New County Court judges sworn in by Lord Chief Justice

(L-R): HHJ Elizabeth McCaffrey, HHJ Neil Rafferty QC and Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan

Two new County Court judges, HHJ Neil Rafferty QC and HHJ Elizabeth McCaffrey, were sworn in this week by the Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan.

Mr Rafferty was admitted to the Bar in 1990. He practised broadly in all areas of law, undertaking both County Court and High Court work in civil litigation and family law. In approximately 2000, he began to specialise more in criminal law.

After being admitted to the Inner Bar in December 2014 he has undertaken a number of leading briefs in significant criminal cases.

In additional to the criminal law part of his practice, he has diversified into historical and legacy enquiries and inquests.

Mr Rafferty was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in 2007 and has gained significant judicial experience in this role.

Ms McCaffrey was admitted as a solicitor in Northern Ireland in 1984 and in the Republic of Ireland in 2002. She is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and the College of Europe, Bruges.

Following her admission as a solicitor, Ms McCaffrey worked mainly in the field of civil practice, principally conveyancing and commercial practice, together with probate work, estates planning and family law. Ms McCaffrey also developed a substantial employment law practice, specialising in discrimination law.

From June 2007 to February 2013 Ms McCaffrey was a member of the Law Society Council, where she chaired the Law Reform Committee, the Access to Justice Committee and the Non-Contentious Business Committee.

Ms McCaffrey’s most recent role was as a full-time Employment Judge in the Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunal (ITFET). Some of the many facets of the role included hearing cases involving all aspects of employment law, from unfair dismissal to discrimination on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, disability, race, religious or political belief or age. Prior to appointment to this substantive office, Ms McCaffrey held the office of part-time Chairman (now known as Employment Judge) of the ITFET from 1998 – 2013.