Horsehair Wigs - IRLI Podcast

In our Horsehair Wigs podcast, we speak to guests about justice and human rights, and explore the drivers behind why they do what they do. The podcast is presented and produced by journalist Evelyn McClafferty, who specialises in justice and climate issues.


With thanks to our donors: Irish Aid.

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Logo/drawing by JSP-Jesper Buursink

Horsehair Wigs is a monthly legal podcast. In it, we talk about justice issues with a broad range of international guests. You'll learn about trends in climate and environmental law in Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, the Arctic and elsewhere. You'll also learn about the brilliant campaign led by female judges to support Afghan colleagues after the Taliban came to power in 2021.

So far, we’ve featured leading figures in the international criminal law field. This includes female judges from Ireland and the US, including Teresa Doherty and Shireen Fisher, who have worked on the first legal cases involving child soldiers in Sierra Leone, along with landmark rulings related to sexual slavery and forced marriage.

We've talked to lawyers who work to support victims of genocide and other war crimes. We also spoke to Fergal Gaynor, who worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (the ICTR), the first international court to prosecute politicians for human rights violations. This was set up to prosecute those responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which Hutu militias killed 800,000 people over a matter of weeks.

Our podcast also has a strong environmental leaning. With Maud Sarliève, we’ve discussed the proposed new environmental crime of ecocide. With Gearóid Ó Cuinn, we talked about the historic case led by six young people from Portugal that has recently been in the headlines. Between the ages of 11 and 24, they are taking 33 countries to trial for their failure in the face of climate breakdown. We also talked about eco-crimes in Barbuda.

Given our globalised world, we also highlight transnational litigation's impact on international crime. With Gearoid Ó Cuinn, we talked about legal attempts to ban cotton made through the forced labour of the Uyghur people in China. Eva Buzo spoke to us about the worsening crisis faced by the Rohingya in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Protecting human rights and the rule of law are central to the work of Irish Rule of Law International. In light of this, we’ve talked to lawyers like Linda Kasonde in Zambia – known for speaking truth to power.


Horsehair Wigs is presented and produced by journalist Evelyn McClafferty. Based in Berlin, Evelyn is a specialist in climate and justice issues. She has worked on several award-winning podcasts related to both the environment and human rights, and contributes internationally to platforms that focus on climate change and clean energy reporting.

A new episode of the podcast is available monthly.



All episodes



How an investor protection regime is stalling climate action and instead paying polluters


July 08, 2024 | posted by | 5sc

It’s been dubbed litigation terrorism - investor state dispute settlement clauses or ISDS mechanisms – and on this month’s show, we talk about it with Stéphanie Caligara, a French qualified lawyer and consultant with the Global Legal Action Network.


The culture of impunity in Mexico around the disappearance of thousands of women


June 04, 2024 | posted by | 5sc

Legal expert, Rhea Kneifati, who specialises in sexual and gender-based investigations talks to us on the show this month.


Ray Murphy says there is a legal case for genocide against Israel


April 29, 2024 | posted by | 5sc

Ray Murphy on Horsehair Wigs Podcast IRLI

Human rights lawyer and professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway, Ray Murphy talks about the current situation in Gaza and the legality of the Israel-Hamas war.


IRLI Team Malawi discuss the ripple effects of an under-resourced criminal justice system


March 26, 2024 | posted by | 5sc

IRLI Team Malawi Interview

We sit down with some of Irish Rule of Law International’s (IRLI) Malawi team this month to discuss how the country’s poverty is affecting its justice institutions.


Fighting for justice for women and girls in Malawi


February 26, 2024 | posted by | 5sc

On the show this month: Sarai Chisala-Templehoff, a Malawian human rights and social justice lawyer.


The killings and crackdown of human rights defenders globally


January 21, 2024 | posted by | 5sc

On the show this month, international human rights lawyer, Doreen Chen on how the demise of the rule of law is affecting human rights defenders.


The effectiveness of the ICC in delivering justice


December 18, 2023 | posted by | 5sc

On the show this month, we’re in conversation with international criminal and human rights lawyer, Kate Gibson who talks about what shapes the workings of the International Criminal Court (ICC).


The lingering psychosocial impact of the civil war in Sierra Leone


November 20, 2023 | posted by | 5sc

On the programme this month, we discuss the continued impact the civil war in Sierra Leone has on its population, with human rights activist, Binta Mansaray.


Maud Sarliève talks about the proposed international crime of ecocide


October 05, 2023 | posted by | 5sc

Our guest on Horsehair Wigs this month is Maud Sarliève, Human Rights and International Criminal Lawyer advocating for creative legal thinking to mitigate climate change and protect the environment. Maud explains ecocide, a newly proposed international crime.


Gearóid Ó Cuinn of GLAN on suing European states over climate change


September 04, 2023 | posted by | 5sc

On our show this month, we speak to Gearóid Ó Cuinn, who teaches transnational human rights litigation at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway and who is head of the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN).