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Course News: 12 January 2015

Ms Justice Mella Carroll – An Inspiration Especially For Irish Women Who Wished To Pursue A Career In Law

Ms Justice Mella Carroll – An Inspiration Especially For Irish Women Who Wished To Pursue A Career In Law

Ms Justice Mella Carroll was born on 6th of March 1934 and passed away on January 16th 2006. She was a very well respected and accomplished judge who was an inspiration especially for Irish women who wished to pursue a career in law. Mella began her higher education in University College Dublin where she graduated with a degree in French and German. She then studied law in King’s Inns.

Ms Carroll was called to the Bar in 1957 and became a senior counsel in 1977. At that point she was the only female senior counsel in Ireland, making her achievement all the more significant. In 1979 she was elected the Chairperson of the Bar Council and by 1980 she became the first woman in our history to become a judge of the High Court. Ms Justice Carroll spent twenty four years as a High Court judge, becoming in due course the longest serving judge of that Court. During this time she presided over a number of important cases, such as the Attorney General of England and Wales v Brandon Books in 1986 and SPUC v Grogan in 1989.

Ms Justice Carroll also served on the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva for 15 years. During this time she became the Vice President of the organisation. She also became the President of the International Association of Women Judges. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from UCD in 2004 and also served as Chairwoman of the UCD Irish Centre for Commercial Law Studies. Ms Justice Carroll was also holding the office of Chancellor of Dublin City University (DCU) at the time of her passing in 2006.

These are but a few of the many accomplishments of an amazing woman graduate of King’s Inns. Mella Carroll made a huge impact on both the Irish courts and our society as whole.