Irish lawyer Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh KC is reportedly part of South Africa’s legal team that has lodged an application against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Ní Ghrálaigh is serving as external counsel on the South African legal team, according to Times LIVE in South Africa.

The ICJ announced on December 29 that South Africa filed an application instituting proceedings against Israel, alleging that Israel "in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention.”

Public hearings are due to be held at the ICJ at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court, on Thursday, January 11, when  South Africa will deliver oral arguments, and Friday, January 12, when Israel will deliver oral arguments.

According to TimesLIVE, Ní Ghrálaigh will serve as external counsel alongside Vaughan Lowe KC. John Dugard, Max du Plessis, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, and Adila Hassim will serve as senior counsel, while Sarah Pudifin-Jones, Lerato Zikalala, and Tshidiso Ramogale will serve as junior counsel.

Ní Ghrálaigh is attached to Matrix, a barristers’ chambers with offices in Gray’s Inn, London, Geneva, and Brussels.

In October, Ní Ghrálaigh was one of more than 1,000 lawyers who signed an open letter to the UK Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, and Defence Secretary calling on the UK Government "to act urgently to fulfil its international legal obligations in relation to the ever-escalating conflict in the Middle East."

Previously, Ní Ghrálaigh was named Irish Lawyer of the Month by Irish Legal News in February 2022. In the feature, Ní Ghrálaigh says she and her older sister were brought up by her “wonderful” mother, and that the family ultimately settled in London, with extended trips back to Ireland.

"The Irish connection remains strong," Irish Legal News noted, "she has called to the Bars of Ireland, North and South, as well as to the Bar of England and Wales."

Ní Ghrálaigh said that finding a pamphlet about Majella O'Hare, the 12-year-old girl who was shot in the back and killed by a British soldier in 1976 in Co Armagh, had a big impact on her life and future career.

She asked her mother how such a terrible thing could have happened, to which her mother replied: “Do something about it."

“I often think about my mother’s response," Ní Ghrálaigh told Irish Legal News, "Her words struck a very profound chord.

"And I’ve hung on to that pamphlet over all these years. It’s now framed above my work desk as a reminder of what brought me here.”

Lawyer of the Month: Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh

— Irish Legal News (@IrishLegalNews) February 7, 2022

Matrix says Ní Ghrálaigh graduated from Queens’ College, Cambridge with First Class Honours in Modern and Medieval Languages, received a distinction on the Graduate Diploma in Law, and was graded Outstanding on the Bar Vocational Course, placing fourth in her year.

She holds an LLM in International Legal Studies (equivalent distinction) from New York University, where she specialized in international environmental law and climate refugees.

She also holds diplomas from the London School of Economics in Law, War and Human Rights, and International Human Rights Law and Practice.

Ní Ghrálaigh served as a legal observer on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in Northern Ireland, which she has described as an "immense privilege."

Other notable moments in her career include presenting to the International Court of Justice on behalf of Croatia in the case of the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v Serbia), as well as being the sole woman barrister to defend Rhian Graham, one of the ‘Colston Four,' protesters who were cleared in January 2022 by a jury in Bristol Crown Court of criminal damage for toppling a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston.

Meanwhile, the Civil Engagement Group of Seanad Éireann has written to the Taoiseach and Tanaiste urging them to "act without delay and initiate or join proceedings at the International Court of Justice."