US Lawyer Colleen Rohan visits Dublin to launch The Bar of Ireland’s 2016 Innocence Scholarships
On Embargo 4.30pm: January 21, 2016: The rising ‘burden of proving innocence’ the worrying shift to ‘an assumption of guilt of defendants’ was the focus of the talk delivered by guest speaker USA Lawyer, Colleen Rohan, at The Bar of Ireland today.
Ms Rohan, who is founding member of the International Criminal Law Bureau, is currently serving as counsel and legal consultant on a number of cases at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a United Nations court of law dealing with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s.
She was in Dublin today to launch The Bar of Ireland’s 2016 Innocence Scholarships. Since 2010, The Bar of Ireland has sponsored junior members to work on Innocence Projects in the USA and to assist them in overturning wrongful convictions. This year five barristers will receive sponsorships.
Grainne Larkin BL Chair of the External Relations Committee, on behalf of the Council of the Bar of Ireland said; “Access to justice is a core fundamental right and it is a principal that the members of The Bar of Ireland ardently defend on a daily basis. However, many people the world over unfortunately find it difficult to navigate the legal system for various reasons. Through schemes such as our Voluntary Assistance Scheme and the sponsorships provided to barristers to travel to the USA to work with Innocence cases, pro bono services are provided in order to support and empower people that may not otherwise have the means to access justice.”
Innocence work is dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. The Wisconsin Innocence Project was involved in the case of Steve Avery, whose story was detailed in the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer.
Colleen Rohan has been practicing law for over 30 years and specialized in serious felony and death penalty cases in her domestic practice in the United States. Since 2006 she has served as counsel and legal consultant on a number of cases at the ICTY and has law offices in The Hague, Netherlands and Pristina, Kosovo.
For more information on Colleen Rohan see http://www.9bedfordrow.co.uk/members/Colleen_Rohan
For more information about The Bar of Ireland (formerly The Bar Council) see www.lawlibrary.ie