Dr Maeve O'Rourke

PhD, LLM, BCL

Contact Details

LECTURER BELOW THE BAR HUMAN RIGHTS
E: maeve.orourke@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher
 

Biography

Dr Maeve O’Rourke, PhD (Birmingham), LLM (Harvard), BCL (University College Dublin) is Lecturer in Human Rights Law and Programme Director of the BCL Law and Human Rights, a newly established undergraduate degree programme at NUI Galway.  

Maeve’s research interests are primarily in the development of the rule against torture and ill-treatment, human rights protections in institutional and care contexts, access to justice and redress for systemic and so-called ‘historical’ human rights abuses, and human rights research and advocacy methods. She was awarded her PhD (entitled ‘Older People, Dignity and Human Rights: Towards the Development of the Rule against Torture and Ill-treatment in International Human Rights Law’) in 2018 from Birmingham Law School where she was supervised by Professor Fiona de Londras and Professor Rosie Harding. Between 2015 and 2017 Maeve was a Visiting Scholar and Occasional Lecturer at University College Dublin School of Law where she established a Human Rights Clinic for LLM and MSc Human Rights students and co-taught an undergraduate Social Inclusion Law Clinic. 

Maeve is a barrister at 33 Bedford Row, London, and she is a registered Attorney at Law in New York. She has previously practised family law, and between 2013 and 2014 she worked with Leigh Day solicitors representing 15,000 claimants from Bodo, Rivers State, Nigeria in their claim against Shell Petroleum Development Company in the Technology and Construction Division of the English High Court. She currently practises in the broad area of human rights law. 
 From October 2017 to January 2019 Maeve held the position of Senior Research and Policy Officer at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties where she undertook legal research, policy development and public advocacy in all areas of the ICCL’s work (including human rights-based policing, state surveillance and data protection, deprivation of liberty, shrinking civil society space, judicial reform, access to justice for ‘historical’ systematic human rights abuses, and reproductive rights). 

Since 2010 Maeve has provided pro bono assistance to the voluntary advocacy group ‘Justice for Magdalenes’ and she is currently a member of the research group ‘Justice for Magdalenes Research’ (www.jfmresearch.com). She is co-director of the evidence-gathering initiative with Hogan Lovells LLP, ‘Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data’ (www.clannproject.org). Maeve’s legal research and public advocacy concerning Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries abuse and the forced separation of unmarried families in Ireland during the 20th century has received international and national recognition; awards include UK Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year (2013), Ireland Fund of Great Britain ‘Forgotten Irish’ Award (2013), University College Dublin Inaugural Alumni Achievement Award in Law (2014), Ireland/United States Alumni Association Inaugural Emerging Leader Award (2015), Lord Mayor of Dublin Award (2016), and PILnet Local Pro Bono Impact Award (2018). 
 

Maeve has previously worked as a Consultant to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer; Harvard Law School Global Human Rights Fellow at Equality Now; and researcher at the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program, the University of Minnesota Law School Human Rights Center and Just for Kids Law (UK). 

Research Interests

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2019) 'Prolonged Impunity as a Continuing Situation of Torture or Ill-Treatment? Applying a Dignity Lens to So-Called ‘Historical’ Cases'
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) 'Prolonged Impunity as a Continuing Situation of Torture or Ill-Treatment? Applying a Dignity Lens to So-Called ‘Historical’ Cases'. Netherlands International Law Review, [DOI] [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2011) 'Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and the State’s Duty to Protect'
Maeve O'Rourke (2011) 'Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and the State’s Duty to Protect'. Hibernian Law Journal, 10 :200-237 [ARAN Link] [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(2018) 'Concluding Observations of the UN Committee against Torture on Ireland, 2011'
Maeve O'Rourke (2018) 'Concluding Observations of the UN Committee against Torture on Ireland, 2011' In: Women’s Legal Landmarks. Oxford, UK: Hart. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2017) 'O’Keeffe v Hickey'
Maeve O'Rourke (2017) 'O’Keeffe v Hickey' In: Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges' Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity. Oxford, UK: Hart. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2016) 'Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries: Confronting a History Not Yet in the Past'
Maeve O'Rourke & James M Smith (2016) 'Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries: Confronting a History Not Yet in the Past' In: A Century of Progress? Irish Women Reflect. Galway: Arlen House. [Details]
(2015) 'The Justice for Magdalenes Campaign'
Maeve O'Rourke (2015) 'The Justice for Magdalenes Campaign' In: Implementing International Human Rights: Perspectives from Ireland. Dublin: Bloomsbury. [ARAN Link] [Details]

