Research Teams




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Professor of Law, University College Cork

Prof Ursula Kilkelly

Ursula Kilkelly is a professor of law at University College Cork. She has been researching children’s rights for over 15 years with her work focusing primarily on the implementation of children’s rights law. She has authored numerous books and edited collections and has published in international peer reviewed journals on the subjects of children’s rights under the ECHR, the implementation of the CRC and substantive areas like youth justice.  She is a strong advocate of effective protection of rights using the law and the legal system and in 2010 she set up the Child Law Clinic at UCC to provide research support, by students, to lawyers advocating children’s rights issues.




        Professor of
        Education Law and               Children's Rights,                  Queen's University   

 ‌Prof Laura Lundy

Laura Lundy is a Professor of Education Law and Children’s Rights in the School of Education, Queen’s University, Belfast and a Barrister at Law. She is the Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s (, an interdisciplinary research collaboration on children’s rights. Her expertise is in law and children’s rights, with a particular focus on  the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, education rights and children’s right to participate in decision-making, including in research processes.   She has been a principal or co-investigator in large interdisciplinary research projects funded by the UK Social and Economic Research Council, public bodies such as the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and leading charitable foundations such as  UNICEF,  The Wellcome Trust and Barnardo’s. She was the Chair of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s working party on education rights for the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights and is a former Equal Opportunities Commissioner for Northern Ireland.


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Sarah Field

Sarah Catherine Field is a research assistant in the Child Law Clinic, Department of Law, University College Cork. Prior to holding this position, she worked as a research and policy intern in the Ombudsman for Children’s Office and an intern in the Legal Aid Board. Sarah has also completed a legal externship in the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Los Angeles. She holds a law degree from University College Cork, in addition to an LLM in Child and Family Law from the same institution. 


Naomi Kennan






Naomi Kennan

Naomi Kennan is a research assistant in the Child Law Clinic in the Department of Law at University College Cork.  She holds a Bachelor of Law from NUI Galway, where she volunteered with FLAC and developed a broad interest in using the law to ensure the protection of rights.  Following her subsequent employment as a law clerk with Slater & Gordon Lawyers in Australia, Naomi returned to Ireland and undertook an LLM in Child and Family Law in UCC.  This LLM developed her commitment to child law and children’s rights and she became interested in rights-based advocacy during her completion of a thesis on the implementation of child-friendly justice.  Naomi has worked as an intern in the Research and Policy Department of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office where she gained experience in auditing law, policy and practice in light of children’s rights standards and promoting the welfare of children.  She welcomes the opportunity to be involved in this significant project which is dedicated to advancing children’s rights in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Chelsea Marshall






Chelsea Marshall

Chelsea is a researcher on the Advancing Children’s Rights project based in the Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University Belfast. She has an LLM in human rights law and a PhD from the School of Law at QUB, where as a member of the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative, her primary qualitative research focused on young women’s exclusion from the peace process in Northern Ireland, transitional justice and the rights of marginalised children and young people. Her commitment to human rights based approaches to advocacy developed while supporting members of the Belfast Mental Health Rights Group and Participation and Practice of Rights to campaign for improvements in mental health services in Northern Ireland. She has worked with many organisations promoting the use of a human rights framework, including the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union and Save the Children NI. Chelsea welcomes the opportunity through this project to capture and share learning to advance the use of children’s rights in Ireland north and south.

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Angela O'Connell

Angela is a research assistant in the Child Law Clinic in the Department of Law at University College Cork. Her primary degree was in Philosophy, which led her to feminism and a broader interest in equality and rights. She holds an MA in Women’s Studies from University College, Cork, and a PhD from the School of Political Science and Sociology in NUI Galway. She has worked in Adult Education, Higher Education Equality, Women’s Studies, and community development. In recent years she has worked on a number of research projects, both in the community and academia, involving children and young people as service users, rights holders and researchers. She welcomes the opportunity to be part of this timely and relevant project which seeks to advance children’s rights in Ireland.





Karen Orr

Karen Orr is a newly appointed researcher on the Advancing Children’s Rights project.  She is based in the Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University, Belfast.  She holds a PhD from the School of Psychology at Queen’s, where she was a member of the cognition, development and education research cluster.  Her work is primarily focussed on children and young people, mostly within education and community settings.  She has worked across a variety of research projects involving a range of different research methods, such as randomised controlled trials, qualitative case studies and psychometric scale development, all of which are underpinned by a children’s rights-based approach to research.  More recently she has been applying her research skills to the work within the Centre for Children’s Rights. For example, she was a co-investigator on a project evaluating the legal needs of children and young people in Northern Ireland, a study which involved a wide variety of young people, including vulnerable and marginalised groups.  She is also currently working on a project assessing children’s rights education across countries with a UNICEF National Committee presence.  Karen is committed to research involving children and young people and is excited to be a part of this important project aimed at advancing children’s rights across the north and south of Ireland.