Dec 03 2013 Posted: 12:25 GMT

The renowned UN human rights expert, Professor Michael O'Flaherty FRSA, has been appointed as Professor of Human Rights Law at the National University of Ireland Galway. He will also serve as Director of the University's Irish Centre for Human Rights. Professor O'Flaherty will combine the new roles with his current commitment as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. During the period that Professor O'Flaherty remains at the Northern Ireland Commission the Irish Centre for Human Rights will be co-directed by Professor Ray Murphy.

Since October 2011, Professor O'Flaherty has been Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. 

Professor O'Flaherty has worked the UK university sector since 2003 as Professor of Applied Human Rights and Co-Director of the Human Rights Law Centre at the School of Law in University of Nottingham.

 A native of Galway, Professor O'Flaherty has a distinguished reputation in the human rights arena. Since 2004, he has been an elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee and is currently a Vice-Chairperson. He is also a member of the UN Expert Group on Human Rights Indicators, serves on a number of human rights advisory bodies of the UK government and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

Professor O'Flaherty sits on committees of the European Roma Rights Centre, the Diplomacy Training Programme, the UN-UK Association, the World Organization Against Torture, the Hilde Back Education Fund and a number of other groups worldwide.

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.

National University of Ireland Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, welcomed the announcement: "Professor O'Flaherty brings an outstanding reputation to our School of Law and Irish Centre for Human Rights. Building on the strong foundations laid by his predecessor, Professor Bill Schabas, who retains an important connection with the Centre, Professor O'Flaherty will continue to develop the global reputation of the Centre for high quality academic programmes, leading edge research and engaged advocacy. Professor O'Flaherty brings a unique blend of academic skills and practical knowledge of human rights law which will enrich the teaching, research and outreach activities of the Centre."

Additional Information about Professor O'Flaherty

Professor O'Flaherty read law at University College Dublin (BCL), theology and philosophy at the Gregorian University, Rome (BPh, STB) and international relations at the University of Amsterdam (MA, MPhil). He is a Solicitor of the Irish Courts.

He initiated the on-going "Dublin Process for the Strengthening of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System" and was principal drafter of the General Comment of the UN Human Rights Committee on Freedom of Expression. He also led the drafting of the Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law Regarding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. He advises many international and regional inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations and is a member of the editorial boards of the Human Rights Law Review, the Irish Yearbook of International Law, theInternational Journal of Human RightsEuropean Yearbook on Human Rights, and Revue Trimestrielle Des Droits de L'Homme

He has served as Secretary of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and UN human rights advisor for implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. From 2000 to 2002 he chaired the UN reference group on human rights and humanitarian action


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