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Professor Ní Aoláin Joins U.N. Roster of Experts

JUNE 1, 2010—Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, holder of the Law School’s Dorsey & Whitney chair in law and a professor of law at the University of Ulster’s Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been invited to serve on the U.N. Roster of Experts for the Crisis Communications Unit.

The United Nations maintains rosters of experts in many disciplines, composed of leading analysts and scholars who field inquiries from journalists when major events take place. Crises often "have the potential to generate tensions or conflict between different cultural groups," Ní Aoláin says, and the perspectives and knowledge of experts on the topic at issue "can put these events in context and hopefully generate more nuanced media and policy coverage."

Ní Aoláin has served as an expert on a U.N. Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force working group, Protecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism, and she has been appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General to serve as a special expert on promoting gender equality in times of conflict and peace-making.

She is also 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 is the first woman and the first academic lawyer selected by the Irish government to serve on the European Court of Human Rights (in 2004 and 2007).

At the Law School, Ní Aoláin teaches international law and human rights law, and she researches and publishes extensively in the fields of national security law, feminist legal theory, emergency powers, conflict regulation, transitional justice, and sex-based violence in times of war. Her 2006 book Law in Times of Crisis (Cambridge U. Press) was awarded the Certificate of Merit for creative scholarship by the American Society of International Law. Recently, she was elected to a three-year term on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.


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