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Professor Named In Leading US Law List

The University of Ulster’s Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, has been honoured by the American legal profession after being awarded a place in the Irish Legal 100 - a prestigious annual listing of leading figures in law across the United States.

The co-founder and Associate Director of the Transitional Justice Institute, who is based at TJI’s Dalriada House on the Jordanstown campus, was selected by the Irish Voice newspaper and Irish America magazine - leading media sources for Irish America.

Professor Ní Aoláin, who grew up in Spiddal Co. Galway has lived in Northern Ireland since 1987, was presented with her award at a ceremony hosted by Irish Ambassador Michael Collins in Washington DC last night.

Hundreds of professionals are nominated for each year for the awards, now in its third year, for their achievements and leadership in the law and pride in their heritage.

The Irish Legal 100 list includes justices, judges, professors, lawyers, attorneys general, and many other influential personalities. Among past recipients are US Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy, Head of Fordham University School of Law’s Center for Public Justice, John Feerick and State Supreme Court justices Anne Burke, Carol Corrigan, and Seamus McCaffrey.

Professor Ní Aoláin said: “I am delighted to be honoured in this way, giving recognition to the research and policy work I have undertaken in Northern Ireland and other conflicted and post-conflict societies for the sum of my academic career.”

In addition to her University of Ulster chair, Professor Ní Aoláin holds a dual academic appointment in the United States having joined the University of Minnesota Law School faculty in 2004 and, holds the Dorsey & Whitney Chair in Law there. She is also Associate Dean for Research and Planning at the Law School.

From 2000 to 2005, Professor Ní Aoláin served on the Irish Human Rights Commission by appointment of the Irish Minister of Justice. In 2004, she was the first woman and the first academic lawyer that the Irish government nominated to the European Court of Human Rights - she was nominated again in 2007.

Currently she is an elected member of the Executive Committee for the Belfast-based Committee on the Administration of Justice and a member of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. She was also elected to the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law in 2010 for a three year term.

Professor Ní Aoláin completed her Ph.D. and LL.B. studies at Queen’s University, Belfast.

The Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) at the University of Ulster is dedicated to examining how law and legal institutions assist, or not, the move from conflict to peace. A central assumption of the research agenda of the TJI is that the role of law in situations of transition is different from that in other times. 

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