Deirdre Pirro


Born in the beautiful Australian city of Melbourne, Deirdre studied both law and history at the University of Melbourne where she taught for a short time before deciding to take a round-the-world cruise. Sailing from her hometown on an ocean liner heading for Italy one beautiful January morning over twenty years ago, she was not to know she would never use her return ticket. Instead, she married the ship’s Italian captain and settled in Florence, where she now lives and works as an international lawyer and freelance writer and journalist.
On settling in Italy, she initially believed she would be unemployable, a classic ‘square peg in a round hole’ as she was a lawyer trained in the common law tradition looking for work  in a country where civil law is practiced. She was, however, surprised to find she was soon working for the Italian Supreme Court preparing case law abstracts for its data bank on environmental law and for the Italian National Research Council (CNR) as a legal editor and translator.
Since 1988, she has  been the  International Relations Officer for an United Nations’ accredited NGO called ICEF (International Court of the Environment Foundation) in Rome, set up under the auspices of the Supreme Court. Its objective, as its name suggests, is to create a world environmental court. Through her work with ICEF, she was invited to become  a founding judge of  the International  Court of Environmental Arbitration and Conciliation with chambers in  Mexico  City (Mexico) and San Sebastian (Spain) and she is also the delegate, for the International Alliance of Women, at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.
Having always written academically for her job, she decided, in 2005, to try her hand at writing non-fiction professionally and to experiment with life-writing and biography. Since its inception, she has been a columnist for The Florentine, Tuscany’s English-language newspaper. Her column, Italian Sketches, served as a springboard for her book, Italian Sketches: The Faces of Modern Italy published by The Florentine Press in 2009.  As a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, she also writes for magazines and newspapers in Italy and abroad.

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