LAPA Fellow


Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

Former Fellow, 2001-2002
University of Minnesota Law School

344 Mondale Hall, 229-19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455
phone: 612-625-2011

While at LAPA
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Professor of Law at the University of Ulster. She has written numerous articles in the fields of international law and international human rights law. She is the author of The Politics of Force: Conflict Management and State Violence in Northern Ireland (Blackstaff Press, 2000). Professor Ní Aoláin received an LL.B. from Queen's Law Faculty in Belfast and a Ph.D. from Queen's University. She has worked for the International War Crimes Tribunal and was nominated by the Irish government to sit on the Human Rights Commission created in the Irish Republic on the basis of the Good Friday Agreement. At Princeton she will work on a book about the theoretical and comparative aspects of emergency laws entitled Law's Vanishing Point: An Analysis of Law and Crisis.

Life after LAPA

Professor Ní Aoláin is concurrently the Dorsey and Whitney Chair in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School and a Professor of Law at the University of Ulster’s Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  She is the Associate Dean for Research and Planning at the University of Minnesota Law School.  She is co-founder and Associate Director of the Institute.  Professor Ní Aoláin received her LL.B. and Ph.D. in law at the Queen’s University Law Faculty in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She also holds an LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School. Professor Ní Aoláin was a Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School in 2003-04. She has previously been Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School (1993-94); Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School (1994-96); Visiting Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University (1996-2000); Associate Professor of Law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel (1997-99) and Visiting Fellow at Princeton University (2001-02). Professor Ní Aoláin is the recipient of numerous academic awards and honors including a Fulbright scholarship, the Alon Prize, the Robert Schumann Scholarship, a European Commission award, and the Lawlor fellowship. Her teaching and research interests are in the fields of international law, human rights law, national security law and feminist legal theory. She has published extensively in the fields of emergency powers, conflict regulation, transitional justice and sex based violence in times of war. Her book Law in Times of Crisis (Cambridge University Press 2006) was awarded the American Society of International Law’s preeminent prize in 2007 - the Certificate of Merit for creative scholarship.  She has a book forthcoming with Oxford University Press entitled On the Frontlines: Gender, War and the Post Conflict Process.  She was a representative of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at domestic war crimes trials in Bosnia (1996-97). In 2003, she was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as Special Expert on promoting gender equality in times of conflict and peace-making. She has been nominated twice by the Irish government to the European Court of Human Rights in 2004 and 2007, the first woman and the first academic lawyer to be thus nominated.  She was appointed by the Irish Minister of Justice to the Irish Human Rights Commission in 2000, and served until 2005.  She remains an elected member of the Executive Committee for the Belfast based Committee on the Administration of Justice, and is also a member of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.  She was appointed to the Executive of the American Society of International law in 2010 for a three-year term.  



Law in Times of Crisis: Emergency Powers in Theory and Practice by Oren Gross and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin
(Cambridge University Press, 2006)


The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the ensuing 'war on terror' have focused attention on issues that have previously lurked in a dark corner at the edge of the legal universe. This book presents the first systematic and comprehensive attempt by legal scholars to conceptualize the theory of emergency powers, combining post-September 11 developments with more general theoretical, historical and comparative perspectives. The authors examine the interface between law and violent crises through history and across jurisdictions, bringing together insights gleaned from the Roman republic and Jewish law through to the initial responses to the July 2005 attacks in London. Three unique models of emergency powers are used to offer a novel conceptualization of emergency regimes, giving a coherent insight into law's interface with and regulation of crisis and a distinctive means to evaluate the legal options open to states for dealing with crises.