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Desmond Greer is a graduate in law of Queen’s (1962) and Oxford (1964); in 1992 he was awarded the degree of LL.D. for his published work and in 1997 he was appointed an honorary QC by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. He began his academic career as Tutor in Legal Method at the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1966 was appointed as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s. He became Professor of Common Law in 1973, and was Dean of the Faculty from 1973-1976 and 1983-1986. In 1976-77 he was visiting professor in the School of Law of the University of West Ontario, and he spent 1990-91 as a visiting professor at Cornell Law School. He was a member of the Law Reform Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland from 1989 until 1997, and a member of the Lord Chancellor's Civil Justice Reform Group in 1998-1999. More recently he has been involved in a review of the compensation payable to victims of violent crime in Northern Ireland (see Report of the Review of Criminal Injuries Compensation in Northern Ireland (HMSO, 1999) and in the development and implementation of a statutory scheme to provide redress for those who, as children, were abused in reformatories, industrial schools and other state institutions in Ireland (see Towards Redress and Recovery: Report of the Compensation Advisory Committee (Dublin, 2002).
His current teaching interests are Torts, Evidence and Modern Irish Legal History. He was President of the Irish Legal History Society from 1997 until 2000, and his principal research interest at present is 19th century Irish legal history - see in particular The Factory Acts in Ireland, 1802-1914 (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2002)(with Dr James Nicolson).