Law Alumna makes history within the European Union Institutions

Dr Rose M. D’Sa (LLB Law, 1979; Ph.D Law, 1983) has made history by becoming the longest serving female UK member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Brussels-based advisory body that represents civil society. She has been a Member of the EESC since 21 September 1998, and her fifth consecutive term of office for 2015-2020 has recently been confirmed by the Council of European Union.

Photo of alumna Dr Rose M. D’Sa (LLB Law, 1979; Ph.D Law, 1983)

The EESC is composed of representatives of civil society nominated by the 28 member states, and advises the three major EU institutions, the Council, Commission and the European Parliament, in the legislative process.

Dr D’Sa, was born in Kenya, and currently lives in Newport, Wales. Her heritage is from Goa (a former Portuguese colony) in India. Her early education took place in Loreto Convent, Nairobi, and at Millfield School in Somerset. In 1979, she graduated with a first class honours degree from the University of Birmingham and then went on to gain a PhD in public international law, under the distinguished tutelage of Dr. Frank Wooldridge (former Senior Lecturer in Law at Birmingham) who died in 2014.

She became Visiting Lecturer at the Kenya School of Law after qualifying as a barrister in 1981, and held lectureship at both Cardiff and Bristol Universities. She later worked at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, assisting Commonwealth governments on compliance with international human rights law. Dr. D’Sa was appointed to the foundation Chair of European Law at the University of Glamorgan, Wales and was also awarded a Jean Monnet Chair in European Community law by the European Commission. She has published extensively, including European Community Law on State Aid (Sweet and Maxwell, 1998) which has a foreword written by Lord Neil Kinnock, the former European Commission Vice-President. She also worked as a specialist consultant to Cardiff law firms Geldards and Blake Morgan. In preparation for their accession to the EU, Dr. D’Sa undertook numerous assignments in the Justice sector, in various Central and Eastern European countries.

In 1995, Dr, D’Sa won the “Welsh Woman into Europe” prize. Ten years later, she received an invitation from Queen Elizabeth to a State banquet at Buckingham Palace with her husband, John Matthews, who is an Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography at Swansea University.

The EESC said of Dr D’Sa that she is “especially valued for her ability to explain and clarify complex legal problems and to persuade people to reach consensus on controversial subjects.”

The University of Birmingham would like to congratulate Dr Rose D’Sa on her historic fifth term and wish her every success in the future.