Commissioners

The Law Reform Commission consists of a President, a full time Commissioner and three part-time Commissioners.  The Commissioners are appointed by the Government for a term of up to five years and their appointment may be renewed.

The Commissioners are supported by a Director of Research,  two project managers as well as legal researchers and administrative staff.

 

Mr Justice John Quirke

President

Mr Justice John Quirke was called to the Bar in 1974, the English Bar in 1981 and the Inner Bar in 1984. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 1997. He was a member of the Board of the Judicial Studies Institute between 1999 and 2009 and represented the Irish Judiciary repeatedly in domestic and international judicial conferences and events. He was a member of the Board of the Courts Service between 2003 and 2009 and of the Committee for Court Practice and Procedure between 2002 and 2012. He chaired the Public Service Benchmarking Body, which reported (on public service pay), in 2002 and the Peatland’s Forum, which reported, (on disputed peatland issues), in 2012. As a Judge of the High Court he managed the Judicial Review list between 2003 and 2007 and the Personal Injuries list between 2007 and 2012. He chaired the Working Group on Medical Negligence which published its first report (on Periodic Payments for catastrophically injured litigants) in November 2010. He retired as a Judge of the high Court in February 2012.

 

 

Raymond Byrne

Full Time Commissioner

Raymond was appointed full-time Commissioner in April 2016. Prior to his appointment, the was Director of Research in the Commission. He qualified as a barrister in 1982, and between 1982 and 2007 he was a lecturer in law in the School of Law and  Government, Dublin City University.

He has published widely on legal matters. He is the author of a number of texts on safety and health law, including Safety and Health Legislation: Annotated and Consolidated (Round Hall Thomson Reuters, 2013). He is also co-author of Byrne and McCutcheon on the Irish Legal System 6th edition (Bloomsbury Professional, 2014) and of the Annual Review of Irish Law series (Round Hall Thomson Reuters).

Raymond chaired a Working Group whose work led to a Council of Europe 2009 Recommendation on Missing Persons and Presumption of Death. He is currently a member of the Research Ethics Committee of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland. He was previously Chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and President of the Irish Association of Law Teachers.

 

 

 

Tom O'Malley

Part Time Commissioner

Tom O’Malley is a Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway and a practising member of the Irish bar where he specialises in constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law. He was educated at NUI Galway where he received a Master’s Degree in Classics and the LL.B. degree, and at Yale University where he received the LL.M. degree. He has been a member of the NUI Galway Law School since 1987 and has taught a wide range of public and private law subjects. He is a former Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford Criminology Centre and has served on many bodies and committees dealing with aspects of law reform, He is a member of the steering committee of the Irish Sentencing Information System.

He is the author of 10 books including Sentencing Law and Practice (3rd ed., 2016), Sexual Offences (2nd ed., 2013); Sentencing: Towards a Coherent System (2011), The Criminal Process (2009) and Sources of Law (2nd ed, 2001). He has also published numerous articles and book chapters. He has given guest lectures at many Irish, British, European and American Universities and he taught a postgraduate course in comparative criminology at the University of Leiden in 2012. He is currently preparing a new edition of The Criminal Process as well as a book on comparative sentencing law.

 

 

Donncha O'Connell

Part Time Commissioner 

Professor Donncha O'Connell was initially appointed as a part-time Commissioner in March 2012 and re-appointed for a full term in July 2012. He is Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway where he teaches Constitutional Law, European Human Rights, Processes of Law Reform and Advocacy, Activism & Public Interest Law. Professor O’Connell was called to the Irish Bar in 1992.

He is also a member of the Legal Aid Board, to which he was appointed in 2011. He was a member of the board of INTERIGHTS – The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Rights until the end of 2012. From 1999-2002 he was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). He has in the past also been a member of the National Council of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd and of the National Executive Committee of Amnesty International - Ireland.

Commissioner O’Connell was Dean of Law at NUI Galway from 2005-2008 after which he spent a year as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE. He edits the Irish Human Rights Law Review published biennially by Clarus Press.

 

 

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart

Part Time Commissioner
 

Ms. Justice Carmel Stewart attended University College Galway where she was conferred with both BA and LLB Degrees. Thereafter she studied at the Kings Inns where she was conferred with a Degree of Barrister-at-Law.Carmel was admitted tothe Bar of Ireland in 1987.  She practiced extensively in the areas of child law and adoption, family law, mental health, wards of court and vulnerable adults. She appeared in many high profile and reported cases such as the Baby Anne case at the High and Supreme Courts and the A, B, C case at the European Court of Human Rights. She was admitted to the Inner Bar in 2008. Apart from her legal practice, she has served in a number of organizations and bodies. She is a former vice chairperson of the Employment Appeals Tribunal, is a former director and board member of Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) and has always taken a keen interest in issues surrounding access to justice and law reform.

She served as board member and Chair of the National College of Art & Design. She also served on the Mountjoy Visiting Committee, monitoring and reporting on prison conditions. She is a member and former chairperson of the Family Lawyers’ Association. Ms. Justice Stewart was appointed to the Circuit Court Bench in April, 2012 and was appointed to the High Court Bench in October, 2014.