His Majesty has also approved the appointment of 5 new Honorary King’s Counsel (KC Honoris Causa). Their biographies are listed below. Honorary KCs are awarded to those who have made a major contribution to the law of England and Wales, outside practice in the courts.
The Lord Chancellor will preside over the appointment ceremony at Westminster Hall in March 2024, where he will formally bestow the title of KC upon the successful applicants and award the Honorary KCs.
Honorary King’s Counsel biographies
Professor Anthony Arnull
Professor Arnull specialises in the law of the European Union. He worked at the European Court of Justice from 1989-92 and was Head of Birmingham Law School between 2006 and 2009. He was Acting Head of the College of Arts & Law at Birmingham from April to August 2015.
Professor Arnull was nominated for his research on the law of the European Union, in particular the role and jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice; the configuration of the European Union’s judicial system; and the relationship between European Union law and national law, especially that of the United Kingdom. His scholarship is widely respected and has had a significant impact on legislation and case law.
Professor Norman Doe
Professor Doe is the Director of the Centre for Law and Religion, which he set up at Cardiff Law School in 1998. He is on the editorial committee of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal and was appointed in 2013 as the Editor of the newly established Routledge Research Series in Law and Religion, the first series of its type in the UK. He has also served on the Legal Advisory Commission of the Church of England and is the Chancellor of the Diocese of Bangor.
Professor Doe was nominated for reviving the study of Ecclesiastical Law in England and Wales. His publications on the subject have been highly influential, being cited in decisions relating to the constitutional role of the Church of England and contributing to the revision of clergy discipline procedures.
Mr Meyer is Head of the International Law Department at the British Red Cross. He has served on government delegations to international meetings and represents the British Red Cross on the UK National Committee on International Humanitarian Law. He has also been a member of the governing bodies of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and of the UK Group of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War.
Mr Meyer was nominated for providing advice and support to the government on a range of matters relating to international humanitarian law, and its implementation in UK domestic law and policy. He is a recognised expert on the law on the international stage: his views are highly respected and influential in helping to shape the law, promoting the UK positions on issues of operational and legal significance.
Sir Robert Neill
Sir Robert is a barrister, MP, and Chair of the Commons Justice Select Committee. The Justice Committee examines the policies and spending of the Ministry of Justice (and associated public bodies). This includes courts, legal aid, prisons, probation, and the rule of law. It also advises on sentencing guidelines.
Sir Robert was nominated for his leadership of the Justice Select Committee, including his contributions in upholding the rule of law and as an advocate for the judiciary and legal profession. Under his leadership, the Committee has produced over thirty-five detailed reports following substantive inquiries across a wide range of legal and justice policy areas.
Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin
Professor Ní Aoláin is currently a Professor of Law at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2017 she was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. Her teaching and research interests are in the fields of international law, human rights law, national security law, transitional justice, and feminist legal theory. She has published widely in the fields of emergency powers, conflict regulation, transitional justice, and sex-based violence in times of war and continues to write extensively on theoretical aspects of transition.
Professor Ní Aoláin was nominated for her work in advising the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and civil society, informing and shaping the policy and legal work being progressed on the protection of social and economic rights and the rule of law in the post-Belfast Agreement context. Her work with the UN has been strongly supported by the UK, where she has been a champion for mainstreaming human rights in countering terrorism, has led the UN human rights response on the situation of the men, women and children detained in Al Hol and Al Roj camps in North-East Syria, advanced the human rights of victims of terrorism as well as leading the first global study on the impact of counter-terrorism on civil society,
Notes to editors
- The list of 2023 – 2024 King’s Counsel appointments.
- KCs are appointed by The King, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor. He is in turn advised by an independent Selection Panel which receives and considers each application and makes recommendations as to appointment.
- Honorary KCs are also awarded by The King, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor. He is advised by panel of representatives from the legal profession, civil service, judiciary, and academia. More information about the purpose of the award can be found on GOV.UK.