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Judge Clark Biography

She was called to the Bar in Dublin in 1975 following her university education at Lyon, UCD, Trinity College and the King’s Inns. She practiced first on the South Eastern Circuit and then as Senior Counsel in Dublin from 1991. She had a comprehensive legal practice specialising in criminal law and the law of medical negligence. She has acted for the families of the bereaved in many inquests and has represented the government in a large number of children’s special needs cases.

In 2001 she was elected to sit as a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague. In 2003 at the end of her first trial she was elected as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) an independent, permanent court that tries war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

While awaiting the commencement of trials before that court she was invited to conduct the Inquiry into the unusual number of peripartum hysterectomy carried out at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. Her inquiry had noted an unusual number of operations where young women suffered the removal of both ovaries. She reported to Government in 2006 and was asked to advise on a redress scheme for those who suffered from inappropriate peripartum hysterectomy. She advised that those who had suffered inappropriate bilateral oophorectomy should also be included in any redress scheme. Following her advices to the Government, she was appointed as Chairperson of the Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme, which included both sterilising procedures. A large number of former patients received redress.

In late 2006 she was appointed to the High Court and resigned from the ICC. She sat on the High Court while conducting the Redress Scheme. She retired from the High Court earlier this year. She has two adult children and two grandchildren. Her daughter is a psychiatrist and her son who lives in Switzerland also works in medical related work in the analysis of clinical trials of new drugs.

Judge Clark is president of the Irish Women Lawyers Association and was recently inducted into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame in the United States.

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