Trinity lecturer and former Court of Appeal Judge Gerard Hogan has taken on the position of advocate general in the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
In his new position, Hogan will provide independent advice to judges in the ECJ. His rulings will not be binding on the court, but the role has been known to hold great sway in the European courts, and opinions of the advocate general are often followed by judges.
Hogan was nominated for the role by the government last May. After being reviewed by a panel of experts, his appointment to the position was confirmed this week, with the news posted in the Official Journal of the European Union. Hogan officially started work in the position on Wednesday.
A prominent legal theorist, Hogan studied for a PhD at Trinity, before becoming a professor in law. He is the co-author of the core text on Irish Constitutional law, which he wrote with fellow Trinity academic Gerry Whyte, based on the first edition by Professor John Kelly. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2014, after four years of sitting on the High Court bench.
As well as teaching constitutional law, Hogan also specialised in administrative law, public law and EU law. As a judge, he heard many influential cases, including the “right to die” case of multiple sclerosis patient Marie Fleming. Before beginning his judicial career, Hogan was a practising barrier, mainly focusing on constitutional cases.
There is no equivalent position to advocate general in the Irish legal system, but the position is an important one in many European countries, which operate under a civil law system, as opposed to Ireland’s common law legal framework.