Aoife is Senior Lecturer at the School of Law. She has worked and researched widely on children's rights and has held a number of NGO and academic positions. She also has teaching and research interests in a number of other areas including family law and civil and political rights. She researches human rights issues through the lenses of social justice, gender and psychology.
Aoife has previously taught at the School of Law/Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, Dublin City University and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway. Previous organisations she has worked with include Save the Children UK, the Children's Research Centre (Trinity College Dublin), Amnesty International (as an Executive Committee member) and West Bank human rights organisation Al-Haq (as an intern).
She has provided extensive consultancy and advice on children's rights, including for the Children's Rights Alliance, the Council of Europe, and independent litigants. She has published in a number of journals such as the International Journal of Human Rights and the Irish Journal of Family Law. She has also worked directly with children, for example in youth parliaments and teaching human rights to local primary school children through art.
Aoife received a degree in Applied Psychology from University College Cork in 2002, specialising in child psychology. She then went on to do a Masters in International Human Rights Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, N.U.I. Galway. After working with a number of NGOs she completed a Ph.D. in human rights law (entitled 'The International Legal Right of Children to be Heard in Civil Law Proceedings Affecting them') at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin. In her work she argues that the much-heralded UN Convention on the Rights of the Child "right to be heard" in proceedings in fact retains traditional power bases and the focus should instead be on autonomy. Her book on the topic, entitled 'The Right to be Heard: Children, Autonomy and the Courts' will be published with Brill/Nijhoff in 2018.
At present Aoife is working on projects including topics relating to discrimination on the basis of childhood, rights-based approaches for kinship carers, the online experiences of children with disabilities, and comparative work between adoption law in Sweden and England/Wales.
- Ph.D. Scholarship (National Children's Office, Ireland 2009)
- Ph.D. Scholarship (Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences 2009)
- Director of Undergraduate Studies