Published Reports

  Year Publication
(2019) Submission to Oireachtas Justice Committee on Direct Provision in Ireland.
Maeve O'Rourke & ICCL (2019) Submission to Oireachtas Justice Committee on Direct Provision in Ireland. Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2018) Freedom of Artistic Expression and the Referendum on the 8th Amendment.
Maeve O'Rourke (2018) Freedom of Artistic Expression and the Referendum on the 8th Amendment. Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2018) Rights-Based Policing: How Do We Get There?.
Maeve O'Rourke & ICCL (2018) Rights-Based Policing: How Do We Get There?. Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2018) ICCL Follow-Up Report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.
Maeve O'Rourke & ICCL (2018) ICCL Follow-Up Report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2018) Clann: Principal Submissions to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.
Maeve O'Rourke, Claire McGettrick, Rod Baker, Raymond Hill & Ors (2018) Clann: Principal Submissions to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. Clann: Ireland's Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2018) ICCL Submissions to the Department of Health on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
Maeve O'Rourke (2018) ICCL Submissions to the Department of Health on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2017) Justice for Magdalenes Research, NGO Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
Maeve O'Rourke (2017) Justice for Magdalenes Research, NGO Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Justice for Magdalenes Research, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2017) Justice for Magdalenes Research, Submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.
Maeve O'Rourke (2017) Justice for Magdalenes Research, Submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. Justice for Magdalenes Research, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2015) Justice for Magdalenes Research, Parallel Report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Maeve O'Rourke (2015) Justice for Magdalenes Research, Parallel Report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Justice for Magdalenes Research, Dublin. [Details]
(2015) Justice for Magdalenes Research, Stakeholder Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review of Ireland.
Maeve O'Rourke (2015) Justice for Magdalenes Research, Stakeholder Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review of Ireland. Justice for Magdalenes Research, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2015) Justice for Magdalenes Research, Follow-up Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Maeve O'Rourke (2015) Justice for Magdalenes Research, Follow-up Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Justice for Magdalenes Research, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2012) Justice for Magdalenes: Principal Submissions to the Inter-departmental Committee to Establish the Facts of State Involvement with the Magdalene Laundries.
James Smith, Maeve O'Rourke, Raymond Hill, Claire McGettrick & Ors (2012) Justice for Magdalenes: Principal Submissions to the Inter-departmental Committee to Establish the Facts of State Involvement with the Magdalene Laundries. Justice for Magdalenes, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2012) Justice for Magdalenes, Follow-up Report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.
Maeve O'Rourke, James M Smith, Claire McGettrick, Raymond Hill and others (2012) Justice for Magdalenes, Follow-up Report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. Justice for Magdalenes, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2011) Justice for Magdalenes, Submission to the United Nations Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review.
Maeve O'Rourke (2011) Justice for Magdalenes, Submission to the United Nations Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. Justice for Magdalenes, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2011) Justice for Magdalenes, Submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.
Maeve O'Rourke (2011) Justice for Magdalenes, Submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. Justice for Magdalenes, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
(2014) 'The Importance of Pro Bono Lawyering'
Maeve O'Rourke (2014) 'The Importance of Pro Bono Lawyering' Family Law, (1071) . [Details]
(2013) 'Burial of a Child's Remains: Resolving Parental Disputes'
Maeve O'Rourke (2013) 'Burial of a Child's Remains: Resolving Parental Disputes' Family Law Week, . [Details]
(2009) 'Human Rights and Smart Economics: Mainstreaming Gender in International Trade Policy'
Maeve O'Rourke (2009) 'Human Rights and Smart Economics: Mainstreaming Gender in International Trade Policy' University College Dublin Law Review, 9 . [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2019) Religion and Abuse: a multi-disciplinary workshop,
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) Ireland's Magdalene institutions and the Clann Project. [Invited Oral Presentation], Religion and Abuse: a multi-disciplinary workshop, London , 24-JUN-19 - 25-JUN-19. [Details]
(2019) Living Well with the Confined Dead,
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) A Thinkery to close a Wellcome-funded research project at University College Cork entitled 'Living Well with the Dead in Contemporary Ireland. [Conference Paper], Living Well with the Confined Dead, University College Cork , 10-MAY-19. [Details]
(2019) Violence, Space & the Archives,
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) The Power of Law: Current Constraints on Truth-telling and Transition from Ireland's Institutional Past. [Invited Oral Presentation], Violence, Space & the Archives, NUI Galway , 23-MAY-19 - 24-MAY-19. [Details]
(2019) 11th International Disability Law Summer School,
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) Human Rights and Family Life: Ireland's history of forced family separation. [Invited Oral Presentation], 11th International Disability Law Summer School, NUI Galway , 17-JUN-19 - 21-JUN-19. [Details]
(2018) Towards Transitional Justice? Recognition, Truth-telling and Institutional Abuse in Ireland,
Maeve O'Rourke (2018) This conference brought together scholars, survivors, and activists in the international field of Transitional Justice, with a specific focus on the Irish state’s response to the nation’s history of institutional abuse. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Towards Transitional Justice? Recognition, Truth-telling and Institutional Abuse in Ireland, Boston College, MA, USA , 01-NOV-18 - 02-NOV-18. [Details]

