The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC) is delighted to extend its warmest congratulations to The Honourable Dame Siobhan Keegan upon becoming the first Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland and the new Chair of NIJAC.
Lady Chief Justice Keegan, who was sworn in on Thursday 2 September at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast, is the first female to take on this vital leadership post. She was appointed as one of Northern Ireland’s first two female High Court Judges in October 2015 and prior to this graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with LLB Honours in 1993. Lady Chief Justice Keegan was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1994 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 2006.
The Justice (NI) Act 2002 states that the Chief Justice is to be the Chair of NIJAC and so Lady Chief Justice Keegan will take on this responsibility in her new role. She 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.
Tonya McCormac, Chief Executive of NIJAC, commented, “I am looking forward to working with the new Lady Chief Justice in her role as Chair of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission. We will continue to build on the great work that the Commission has done and the commitment and hard work of those who have gone before.”