Go to the U of M home page


Friday, September 30, 2016

Human Rights Program welcomes Fulbright Scholar Catherine O'Rourke

Dr Catherine O'Rourke is Senior Lecturer and Gender Research Coordinator at Ulster University Transitional Justice Institute, Northern Ireland. She is visiting the Human Rights Program as an Irish Fulbright Scholar 2016/17, in order to advance a monograph on international law norms for gender equality and their relationship to domestic processes of peacebuilding. Catherine researches, teaches and engages in policy work in the fields of gender, conflict and international law. As a scholar, she has a noted record of publications and research grants. Catherine holds an LLB Law with Politics from Queen's University Belfast and MSc Gender from the London School of Economics. Her PhD, from Ulster University Transitional Justice Institute, was awarded the 2010 Basil Chubb Prize for the best PhD in politics produced in an Irish university. It was subsequently published as a monograph, 'Gender Politics in Transitional Justice' (Routledge, 2013).
Catherine works with the Irish and UK governments, the United Nations and several non-governmental organizations. She is independent academic expert on the Irish Government's Oversight Group for its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, appointed by the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs. Catherine is regularly commissioned by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to conduct expert research on gender and conflict, such as commissioned research on gender and reparations (with Aisling Swaine and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin) by UN Women and the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, subsequently published in Harvard Human Rights Journal 'Transforming Reparations for Conflict-related Sexual Violence: Principles and Practice'. More recently, she was commissioned (with Swaine and Ní Aoláin) as an expert to support the work of the International Criminal Court Trust Fund for Victims in designing a reparations implementation plan in response to the Court's reparation decision in the Lubanga case. Other commissioned work includes the UN Women Guidebook on CEDAW and the Women, Peace and Security Resolutions (2015, with Aisling Swaine) and a baseline study on the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 in Northern Ireland (2012, with Karen McMinn).

Catherine is active in local feminist politics in Belfast, in particular on issues of gender and dealing with the past, and reproductive rights. She is a member of the Belfast-based Legacy Gender Integration Group and Lawyers for Choice.

We are so happy to host Dr. O'Rourke and we look forward to her contributions to the University community and to the field of human rights.