ligation Place

Kirsty Brimlow, Queen’s Counsel (QC) of Doughty Street Chambers in the UK. Photo: Doughty Street Chambers
Sep 17 2018 Posted: 12:21 IST

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights has formed a new collaboration with GLAN (Global Legal Action Network), which sees the creation of a placement scheme linking the Centre’s students to GLAN's high profile international legal actions. The collaboration is the first of its kind in Ireland and involves GLAN relocating some of its operations from London to Galway.

The collaboration will be officially launched with a public seminar on ‘Transnational Lawyering in the Public Interest’ on Tuesday, 18 September in the Aula Maxima. The event is free and open to the public, including students and legal practitioners, and the audience will be able to hear the reflection of two guest senior practitioners, Kirsty Brimlow, QC and Colm O’Dwyer, SC on the potential for GLAN’s innovative strategy and their own experiences.

GLAN’s collaboration with the Irish Centre for Human Rights will develop a legal education exchange where the Centre’s students can gain valuable experience working directly on legal actions tackling issues such as climate change, war crimes, torture and modern-day slavery. This collaboration follows on foot of a successful pilot scheme over the past summer. The event will be a chance for people to learn about GLAN’s unique line of work, taking legal actions across borders challenging powerful actors involved in human rights violations.

Keynote speaker at the seminar, Kirsty Brimlow, Queen’s Counsel (QC) of Doughty Street Chambers in the UK, Chair of the UK’s Bar Human Rights Committee and a member of GLAN’s Advisory Committee, will talk about her own legal work on overseas human rights issues in Nigeria, Colombia, Iraq and Iran to name but a few. Kirsty practices in international human rights, public law and criminal law and has led trainings of Nigerian Bar Association barristers in the rights and protections of Internally Displaced People and Environmental Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Niger Delta. Kirsty will speak about her role in work on Guantanamo Bay cases before the United States Military Commission and on behalf of the Yazidis to the International Criminal Court.

Colm O’ Dwyer, Senior Counsel (SC) will moderate the event. Colm is an Irish barrister who specialises in human rights, asylum, immigration and public law. He regularly pleads before the Superior Courts in Ireland and has appeared for the applicants/plaintiffs in a number of significant and frequently cited cases in the areas of asylum, protection, citizenship, EU and immigration law. Colm is a former member of the Bar Council and was the first chair of the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Committee. He is currently chair of the non-governmental organisation, Ruhama, which assists and supports women affected by prostitution and victims of trafficking.

Other speakers include Professor Siobhan Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway and Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Director of GLAN, whose team will be working directly with LLM and PhD students at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, on a range of transnational lawyering projects.

Welcoming the new collaboration, Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Director of GLAN, said: “This unique collaboration will provide GLAN with an Irish base to continue exploring new ways of tackling international human rights violations. As the Irish Centre for Human Rights has a track record of attracting highly capable students we have no doubt this placement scheme will strengthen our goal of identifying and pursuing impactful legal actions.”

Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to launch this project with GLAN, to ensure that our graduates develop the legal skills necessary to secure accountability for human rights violations. GLAN’s work on the rights of migrants, climate change and air strikes in Yemen, addresses some of the most pressing issues of human rights and international humanitarian law today.”

The event will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway from 5pm-6.30pm on Tuesday, 18 September 2018.

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