Catherine McGuinness Fellowship


In 2015, the Children's Rights Alliance established a prestigious one-year Fellowship Programme for newly-qualified barristers to work as part of our Legal and Policy Team on law and policy reform for children in the area of children's rights and child law. The Fellowship is entitled the Catherine McGuinness Fellowship in honour of one of Ireland's greatest children's champions. This programme has been developed in partnership with The Bar of Ireland and with the support of the Family Lawyers' Association of Ireland. The Fellowship has been hugely successful, providing us with the dedicated in-house expertise of a barrister as well as providing the Fellow with a unique developmental opportunity, enhancing their reputation and future employability. Fellows can become champions for children's rights and become better able to advocate to protect, promote and fulfil children's rights in their work.

James Rooney BL. is the current Catherine McGuinness Fellow. James is a practising barrister working in the areas of immigration, asylum, employment, family, and general civil law. James has represented applicants in appeals before the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, in Judicial Reviews at the High Court, and clients in family law matters at both the District and Circuit Courts. James is also on the Public Interest Law Alliance Pro Bono Referral Scheme.

Alongside his practise, James is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin, where he currently teaches the Foundations of Law course and the Emergency Law dissertation group. James is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where he received both an LL.B. in Law and Political Science, and a Ph.D. for his doctoral study of how socioeconomic rights protection develops in common law legal systems. For his doctoral work, James was awarded a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. James is also a graduate of the B.C.L. course at the University of Oxford. He has also worked as a legal researcher for the Mercy Law Resource Centre and a former Oxford Human Rights Hub Travelling Fellow.