A South Galway resident has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Seychelles.
Mathilda Twomey, of Kinvara, was unanimously recommended by the country’s Constitutional Appointments Authority and appointed by President James A Michel recently. She will be sworn in as the country’s first female Chief Justice at a ceremony on the Indian Ocean island on Tuesday.
Commenting on the appointment, President Michel noted that the empowerment of Seychellois, especially women, has always been and will continue to be at the core of his philosophy and policies for the advancement and progress of the country.
“Justice Twomey is a highly-qualified legal practitioner, with a wealth of experience and knowledge, which, no doubt, will be of vast benefit to the legal and judicial system in our country and the reforms that are needed. She is the third Seychellois Chief Justice and I’m particularly proud of the fact that I have appointed a woman to the post, a first for Seychelles and a major achievement,” he said.
Having lived in Ireland since 1995, Justice Twomey was appointed a non-resident judge of the Court of Appeal in March 2011, the first female judge in the history of the nation.
Justice Twomey, née Butler Payette, has had an illustrious career in the legal profession, serving as a barrister first in the Ocean Gate Law Centre as pupil to Justice Francis MacGregor and then in the Attorney General’s Chambers. She subsequently worked as an attorney-at-law in private chambers and was a member of the Constitutional Commission before moving to Ireland.
Justice Twomey graduated with a BA in English and French Law from the University of Kent, holds a degree in French Law from the University of Paris-Sud and was admitted as a Member of the Bar at Middle Temple, London and as an attorney-at-law in Seychelles.
She holds an LLM in Public Law from the School of Law, NUI Galway, where she also completed her PhD research under the joint supervision of Marie McGonagle (NUIG) and Seán Donlan (UL) and will defend her doctoral thesis in early September. She has also lectured on a part-time basis at the university’s School of Law.
Welcoming the announcement of her appointment, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said, “Mathilda Twomey is a jurist of great renown and it is an honour for the School of Law at NUI Galway to be associated with her success. Her doctoral research is of foundational importance for its meticulous and ground-breaking study of the ‘mixed jurisdiction’ that exists in the Seychelles. I have no doubt that she will serve with great distinction and, on behalf of my colleagues, I wish her well in the professional and personal challenges that lie ahead.”
By Nicola Corless