Blog

  Year Publication
(2019) 10 ways institutional abuse details are still being kept secret.
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) 10 ways institutional abuse details are still being kept secret. Dublin: Blog [Details]

Newspaper Articles

  Year Publication
(2018) State must allow institutionalised people access to personal files.
Maeve O'Rourke (2018) State must allow institutionalised people access to personal files. Dublin: Newspaper Articles [ARAN Link] [Details]

Policy Contribution

  Year Publication
(2019) Response to Consultation on the Health Information and Quality Authority's Draft Guidance on a human rights-based approach to care and support in health and social care settings.
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) Response to Consultation on the Health Information and Quality Authority's Draft Guidance on a human rights-based approach to care and support in health and social care settings. Policy Contribution [Details]

Radio Presentation

  Year Publication
(2019) The case of Majella Moynihan.
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) The case of Majella Moynihan. Dublin: Radio Presentation [Details]
(2019) Publication of the Fifth Interim Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.
Maeve O'Rourke (2019) Publication of the Fifth Interim Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. Dublin: Radio Presentation [Details]

Video recording / TV

  Year Publication
(2015) Why Apologise Today for 'Historic' Abuse?.
Maeve O'Rourke (2015) Why Apologise Today for 'Historic' Abuse?. Dublin: Video recording / TV [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2018 PILnet Award for Local Pro Bono Impact PILnet
2015 Honorary Life Membership University College Dublin Law Society
2015 PhD Studentship University of Birmingham
2015 Inaugural Emerging Leader Award Ireland/US Alumni Association
2014 Travelling Studentship Prize National University of Ireland
2014 Inaugural Alumni Achievement Award in Law University College Dublin
2014 Doctoral Studentship Arts & Humanities Research Council, UK
2013 'Forgotten Irish' Award Ireland Fund of Great Britain
2013 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Family Law Awards, UK
2013 James Larkin 'Thirst for Justice' Award Irish Labour Party
2012 Arthur C Helton Fellowship American Society of International Law
2012 Global Shaper World Economic Forum
2011 Lord Mansfield Scholarship Lincoln's Inn
2010 Global Human Rights Fellowship Harvard Law School
2009 Travelling Scholar John F Kennedy Fund
2006 Stage 2 Law Scholar University College Dublin
2005 Entrance Scholar University College Dublin

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Bar of England and Wales Barrister /
Royal Irish Academy of Music Associate /
New York State Bar Attorney at Law /