The Law Reform Commission comprises 5 Commissioners, the President and 4 other Commissioners (one appointed on a full-time basis). In accordance with the Law Reform Commission Act 1975, the Commissioners are appointed by the Government for a term of up to 5 years and their appointment may be renewed.
The Commissioners are supported by its staff, comprising the Director of Research, the Access to Legislation Manager and Head of Administration, together with 2 Deputy Directors of Research, 2 Deputy Access to Legislation Managers, the Legal Information Manager, 10 legal researchers and 4 administrative staff.
The Hon. Justice Frank Clarke
Mr. Justice Frank Clarke was Chief Justice of Ireland from July 2017 to October 2021.
He was born in Walkinstown, Dublin in October, 1951 and was educated at Drimnagh Castle CBS and University College Dublin where he was awarded a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics (1972).
Having completed his legal studies at King's Inns, he was called to the Bar in 1973 and to the Inner Bar in 1985. He practiced mainly in the commercial and public law fields (including constitutional law) and was twice appointed by the Supreme Court as counsel to present argument on references of Bills to the Supreme Court by the President under Article 26 of the Constitution.
While at the Bar, Mr. Justice Clarke served for many years on the Bar Council including a term of two years (1993-1995) as its Chair. He also served as Chair of the Council of King's Inns from 1999 until 2004. He was a member of the Council of the International Bar Association from 1997 to 2004, serving as co-Chair of the Forum for Barristers and Advocates (the international representative body for the independent referral bars) from 1998 to 2002.
Mr. Justice Clarke was appointed a judge of the High Court in November 2004. While a judge of the High Court, he was chairman of the Referendum Commission on the 28th Amendment of the Constitution (Lisbon Treaty II) in 2009. Mr. Justice Clarke was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in March, 2012. Chief Justice Clarke has been a member of the panel provided for in Article 255 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union since March 2018.
In the academic field Mr. Justice Clarke was a professor at King's Inns from 1978 to 1985 and has been Judge in Residence at Griffith College Dublin from 2010 to date. He was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Law School in Trinity College, Dublin in September 2012, and Adjunct Professor of University College Cork in 2013. He was awarded the Griffith College Distinguished Fellowship Award in 2017 and was appointed a Pro-Chancellor of Dublin University in March 2022.
Mr. Justice Clarke is chair of a Civil Legal Aid Review Group, which was established in June 2022 to review the civil legal aid scheme. He was appointed President of the Law Reform Commission in July 2022.
Mr Richard Barrett
Full Time Commissioner
Mr Richard Barrett is a graduate of University College Cork (BCL & LLB), the London School of Economics (LLM) and King’s Inns. He was called to the Bar in 1980 and practiced as a barrister until 1991 when he joined the Office of the Attorney General. There he dealt with constitutional and administrative law, human rights, criminal law and electoral matters, and was appointed Deputy Director General of that office in 2015.
He was Head of Public Law at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia & Herzegovina from 2000 to 2002, Bureau Legal Officer at the Criminal Assets Bureau from 2002 to 2006, and later Head of the Legal and Human Rights Office at the EULEX Rule of Law mission in Kosovo. He has extensive legal experience with electoral missions to countries in Africa and Eastern Europe.
Since 2014 he has been the Irish member of the Council of Europe’s European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission) where he worked primarily on electoral matters and as Chair of its Sub-Commission on the Judiciary. Mr Richard Barrett was appointed as Commissioner in March 2022.
Mr Justice Maurice Collins
Mr Justice Maurice Collins is a graduate of University College Cork (B.A. (Hons)) and of the King’s Inns (Barrister-at-Law).
Mr Justice Collins was called to the Bar in 1989, commencing practice in 1990. He was made a Senior Counsel in 2003. His practice as a barrister encompassed constitutional and administrative law, EU law, competition law, commercial litigation, company law and tort law. He appeared in many significant cases in the Irish and EU courts.
He was Chair of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting in Ireland, publisher of the Irish Reports, between 2009 and 2015.
Mr Justice Collins was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal in November 2019.Mr Justice Collins was appointed as Commissioner in October 2020.
Dr Andrea Mulligan
Dr Andrea Mulligan is an Assistant Professor at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin and a practising barrister. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin (LL.B and Ph.D), Harvard Law School (LL.M) and the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, she was called to the Bar in 2012.
In her academic work, Andrea lectures in Medical Law and Ethics, and Law and Bioethics, and is Director of the Clinical Legal Education Programme. Andrea’s academic expertise is in the regulation of emerging reproductive technologies and reproductive rights. She is co-author of the book Medical Law in Ireland, and has published widely in international peer-reviewed journals, tackling subjects such as cross-border surrogacy under the European Convention on Human Rights, and tortious liability for mistakes in IVF.
In her practice at the Bar of Ireland, Andrea specialises in public/regulatory law and healthcare law. Her practice has a particular focus on data protection and technology law, as well as complex clinical negligence, and health and social care litigation.
Andrea is a member of the Irish Council for Law Reporting and was appointed to the Pandemic Ethics Advisory Group – a sub-group of the National Public Health Emergency Team – in March 2020. Dr Mulligan was appointed as Commissioner in October 2020.
Ms Justice Niamh Hyland
Ms. Justice Niamh Hyland is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Magdalen College Oxford and the King’s Inns (Barrister-at law).
Ms. Justice Hyland worked as a referendaire at the General Court of the Court of Justice in Luxembourg and was the Jean Monnet Professor in European Law at Trinity College. She was called to the Bar in 1994 and commenced practice in 1996.
She was made a Senior Counsel in 2012. She practised in diverse areas of the law, including EU regulatory law (telecoms, aviation, energy), public procurement, competition law, constitutional law, administrative law, healthcare law and commercial law. She was a member of the Bar Council of Ireland.
Ms. Justice Hyland was appointed as a judge of the High Court in December 2019. Ms Justice Hyland was appointed as Commissioner in May 2021.