Cahal has over 19 years experience as a barrister in Victoria.
He was born and grew up in Northern Ireland. He obtained a law degree with honours from the Queens University in Belfast and undertook training as a barrister in Belfast at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. He was admitted in this jurisdiction in 1999 and signed the Bar Roll in the same year. Prior to coming to the Bar in Victoria, he was an Associate for over two years to the Honourable Justice Ryan of the Federal Court of Australia (now Donnell Ryan QC). He read with Nicholas Green QC and with Tim Ginnane QC ( now the Honourable Justice Ginnane of the Supreme Court of Victoria).
He is the holder of an Indictable Crime Certificate issued by the Victorian Bar.
He has a broad practice in public law, criminal law and employment law.
He has appeared in over 50 cases in the Federal Court, 12 cases in the Full Federal Court and over 60 cases in the Federal Circuit and Magistrates Courts. He has appeared without a leader in High Court special leave applications as well as being led in the High Court by Cavanough QC (now Justice Cavanough of the Supreme Court of Victoria) and Richard Niall (now Justice Niall of the Court of Appeal). He has also appeared in the County and Supreme Courts and in the Court of Appeal. He has also appeared in a number of cases in the Supreme Court of Nauru where he is also admitted to practice as a barrister.
He has a keen interest in Continuing Professional Development and has mentored junior barristers. For the past 15 years he has instructed at the Leo Cussen Centre for Law in Melbourne in administrative law as well as Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court practice.
He was for three years an elected member of the Victorian Bar Council. He is a strong adherent of pro bono work and has served on the Bar's Pro Bono Commitee.
He is a member of the Criminal, Industrial, and Migration Law Bar Associations.
His work has recently included:
Criminal Law - County Court trials for an accused and pleas for the Office of Public Prosecutions.
Employment and Industrial law - employee/contractor and Award breach matters.
Judicial review of decisions by the Victorian Commissioner of Police and by the Commonwealth Minister for Home Affairs.
Tribunals - representing Worksafe Victoria in various VCAT proceedings under the Occupationald Health and Safety legislation and Dangerous Goods legislation.
Cases in which he has appeared include:
CDPP v Gerathy  VSC 255 (false accounting); CDPP v Gerathy  VSC 289 (false accounting)
VBAO v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (2006) 233 CLR1 (with Niall QC, now Solicitor General of the State of Victoria) (migration)
Sok v MIMIA  FCAFC 56 (with Estcourt QC, now the Honourable Justice Estcourt of the Supreme Court of Tasmania) (migration)
Applicant M169 of 2003 v MIMIA  FCAFC 311
Applicant M164/2002 v MIMIA  FCAFC 16
VNAA v MIMIA  FCAFC 134
Ismail v Rustom  VSC 625
Zion-Shalom v Magistrates Court of Victoria  VSC 476
Priest v Deputy State Coroner  VSC 449
Psychologists Registration Board of Victoria v G  VCAT 1927
Jia v Minister for Immigration  FMCA 422
Priest v West  VSCA 327 (ruling by a coroner)
MZYYC v Minister for Immigration  FCCA 1769
Miles v Commissioner of Patents  FCAFC 109 (decision by Commissioner of Patents)
MZZQY v Minister for Immigration  FCCA 262
Fernando v Minister for Immigration  FCCA 409
CRI 018 v Republic of Nauru (Supreme Court of Nauru, Khan J, 15 December 2016); MEG 026 v Republic of Nauru (Supreme Court of Nauru, Khan J, 7 February 2017); DWN 066 v Republic of Nauru (Supreme Court of Nauru, Khan J, 31 March 2017); PIN 031 V Republic of Nauru (Supreme Court of Nauru, Khan J, 31 March 2017); HFM 043 v Republic of Nauru (Supreme Court of Nauru, Khan J, 9 June 2017).
Cahal has published articles in the areas of employment law and migration law. He has also reviewed texts on criminal law, migration law, adminsitrative law, statutory demands, Australian offshore law, and admiralty and maritime law.