Mrs Justice Fidelma Macken becomes the third woman on the eight-member body, following the appointment of Mrs Justice Susan Denham and Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness.
The National Women’s Council said she would bring considerable experience and perspective to the position. “It is heartening to see an increase in the numbers of women at this high level of our legal institutions,” said director Dr Joanna McMinn.
Ms Macken, 60, previously made legal history in 1999 when she became the first woman to be appointed to the European Court of Justice. She served for five years before returning to practice in the High Court last year. During her career as a barrister, she specialised in commercial law and was appointed as a senior counsel in 1995.