Mr Justice Nial Fennelly of the Supreme Court and formerly Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union, will deliver the School of Law annual distinguished lecture on Friday April 4 at 8pm in the Aula Maxima (ground floor ), at NUI Galway. The title of his lecture will be: The National Judge and the European Union.
Anna-Louise Hinds, lecturer in European law at NUIG and co-editor of the Irish Journal of European Law, will formally respond to his paper.
Previous speakers in the School of Law annual distinguished lecture series include Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University, Judge John T Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University, and Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court with Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court. The event is held on an annual basis to mark the end of the academic year and is open to students and graduates of the School of Law, NUIG, as well as interested members of the public.
In announcing this event, Professor Donncha O’Connell, head of the School of Law at NUIG said: “Mr Justice Fennelly is a judge of the highest renown who is recognised for the rigour and consistency of his judgments. His expertise in the area of European law, in particular, is widely acknowledged. It is a great honour for the School of Law at NUI Galway to have him deliver our annual distinguished lecture on a topic of great importance not just to lawyers but to all European citizens.”
Mr Justice Nial Fennelly was educated at the Jesuit boarding school Clongowes Wood College before achieving a degree in economics at UCD and completing his Bar studies at King's Inns. He practised at the Irish Bar from 1966 to 1995 and worked principally in commercial and constitutional cases, with a particular interest in the growing field of European Community (including Competition ) Law.
He has been chairman of the Bar Council of Ireland for 1990 and 1991 and was the first Irish lawyer to be appointed as Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ, now CJEU ), where he served from 1995 to 2000. As Advocate General his opinions dealt with issues of free movement, tax, and competition. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland in October 2000.
He is a Bencher of the Honorable Society of King's Inns and of the Middle Temple in London. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Academy of European Law at Trier, Germany, chairman of the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL ), and president of the Irish Society for European Law, and was president in 2004 of FIDE (Fédération Internationale de Droit Européenne ). He has written many articles concerning the law of the European Union, with particular interest in its constitutional aspects.