Donncha O’Connell appointed to new Legal Aid Board

NUI Galway law lecturer Donncha O’Connell has been appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter to the State’s new Legal Aid Board.

Mr O’Connell was the Dean of Law at NUIG from 2005 - 2008 and he continues to teach European human rights and constitutional law in the School of Law.

He has extensive experience on European human rights bodies having served as the Irish member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights established by the EU Commission in 2002 and as the senior Irish member of FRALEX, the legal expert group that advised the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights based in Vienna.

He spent the academic year 2009-2010 as a visiting senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights LSE and is the editor of the Irish Human Rights Law Review published annually by Clarus Press.

Mr O’Connell was the first full-time director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties from 1999-2002 and he has been a board member of the Free Legal Advice Centres Ltd and Amnesty International-Ireland.

He is currently a member of the board of directors of the London-based NGO, INTERIGHTS – The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Rights. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Public Interest Law Alliance, a project of FLAC.

The Legal Aid Board has been established in response to increase in demand for legal services of recent years.

Minister Shatter said of the boards new members: “I am confident the new board members will all bring their considerable skills and expertise to the work of the Legal Aid Board and that their presence on the board will ensure it continues to operate as innovatively, efficiently, and effectively as it has always done, in what is, a much more difficult economic environment than at any time in its history.”

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