Kirsten Roberts Lyer is a specialist in international human rights, having practiced for 16 years as a policy expert and international lawyer before joining the School of Public Policy. She teaches on Rule of Law, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
From 2008-2013, she was Acting Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Research, Policy and Promotion at the Irish Human Rights Commission, Ireland's National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) and from 2008–2011 she was also coordinator of the European Group of NHRIs.
She took a career break from 2013-2016 to undertake a PhD in human rights at The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London, where Roberts Lyer also established the Project on Effective Parliamentary Oversight of Human Rights with Dr. Philippa Webb.
For the 2012-2013 academic year, Kirsten was a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School. She has previously worked as a legal officer in Trial Chamber I of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (2005-2008). She has also worked in Ireland's diplomatic mission to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, at the European Court of Human Rights, European Court of Justice and for Amnesty International.
Roberts Lyer has been an independent expert on fundamental rights for the European Commission and sat on the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs' Non-Governmental Standing Committee on Human Rights. In addition, she has consulted with a variety of international organizations on human rights issues. She has also been an advisor on human rights policy to a member of the Irish houses of parliament. She regularly consults for the UN Development Program (UNDP) on the establishment and strengthening of National Human Rights Institutions and Ombudsmen, as well as on state engagement with international human rights protection mechanisms.
Her research interests include the development of national human rights implementation and oversight mechanisms. She specializes in the creation and development of effective National Human Rights Institutions, and parliamentary oversight of human rights.
Roberts Lyer, K., National Human Rights Institutions. In Gerd Oberleitner & Steven Hoadley eds., Human Rights Institutions, Tribunals and Courts – Legacy and Promise, Springer Major Reference Works handbook series. (Forthcoming 2018)
Roberts Lyer, K., Webb, P., Effective Parliamentary Oversight of Human Rights. In M. Saul, A. Follesdal, and G. Ulfstein (eds), The International Human Rights Judiciary and National Parliaments: Europe and Beyond, Cambridge University Press, 2017.