Brian Walsh (judge)

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Brian Walsh (23 March 1918 – 9 March 1998) was an Irish Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights justice and barrister.

Described as "one of Ireland's greatest judges" and the "outstanding legal reforming mind of his generation" by Prof. John J. Lee,[1] Walsh is seen as a reforming judge who sat on such key cases as Byrne v. Ireland (1972) - unconstitutionality of state immunity in tort; McGee v. The Attorney General (1974) - right to marital privacy and contraceptives; Crotty v An Taoiseach (1987) - ratification of EU treaties.

He was one of the dissenting minority in the case at the European Court of Human Rights that ruled in 1981 that the United Kingdom had breached the Convention in the matter of Northern Ireland's law criminalising homosexual acts.

Outside the bench, Walsh was the president of the Law Reform Commission from 1975–85 and led the Irish delegation to the Anglo-Irish Law Enforcement Commission.


  1. ^ Alan Murdoch, "Obituary: Judge Brian Walsh" The Independent, London 1998-03-11 (accessed 2011-01-25)