Obituary: Professor Kevin Boyle

Many in Northern Ireland and much further afield will be deeply saddened to hear news of the the death of Professor Kevin Boyle, who passed away yesterday.

Prof. Boyle was one of the UK and Ireland’s leading human rights academics, as founding director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and later director of the Human Rights Centre in the University of Essex.

Originally from Newry, Kevin Boyle became a civil rights leader while at Queen’s University in the late sixties, active in People’s Democracy and then the NICRA.

In a distinguished career, he also found time to serve as the director of human rights NGO Article 19, act as special advisor to Mary Robinson during her time as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and practise as a barrister with Doughty Street Chambers, being acclaimed as UK Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 1998.

His writing covered many human rights themes and places, from Northern Ireland (including the influential Northern Ireland: The Choice, 2004, with Tom Hadden) to north Africa (Human Rights and Democracy: The Role of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, 1996, ed with Adel Omar Sherif).

He will be missed, not just by his family and friends, but by several generations of human rights students, academics and activists.

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