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5th September 2019

Speakers 2019

Andrée Murphy

Andrée is the Deputy Director of Relatives for Justice. She led and directed a Peace III funded programme for women bereaved by conflict highlighting their needs in a transitional justice and conflict resolution environment. This was and remains a unique project of its kind. Andree is a reputable journalist and political commentator, specializing in written and broadcast analysis regarding conflict resolution and women’s empowerment. She is a founder member of the multi-disciplinary Gender Legacy Implementation Group which developed the Gender Principles for Dealing with the Legacy of the Past and associated documents.
Andrée has been part of an extensive political lobby on the need to apply UNSCR1325 to the Stormont House Agreement Legacy Mechanisms. This work has included international advocacy in both the US and Europe, speaking at a US Congressional Hearing of the Tom Lantos Commission on the subject of the need to apply UNSCR1325 to the proposals for dealing with the past, and the UN Committee against Torture regarding the ongoing lack of implementation of agreed mechanisms and the impact on families affected by the conflict.

Andrée Murphy

 

Barry Macdonald QC, SC

A past Chair of the N. Ireland Bar’s Human Rights Advisory Committee, Barry specialises in judicial review, with a particular interest in human rights and constitutional issues. He has been a Queen’s Counsel since 2000 (having been obliged to take his own judicial review to challenge – and ultimately reverse – the Lord Chancellor’s refusal to change a declaration of service to the Queen as part of the appointment procedure) and Senior Counsel in the Republic of Ireland since 2001. He appeared in the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and has represented families in a number of major inquests and judicial reviews arising out of legacy cases, including the family of Pat Finucane. He was recently involved in challenging the UK Government’s policy on Brexit and is currently engaged in litigation concerning the vacuum in government in Northern Ireland following the collapse of the devolved institutions. Barry represents journalist Trevor Birney in his judicial review against the police arising out of the raid on his home and business premises.

Barry Macdonald

 

Fiona Doherty QC

Fiona is Queens Counsel at the Bar of Northern Ireland specialising in Coronial Law and Judicial Review. She is Chair of the Bar of Northern Ireland’s Professional Conduct Committee. Fiona is a Board Member of The PILS Project (Public Interest Litigation Support) an NGO which encourages adherence to the rule of law, human rights and equality, through the use of public interest litigation in Northern Ireland and a former Chair and Board Member of the Committee on the Administration of Justice. Fiona will provide a case study of the litigation concerning the murder of solicitor Patrick Finucane, in which she has represented Mrs Finucane before the European Court of Human Rights and the UK Supreme Court. Fiona is instructed in many legacy inquests, and has recently appeared for families of those bereaved as a result of atrocities at Kingsmill, Ballymurphy and Loughinisland.

Fiona Doherty QC

 

Hon. Francine A. Schott JSC (Ret.)

Judge Schott is a valedictorian graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law, a former Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey and a founding member of the law firm of Genova Burns & Schott (now Genova Burns). One of the youngest individuals ever appointed as a Judge of the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, Judge Schott served on the bench for 25 years, presiding over cases in the Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions of the Court. Recently returning to the private sector, Judge Schott is presently an independent consultant. In that capacity she advises lawyers on litigation strategies in complex cases, acts as an independent arbitrator and mediator and conducts workplace investigations into claims of discrimination and/or harassment.

Judge Schott is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She is a member of the National Association of Women Judges and the International Association Woman Judges. She was recently honored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians for her contributions to the local Irish Community and in 2018 was honored to receive a Belfast Ambassador Award.

Hon. Francine A. Schott JSC (Ret.)

 

Gemma McKeown

Gemma is a solicitor with the Committee on the Administration of justice (CAJ), which is an independent human rights organisation with cross community membership in Northern Ireland and beyond. A key area of her work is on legacy matters and addressing the obligation on the state to investigate unresolved deaths and torture arising from the conflict. This includes appearing for next of kin in inquest and judicial review proceedings and making representations to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, UN Human Rights Committee and Committee against Torture. Gemma will outline CAJ’s regular engagement with the Committee of Ministers, as it oversees the UK’s compliance with Strasbourg court judgments into a number of deaths, including that of Pat Finucane, in which it was found to have violated Article 2 ECHR (right to life).

Gemma McKeown

 

Jane Hollway

Jane Hollway is a Director of the Legal Innovation Centre, which is a unique, multi-disciplinary research and education unit within Ulster University. It brings together experts from the School of Law and the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems to explore the interaction between legal services, access to justice and technology. The Centre provides education to equip legal graduates and professionals with tools to navigate the emerging tech-driven landscape, whist undertaking collaborations with industry clients, public sector and the academic community, to research and better understand the impact of lawtech, and capitalise on the benefits of tech-enabled practice. Jane qualified as a solicitor in 1997, having spent training periods in the Dublin and Brussels offices of corporate firm, McCann FitzGerald, where she was Partner in its Project Finance Group, before joining Arthur Cox as Partner to lead its Projects Team in Belfast. She has extensive transactional and regulatory experience, prior to joining the University.

