Michael O'Flaherty

Est Professor In Human Rights Law BCL, BPH, STB, MA, MPhil, Solicitor,FRSA

Contact Details

Est Professor In Human Rights Law
School of Law
NUI Galway

E: MICHAEL.OFLAHERTY@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

Professor Michael O'Flaherty has been Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway since February 2013.  He was Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission until November 2013.  From 2004-2012, he was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, latterly as a Vice-Chairperson.

Professor O’Flaherty is a member of the UK Foreign Office’s advisory bodies on freedom of expression and the prevention of torture and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs’ human rights advisory committee. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and sits on the advisory boards of numerous human rights groups and journals internationally.

Professor O’Flaherty read law at University College Dublin, theology and philosophy at the Gregorian University, Rome, international relations at the University of Amsterdam and is a Solicitor of the Irish Courts. 

Professor O’Flaherty was the principal drafter of the General Comment of the Human Rights Committee on the freedoms of opinion and expression (General Comment 34, adopted in 2011). He was also rapporteur for the development of the Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law with regard to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (the Yogyakarta Principles). He initiated and directed the opening and closing expert consultations of the Dublin Process on the Strengthening of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System and was rapporteur for its Dublin Outcome Document.  He has been a member of the UN Expert Task Force on Human Rights Indicators that concluded its work in 2012.

Professor O'Flaherty's recent publications include volumes on the law and practice of human rights field operations, the professionalization of human rights field work and on human rights diplomacy.

Professor O’Flaherty came to NUI Galway from the University of Nottingham where he was Professor of Applied Human Rights and Co-director of the Human Rights Law Centre. Previously he held a number of senior posts at the United Nations.  He established the UN human rights field missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994) and Sierra Leone (1998) and subsequently guided UN headquarters support to its human rights programmes across the Asia-Pacific region. He has served as Secretary of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and UN human rights advisor for implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. From 2000 to 2002 he chaired the UN reference group on human rights and humanitarian action.


 

 
 

Research Interests

-Civil and political rights, including freedom of expression
-UN human rights protection system
-Human rights field work
-National human rights institutions
-Human rights diplomacy

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2012) 'Limitations on Freedom of Expression: Growing Consensus or Hidden Fault Lines'
M.O'Flaherty (2012) 'Limitations on Freedom of Expression: Growing Consensus or Hidden Fault Lines'. Proceedings Of The 98th Annual Meeting, American Society Of International Law, 106 (-):347-349 [DOI] [Details]
(2012) 'Freedom of Expression: Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Human Rights Committee’s General Comment No 34'
M.O'Flaherty (2012) 'Freedom of Expression: Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Human Rights Committee’s General Comment No 34'. Human Rights Law Review, 12 (4):627-654 [DOI] [Details]
(2010) 'The Dublin Statement on the Process of Strengthening of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body System'
M.O'Flaherty (2010) 'The Dublin Statement on the Process of Strengthening of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body System'. Netherlands Quarterly Of Human Rights, 28 (1):--- [DOI] [Details]
(2009) 'The Professionalization of Human Rights Field Work'
M. O'Flaherty (2009) 'The Professionalization of Human Rights Field Work'. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 2 (1):1-27 [DOI] [Details]
(2008) 'Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and International Human Rights Law: Contextualizing the Yogyakarta Principles, with John Fisher'
M.O'Flaherty, J.Fisher (2008) 'Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and International Human Rights Law: Contextualizing the Yogyakarta Principles, with John Fisher'. Human Rights Law Review, 8 (2):207-248 [DOI] [Details]
(2007) 'The Reform of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies: A Critique of the High Commissioner’s Concept Paper'
M.O'Flaherty, Claire O'Brien (2007) 'The Reform of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies: A Critique of the High Commissioner’s Concept Paper'. Human Rights Law Review, 7 (1):141-172 [DOI] [Details]
(2006) 'The Concluding Observations of Human Rights Treaty Bodies'
M.O'Flaherty (2006) 'The Concluding Observations of Human Rights Treaty Bodies'. Human Rights Law Review, 6 (1):27-52 [DOI] [Details]
(2006) 'Towards integration of United Nations human rights treaty body recommendations: the rights-based approach model'
M.O'Flaherty (2006) 'Towards integration of United Nations human rights treaty body recommendations: the rights-based approach model'. Netherlands Quarterly Of Human Rights, 24 (4):589-606 [DOI] [Details]
(2004) 'The Role of the Human Rights Community in the Sierra Leone Peace Process'
M.O'Flaherty (2004) 'The Role of the Human Rights Community in the Sierra Leone Peace Process'. Human Rights Law Review, 26 (1):29-62 [DOI] [Details]

Books

  Year Publication
(2012) National and regional human rights mechanisms, background paper and report of the 11th ASEM seminar on human rights.
M. O'Flaherty, K. Fitzpatrick (2012) National and regional human rights mechanisms, background paper and report of the 11th ASEM seminar on human rights. Prague/Singapore: ASEM. [DOI] [Details]
(2002) Human Rights and the UN: Practice Before the Treaty Bodies.
M. O'Flaherty (2002) Human Rights and the UN: Practice Before the Treaty Bodies. Leiden: Brill - Nijhoff. [DOI] [Details]
(1996) Human Rights and the UN, Practice Before the Treaty Bodies.
M. O'Flaherty (1996) Human Rights and the UN, Practice Before the Treaty Bodies. London, UK: Sweet and Maxwell. [DOI] [Details]
(1995) The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: International Human Rights Law in Ireland.
M. O'Flaherty, Liz Heffernan (1995) The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: International Human Rights Law in Ireland. London, UK: Brehon/Sweet and Maxwell. [DOI] [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(2014) 'UN Treaty Bodies. The concluding observations of United Nations human rights treaty bodies'
O'Flaherty, Michael (2014) 'UN Treaty Bodies. The concluding observations of United Nations human rights treaty bodies' In: The United Nations System for Protecting Human Rights, Vol. IV. Surrey: Ashgate. [DOI] [Details]
(2013)