James Rooney BL

  • Junior Counsel: 2020

LL.B. (Dubl.), B.C.L. (Oxon.), Ph.D. (Dubl.)

Areas of Practice:
  • Administrative Law
  • General Practice
  • Judicial Review
  • Children's Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Human Rights
James Rooney BL
Other Memberships:
Employment Bar Association
Immigration, Asylum & Citizenship Bar Association
Public Interest Law Alliance
Direct Professional Access:

James is a practising barrister specialising in public law, particularly childcare, employment, immigration, non-discrimination law, and constitutional law.

Prior to coming down, James completed his PhD at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin for which he received scholarships from both the Government of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin. Outside the bar, James is an academic and lecturer. Currently Teaching Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, James has co-lectured Trinity’s Constitutional Law II module and is currently lecturer of the Foundations of Law, Mooting, and Clinical Legal Education modules.


‘Housing and Minorities’ in Lorcan Sirr (ed) Housing in Ireland: Beyond the Market (IPA, 2022), 72 [with Rebecca Keatinge]


‘Covid-19 Lockdowns and the Right to Education in Ireland’ (2011 – 2022) 440 Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review 415 [with Alan Brady]


‘The Minority Rights Implications of Irish Unification’ in Oran Doyle, Aileen McHarg, and Jo Murkens (eds) Constitutions under Pressure: The Brexit Challenge for Ireland and the United Kingdom (CUP Forthcoming 2021).


‘Minority Groups and Housing Services: Barriers to Access’ Mercy Law Resource Centre (March 2021)


‘International Human Rights as a Source of Unenumerated Rights: Lessons from the Natural Law’ (2019) 42 Dublin University Law Journal 141


‘Class Actions and Public Interest Standing in South Africa: Practical and Participatory Perspectives’ (2017) 33:3 South African Journal on Human Rights 406


‘Northern Ireland: Conflict Resolution Through Pragmatic Use of Knowledge’ (2015) 25 Trinity College Social and Political Review [with Marc Becker, Louise Duffy, Max Münchmeyer, and Luke O Callaghan-White]

A teaching assistant at Trinity College Dublin since 2017 and a lecturer since 2020, James has lectured in Constitutional Law II and currently lectures the Foundations of Law I, Mooting and Clinical Legal Education modules. In April 2021, alongside Dr Róisín Costello of Dublin City University, James convened a multi-disciplinary conference on The Legal Status of the Irish Language funded by the Society of Legal Scholars and supported by the UK and Ireland branch of the International Society of Public law.


Panel Member, ‘Housing and Distributive Justice post-TD’ (Trinity Centre for Constitutional Governance: Situating Social Rights in a Constitutional Democracy: A Symposium on TD at 21, 9 April 2022)


‘The Language Question and Parity of Esteem’ (The Legal Status of the Irish Language Conference 30 April 2021).


‘The Contingency of Rights Protection upon Judicial Culture in Common Law Systems’ (Society of Legal Scholars 110th Annual Conference, 3 September 2019).


‘The Threat of Recent Unenumerated Rights Jurisprudence to the Legislature’s Power in a Dualist System’ (UCC Sovereignty, Populism and Constitutional Politics Conference, 31 August 2019).


‘The Rights Implications of Irish Unification’ (ICON-S British-Irish Chapter Annual Conference, 31 April 2019).


‘International Human Rights as a Source of Unenumerated Rights: Lessons from the Natural Law’ (Trinity College Law Student Colloquium, 9 February 2019).


‘The Injusticiable Constitution and the Common Good: The Preamble and Directive Principles in Contrast’ (University of Limerick ‘The Constitution at 80’ Conference, 11 November 2017).

James is the 2022 Catherine McGuinness Fellow in Children’s Rights and Child Law.

James is co-counsel for the LGBTQI+ Unmet Legal Need clinic run by the Free Legal Advice Centre.

James is on the pro-bono register of the Public Interest Law Alliance. In this capacity James has contributed to work on housing access and the provision of homelessness accommodation.

James is also a member of the legal subcommittee forHome for Good – a broad coalition of organisations and individuals who believe that Constitutional change is an essential underpinning for any successful programme to tackle our housing and homelessness crisis. In this capacity James has both contributed to the drafting of publications and spoken publicly in favour of a right to housing.


Professional Associations and Memberships:

– Home for Good Legal Sub-Committee

– Public Interest Law Alliance

– The Employment Bar Association

– The Immigration, Asylum and Citizenship Bar Association

– OUTLaw Network

– The Irish Jurisprudence Society

– The Irish Legal History Society

Contact Form

This form is made available to solicitors & in-house counsel for professional purposes only, and to members of Approved Bodies for the purposes of Direct Professional Access


083-088 7268
Law Library Four Courts Dublin 7

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