About Us

What is the Brehon Law Society?

The Brehon Law Society came into existence in 1978. The organization takes its name from the body of ancient Celtic law that defined and governed legal relationships on the island of Ireland. From earliest times. Brehon Law was distinguished by its egalitarianism and by its respect for fundamental rights and liberties.

Inspired by the strongly humanitarian tradition embodied in the Brehon law, the members of the Brehon Law Society strive to use their talents to protect, to defend, and to extend human rights, principally – but not exclusively – in Northern Ireland.

In service of this end, the law society takes as its reference points three landmark legal documents of immense significance: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Together, these documents articulate the aspirations of the member nations of the United Nations.

Who belongs to the Brehon Law Society?

We are an organization composed principally of lawyers, judges, and other law-related personnel. Membership in the Brehon Law Society is, however, open to all who support its programs and objectives, and we welcome into our group all who do so. We are not an exclusively Irish-American organizations, for concern about human rights violations transcends ethnicity.

We count among our members well- respected attorneys, as well as distinguished state and federal judges. Our lawyer members pursue a broad and varied range of specialties. They come from private firms of all sizes, as well as from public interest organizations and government services. Our members freely volunteer their time and services to law society projects.

What sorts of projects has the Brehon Law Society undertaken?

Members of the Brehon Law Society, working individually, through committees, and in cooperation with other bar organizations and human rights and civil liberties organizations, have engaged in an impressive array of activities and projects dedicated toward the defense of human rights in Northern Ireland.
We have represented before U.S. courts, including before the Supreme Court of the United States, individuals whose cases have raised factual and legal issues related to the human rights situation in Northern Ireland.
We have traveled to Northern Ireland to observe at trials and to participate in fact-finding inquiries and forums organized by community groups.

We have testified before the U.N. and U.S. Congress on matters germane to the human rights situation in Northern Ireland.

We have collected information on significant human rights violations and shared that information with human rights organizations in the United States and abroad.
We have monitored U.S. government activities and programs likely to effect the human rights situation in Northern Ireland and have sought to educate members of all three branches of U.S. government about the nature and causes of, human rights violations in Northern Ireland.

We have written articles and books highlighting these violations.

Why should you join the Brehon Law Society?

The members of the Brehon Law Society are a talented and dedicated group. Donating their time, they work hard to turn the promise of human rights into reality. Their efforts have tangible effects on day-to-day lives of people. The projects which the law society pursues in turn enrich the lives of the law society members who participates in them.

Human rights work is work that gives worth and meaning to being a member of the legal community. Membership in the Brehon Law Society gives you to the opportunity to participate in human rights- related projects and to work on them in conjunction with highly skilled and principled colleagues.

We want you to join. In working to change the world into a better place, you just might find that you’ve changed your life for the better, too.