The Honorable Justice John L. Murray, former Chief Justice of Ireland, to speak at Hooding Ceremony on Sunday, May 18

Photo of Hooding Ceremony in Wait Chapel

Hooding Ceremony

The Honorable Mr. Justice John L. Murray, former Chief Justice of Ireland, will be the speaker for the Wake Forest University School of Law Hooding Ceremony on Sunday, May 18. He will receive an honorary degree at Commencement the following day.

The Hooding Ceremony will be held at 1:45 p.m. in Wait Chapel followed by the Dean’s Reception at 3 p.m. at the Millennium Center in downtown Winston-Salem. Graduation exercises are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, May 19, at Hearn Plaza. Tickets are required for guests.  Learn more about hooding and graduation here.

Murray, who is currently the senior ordinary member of the Irish Supreme Court, served as chief justice from 2004 to 2011, having completed a fixed seven-year, non-renewable term. The Irish Constitution allows for judicial review of all legislation.

The Honorable Justice John L. Murray

The Honorable Justice John L. Murray

Born in Limerick, Murray received his education at Crescent College, Rockwell College, County Tipperary, and University College of Dublin.

Between 1966 and 1967, Murray led the Union of Students in Ireland. After he was admitted to practice at the bar of Ireland, Murray had a successful law practice, dealing with commercial, civil, and constitutional law. He also practiced before International courts.

Murray was Attorney General of Ireland to the then governments, first in 1982 for a period of six months, and subsequently from 1987 to 1991. Notably, he refused to allow Father Patrick Ryan extradition to Britain on explosives charges associated with the Provisional IRA in 1988. Due to excessive media coverage and comments by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Parliament, Murray decided that Ryan could not receive a fair trial. Subsequently he was successful in establishing with the British attorney general agreed procedures for effective extradition arrangements between the two countries.

In 1991, Justice Murray was appointed as a judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. Eight years later he left that court on accepting an appointment to the Supreme Court of Ireland in 1999 and was appointed Chief Justice of Ireland in 2004. He also acted as chairperson on the Anti-Fraud Committee of the European Central Bank and as chairperson on the Ethical Committee of the European Commission.

Murray is a noted jurist on constitutional law and European law matters and apart from his judicial career has lectured at many venues and conferences in Europe and the United States.

In February 2012, he was Adjunct Professor of Law in the University of Limerick until he received his current appointment as Chancellor, or honorary head, of the University.

Murray is married to Gabriel Walsh, daughter of Brian Walsh, a former Supreme Court judge. They have two children, Catriona and Brian.