Gerard Quinn

© Ivor Prickett/Panos Pictures for the Open Society Foundations

Gerard Quinn directs the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland (Galway) and is a member of the Council of State of Ireland.  He sat for two full terms on the Irish Human Rights Commission and is a former director of research at the Irish Government’s Law Reform Commission. He co-authored one of the first comparative disability law textbooks and runs a dedicated international MA and PhD program on the same topic.  As a civil servant within the European Commission, Quinn helped frame EU disability policy and has directed several large disability research projects. He also sat as first vice-president of the Council of Europe treaty monitoring body on economic and social rights where he developed its jurisprudence on the rights of older people and persons with disabilities. He headed the delegation of Rehabilitation International at the working group that drafted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Quinn is a barrister-at-law and a graduate of Harvard Law School.