Jane Hollway

 

Jennifer Frankola – President of the Brehon Law Society of New York

Jennifer is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and an attorney in New York. A first generation American, Jennifer’s mother was born in Co. Sligo and her father was born in Istria, Croatia. Jennifer is the first in her family to become a lawyer. Jennifer entered the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, a law school with a mission of ‘law in the service of human needs’. She received her Juris Doctorate in 2007. For the past decade, Jennifer has represented and litigated civil rights cases on behalf of families of children with learning, physical and emotional disabilities at the local, state and federal levels. In 2016, Jennifer was elected as president of the Brehon Law Society of New York, a law society founded in 1978 by Paul O’Dwyer and Frank Durkan and dedicated to peace and justice in Ireland. Jennifer lives in New York City with her husband, Jared, a national broadcast news network writer and producer, and their two year old daughter, Hope Maire Crawford

Jennifer Frankola

 

Mark Bassett BL

Mark is a barrister in independent practise at the Northern Ireland Bar. He specialises in civil litigation and judicial review. He has also taught European Union law at Queens University Belfast since 2008. Mark is lecturer and course co-ordinator for “Trials of the Troubles” in the Open Learning programme in Queen’s University, Belfast. Mark reviews the issue of presidential voting rights in an Irish Presidential Election for citizens residing outside the jurisdiction of Republic of Ireland. Mark reflects on international comparative practice for external voting, citizenship under the constitution, history of voting rights in the State and current proposals to extend voting rights.

Mark Bassett BL

 

Niall Murphy

Niall is a partner at KRW Law LLP, a leading human rights practice, based in Belfast. The practice is instructed by a significant number of clients engaged in legacy litigation relating to conflict related deaths and injuries, appearing for those bereaved as a result of atrocities such as Loughinisland, Claudy, Clonoe, Kingsmill, the Dublin-Monaghan and McGurks Bar Bombings, the Glenanne Gang series of killings, Ormeau Road Bookmakers, the 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombing amongst others. Niall is a Director of Belfast based NGO, Relatives for Justice and has made representations at the European Parliament in Brussels, to the EU Human Rights Commissioner in Strasbourg and also to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva as well as having presented lectures to Universities in Washington, Pittsburgh, Jersey City, Fordham University New York and Harvard, Massachusetts. In April 2019, Niall was recognised by the Office of the State Comptroller of New York for his outstanding service in raising public awareness about the potential serious implications of the United Kingdom’s planned withdrawal from the European Union.

Niall Murphy

 

Simon Bedford – CF Real Estate Advisory

Simon leads the local government development team at Deloitte Real Estate. With more than 25 years in practice Simon has advised on major regeneration and development projects across the UK and further afield. Simon leads an 18 strong team operating across the country on development viability, land acquisition/CPO, developer procurement and strategic development projects.

Over a varied career Simon has worked in local government, for an urban development corporation and a number of private practices including Jones Lang LaSalle and Building Design Partnership. Prior to joining Deloitte in 2008 he was managing director of a 40 strong economic development and consulting business with offices across the UK.

Simon is a specialist in development strategy and delivery. He has led a number of large scale development advisory projects across the UK and also led on developer procurement, particularly on behalf of the HCA.

Simon Bedford

 

Steve Harper – Invest NI

Steve Harper is the Executive Director of International Business Group for Invest NI

Steve has extensive local and international business experience, with a strong focus on identifying and developing opportunities in emerging markets. At Invest NI, he leads the Trade Division, International Investment Division and Invest NI’s International offices to deliver inward investment and export growth targets.

Prior to Invest NI, Steve was the Business Development Director with Wrights Group for 5 years. He was responsible for growing the company’s export business, researching and identifying new markets, new products and service opportunities. He also played a key commercial strategic role at Board level.

Steve previous positions include: Group Sales and Marketing Manager with the McAvoy Group (3 years). He has also held key roles in McCormick MacNaughton (4 years), European Sales Manager for Powerscreen (2 years, responsible for markets including Scandinavia and Eastern Europe) and Global Business Development manager for Mitsubishi Materials Japan (6 years, based in Tokyo, responsible for markets including Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa).

Originally from Ballymena, Steve currently lives in Hillsborough with his family.

Steve Harper

 

Suzanne Rice – President of the Law Society

Suzanne Rice qualified as a solicitor in 2003, and is a specialist in all aspects of Family Law and most notably Divorce and Children’s Law. Suzanne currently works for McKeown and Company Solicitors in Belfast which is a young and dynamic law firm specialising in Criminal Law, Family Law and Plaintiff Litigation based in the City Centre. She is an Advanced Advocate Solicitor and is on the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Panel as well as the Law Society of Northern Ireland’s Family Law Committee. In 2009 Suzanne qualified as a Collaborative Divorce Solicitor and in 2010 she became legal advisor to the Family Care Society in Adoption Matters and she is currently a board member of the Children’s Law Centre Management Board. As Law Society President Suzanne will continue to underscore the importance of the network of solicitor firms across Northern Ireland which provides the community with advice and access to a solicitor of their choice and therefore access to justice, as well as to showcase the legal services provided by Northern Ireland legal firms to wider

Suzanne Rice

 

 

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