Maples and Calder Ireland sponsor The College Tribune's Law Section
Maples and Calder Ireland sponsor The College Tribune’s Law Section

Human Rights lawyer and current Adjunct Professor of Law, at UCD Sutherland School of Law Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC has been awarded a Presidential Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her contribution to charitable works and advocacy.

The Presidential Distinguished Service Awards recognise the service given to this country, or to Irish communities abroad, by those who live outside Ireland.

Ms Gallagher KC graduated from UCD in 1999 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Law (BCL), before going on to complete the Barrister-at-Law degree at the Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Dublin, and a Masters at Cambridge University.

Sutherland School of Law
Sutherland School of Law. Photo credit: UCD

Gallagher’s glittering career

Ms Gallagher currently practices as a barrister out of Doughty Street Chambers in London, and has acted in many of the leading human rights cases in the UK in recent years. Ms Gallagher KC also currently serves as Ireland’s Special Rapporteur on Child Protection and as a Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Ms Gallagher currently leads the legal team of Jimmy Lai, the Hong Kong businessman and long-time critic of China’s Communist Party, who is currently on trial facing charges under a controversial security law imposed by the Chinese Government on Hong Kong in 2020.

A recent report produced by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and presented to the UN Human Rights Council, highlighted how Ms Gallagher and others on Mr Lai’s legal team have faced death threats and acts of intimidation and harassment as a result of their work on behalf of Mr Lai.

In 2017 she received UCD’s alumni award for outstanding achievements by a UCD law graduate. In 2016 she was named by the Irish Times as one of the 100 most influential Irishwomen living outside Ireland. Ms Gallagher joined the Sutherland School of Law in September 2023.

Mark O’Rourke – Features Editor