Black, William Bullick (1879–1967), lawyer and judge, was born 22 September 1879, the only son of the Rev. James Black, a methodist clergyman, of Kinnegar, Holywood, Co. Down, and his wife Sarah Edith (née Bullick). Educated at the Methodist College, Belfast, and TCD, he had a successful career (from 1897) at the King's Inns, garnering many prizes for oratory and debate before being called to the bar in Hilary term 1901. Although he practised initially on the north-eastern circuit, he later confined himself to Dublin, where he built up an extensive practice.
Active in Sinn Féin and later Fianna Fáil, Black campaigned in the general elections of 1918 and August 1923 (with Conor Maguire (qv)), and was the running mate of Sean MacEntee (qv) (Dublin township constituency) in the June 1938 general election. He took silk on 12 April 1935, and acted for the attorney general in many important cases, including one involving the unlawful killing of Michael Lynch. Lynch was a young boy shot dead by the ‘Broy Harriers’ (an armed Garda auxiliary force) during an auction at Marsh's sale yard, Cork, of cattle owned by farmers who were in default over their land annuity payments. Before his appointment to the high court (1939–42) Black acted for two terms as a temporary circuit judge on the eastern circuit. At the time of his appointment he was chairman of the town tenants’ occupation tenancies tribunal.
Black was raised to the supreme court bench in 1942 and retired in 1951. In the Tilson case (1951) he dissented from his catholic colleagues in their attempt to enforce ne temere agreements, which denied a protestant father his common-law right to decide the religious upbringing of his children. He also handed down a dissenting judgment in the Corcoran case (1950), in which he argued for the protestant mother, dismissing as outside the court's jurisdiction the factor of religion in the determination of custody. In 1954 Black was elected by the Council of Europe as Ireland's member of the European Commission of Human Rights, but he later retired owing to illness.
Black married Julia O'Connor, the daughter of Peter O'Connor. They had no children. He died 11 March 1967 at his home, Ard Aluinn, Saval Park, Dalkey, Co. Dublin.