Strasbourg, 24.01.2024 – Michael O’Flaherty (Ireland) was today elected as the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights by the organisation’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) at its plenary session in Strasbourg. He will serve a non-renewable term of six years starting on 1 April 2024.
Mr O’Flaherty obtained 104 of the votes cast in the second round of the election. Meglena Kuneva (Bulgaria) obtained 70 votes and Manfred Nowak (Austria) obtained 37 votes.
He has served as Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, and previously as Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee.
The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent and impartial non-judicial institution established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to promote awareness of and respect for human rights in the 46 Council of Europe member States; identify possible shortcomings in the law and practice concerning human rights; and facilitate the activities of national ombudsperson institutions and other human rights structures.
The Commissioner makes regular visits to the member States to engage in dialogue with governments and civil society and draw up reports on issues falling within his or her mandate.