John Larkin (Northern Ireland)

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John Larkin
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
Assumed office
24 May 2010
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded byPatricia Scotland
Personal details
BornBelfast, Northern Ireland
Political partyAlliance (till 1989)
Alma materQueen's University Belfast

John F. Larkin, QC is the Attorney General for Northern Ireland.[1]

He is the first person to hold the office separately since its functions were assumed by the Attorney General for England and Wales in 1972. He is the first holder of the office not to be a politician sitting in either the Parliament of Northern Ireland, at Stormont, or the UK Parliament.[2]

Early life[edit]

Larkin was born in Belfast and educated at St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School and Queen's University Belfast, where he read law. He was subsequently called to the Bar of Northern Ireland and practised as a barrister.[citation needed]


In the early 1980s he was involved in politics as a member of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, but ceased to be active as his legal career took off. In 1989, at the age of 25, Larkin was appointed as Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penal Law at Trinity College, Dublin. He returned to Northern Ireland in the 1990s to work at the Northern Ireland Bar, specialising in administrative law, civil liberties and human rights, competition and constitutional law, defamation and judicial review.[citation needed]

On 20 November 2013 he recommended eliminating prosecutions, inquests or inquiries into events which preceded the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Certain politicians and policemen accused him of attempting to violate international law.[3][4][5]

On 25 November he received a letter from Jim Allister regarding Traditional Unionist Voice allegations against the BBC to which he replied three days later saying that it would not be appropriate for him to comment on that issue.[6]

On 10 June 2014 he attended hearing on the so-called on-the-run letters.[7]


  1. ^ "New attorney general John Larkin 'may need more powers'". BBC News. 24 May 2010. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010.
  2. ^ Larkin, John (2 February 2010). "Profile of North's AG-apparent". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Politicians and police react to John Larkin's Troubles proposals". The News Letter. 20 November 2013. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Politicians react to NI attorney general's end Troubles prosecutions call". BBC News. 20 November 2013. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  5. ^ Vincent Kearney (20 November 2013). "NI attorney general John Larkin calls for end to Troubles prosecutions". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  6. ^ Martina Purdy (2 December 2013). "Spotlight allegations: Attorney General John Larkin will not disclose Robinson legal advice". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  7. ^ "OTR letters 'only good on date received'". UTV. 10 June 2014. Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Patricia Scotland
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
Succeeded by