Lady Chief Justice The Right Honourable Dame Siobhan Keegan


Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland


Lady Chief Justice The Right Honourable Dame Siobhan Keegan was appointed as a High Court Judge in October 2015. She was one of the first two women to be appointed to the High Court along with Madam Justice McBride.

Prior to becoming a judge, Lady Chief Justice Keegan, a Queen’s University alumna, graduating with LLB Honours in 1993, was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1994 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 2006.

During her career at the Bar Lady Chief Justice Keegan served as Vice Chair of the Bar of Northern Ireland, Chair of the Young Bar, Chair of the Family Bar Association and Chair of the Bar Charity Committee. She was also a long standing member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar.

Lady Chief Justice Keegan was the Judge in Residence at the Queen’s University of Belfast from November 2015 until August 2021.  She was a member of the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) from April 2016 until August 2021. She was also the Northern Ireland representative on the Franco-British-Irish Judicial Cooperation Committee.

Lady Chief Justice Keegan was appointed as a Coroner in July 2017 and was the Presiding Coroner from September 2017 until September 2020.   She was assigned to hear Judicial Reviews from 2017 until 2020 and was the Senior Family Judge in the High Court of Northern Ireland from April 2020 until her appointment as Lady Chief Justice.  During her tenure in the Family Division she was also the designated Northern Ireland judicial member of the International Hague Network of Judges.

Lady Chief Justice Keegan is no stranger to NIJAC as she has been a NIJAC Commissioner since November 2018. Subsequent to her appointment, she has been involved in a range of judicial appointments processes, outreach activities and in setting the strategic direction of the Commission.


Lady Chief Justice Keegan was sworn in at the Royal Courts of Justice on 2 September 2021. 

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:

The Justice (NI) Act 2002 states that the Chief Justice is to be the Chair of NIJAC. With the exception of the lay magistrate, judicial members will not receive a fee.

Other Public Appointments Held and Remuneration Received:


Political Activity: