Academic Expert Professor Aoife Nolan elected President of the European Committee of Social Rights for the Council of Europe

Doughty Street Chambers is proud to announce that our Academic Expert Professor Aoife Nolan has been elected as President of the European Committee of Social Rights for the Council of Europe, the leading European monitoring mechanism on economic and social rights. Having been elected to the Committee by the Committee of Ministers on two occasions, Professor Nolan was unanimously elected President by her colleagues on the Committee today.

Aoife is an internationally recognised expert in human rights law, with a particular focus on economic and social rights and children's rights. She is Professor of International Human Rights Law at the School of the Law, University of Nottingham, where she is also Co-Director of the Human Rights Law Centre.

In addition to her academic work, Professor Nolan has acted as an expert advisor to a wide range of international and national organisations and bodies working on human rights issues, including numerous UN Special Procedures, UN treaty bodies, the Council of Europe, the World Bank, multiple NHRIs and NGOs. She has also supported a number of different governments in their efforts to advance protection of human rights through law and policy reform.

Aoife co-leads Doughty Street Chambers' Children's Rights Group, which brings together barristers across all practice teams working on crucial children’s human rights issues.

Aoife has been a member of the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) since 2017 and Vice-President since January 2022.

Welcoming today’s news, Founding Head of Chambers Edward Fitzgerald KC CBE said:

“We are delighted that today, Professor Aoife Nolan’s colleagues on the European Committee of Social Rights have selected her to be at the Committee’s helm as its President. Aoife is a scholar of international renown, a greatly valued Academic Expert at Doughty Street Chambers, and she is deeply committed to the principles enshrined in the European Social Charter and the European Convention on Human Rights. We congratulate her and wish her well as President of the Committee.”   

Tatyana Eatwell, Head of Doughty Street International, added:

“We welcome and celebrate Professor Aoife Nolan’s election today as President of the European Committee of Social Rights. Aoife’s contribution to the Committee since 2017 has been immense. We are honoured to have her as a colleague. We wish her every success in this important new chapter in her work.”

Professor Aoife Nolan’s Children’s Rights Group colleagues, co-Head Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC and Deputy Head Shu Shin Luh, said in a joint statement:

“We are delighted that Professor Aoife Nolan has been elected as President of the European Committee of Social Rights today. Aoife’s academic scholarship on economic and social rights is ground-breaking and rightly attracts international acclaim. But what makes Aoife’s work particularly special is that she combines her expertise and intellectual rigour with a drive and determination to ensure the realisation of human rights in practice. We can think of no better leader for the Committee at this critical time for socio-economic rights in Europe.”

Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, noted:

“The European Committee of Social Rights is a vitally important body which holds European States to account, alongside its sister organisation, the European Court of Human Rights. Professor Aoife Nolan’s leadership of the Committee comes at a time when there is a cost of living crisis across Europe and there is an urgent need to uphold and safeguard economic and social rights. I welcome her election today and wish her the very best in this important role.”  

Commenting on her election, Professor Aoife Nolan said:

“I am delighted that my colleagues have elected me to as President of the European Committee of Social Rights. It is an honour to be chosen by my Committee colleagues to take this leadership role Social rights have never been more important in Europe and it is an honour to have the opportunity to contribute in this way.”

A PDF version of the press release with notes to editors can be found here.