Administrative Law or Judicial Review
After a broad general practice at the Bar, Christine eventually specialised as prosecuting counsel in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. She has substantial experience at the Criminal Bar having prosecuted the entire range of criminal cases. Since taking silk she has been briefed on behalf of the Defence in cases of alleged rape, blackmail, sexual assault, child cruelty, fraud and possession of drugs. She has prosecuted cases of conspiracy to rob, possession of firearms, rape and sexual assault. Christine also appeared in a number of Family cases. Since 2012 she has been engaged as Senior Counsel to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. The Inquiry is looking at the issue of systemic failings in the care of children in residential institutions in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995.
1984; LLB (Hons), Queen’s University, Belfast
1985; Certificate in Professional Legal Studies, Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast
1985; Called to Bar of Northern Ireland
1985 – 1987; Part-time tutor in Sociology of Law to Undergraduates and in Legal Process to Diploma in Law students at Queen’s University, Belfast
1996; Called to Bar of Ireland
2002-2010; Appointed one of two nominated Junior Crown Counsel, prosecuting in Craigavon Crown Court
2008- 2011; Appointed to Junior Prosecution Panel by PPS
2011; Called to Inner Bar
2011; Appointed to Senior Prosecution Panel
2012 to date; Senior Counsel to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry
Christine has been a member of the Bar Council 1986-1988 and again 2006-2008. She has sat on a number of Bar Committees and until 2013 was a member of the Bar’s Professional Conduct Committee
Christine has appeared in a large number of trials in the Crown Court and has appeared in both appeals against conviction and sentence before the Court of Appeal.
Reported cases include:
Murder trial where ultimately plea to manslaughter accepted after several days of evidence.
Case involving false imprisonment, robbery and rape of schoolgirl.
R v McArdle, Daniel  NICA 29;  NIJB 212
Guideline case re sentencing under Article 20 Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.
Assault and rape of an American tourist by a minor.
Plea to manslaughter accepted after medical evidence considered.
Plea to manslaughter accepted after consideration of complex issue of causation.
R v Boyd, Denise Marie  NICA 22; 2012 NIJB 127
Appeal against conviction for wounding with intent, involving issue re conduct of defence.
Appeal against sentence imposed for diminished responsibility manslaughter.
Other notable cases include:
R v Cunningham, John  and on appeal to Court of Appeal 
Case involved the then biggest seizure of cannabis in Northern Ireland.
R v Purcell, Thomas 
A high profile murder case where Defendant ultimately pleaded to the murder of Megan McAlorum.
Attorney General for Northern Ireland v Hain, Peter 
Appeared with Attorney General for Northern Ireland in his prosecution of former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
The problems of Eye Witness Identification Evidence – paper published by Queen’s University Belfast in 1987