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Victim Studies

The centre has a very strong focus on victim studies with a number of researchers working actively in this area. In 2015, Dr Susan Leahy organised a one-day conference, ‘Victims’ Rights: An Agenda for Change’, which was attended by over 100 delegates from all criminal justice stakeholders, as well as representatives from key victim support groups. At this conference, the CCJVS was formally rebranded to recognise the centre’s strength in this area. Researchers in the centre have worked on national and international funded research projects on victims’ rights. Professor Shane Kilcommins has worked on projects funded by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the National Disability Authority, which examined to the rights of victims with disabilities in the criminal justice process. Professor Kilcommins also worked on an EU-funded project with Dr Andrea Ryan and Dr Susan Leahy that examined aspects of the identification and referral processes surrounding victims of crime in Ireland in the aftermath of the implementation of the Victims’ Directive. Dr Eimear Spain and Professor Shane Kilcommins have also conducted funded research with Cosc in relation to domestic abuse. Shane, Eimear and Susan are co-authors (with Dr Kathleen Moore-Walsh) of The Victim in the Irish Criminal Process, published by Manchester University Press in 2018.

Members of the Centre serve on the boards of relevant victim support and representative organisations, as well as providing pro bono consultative and advice services for both non-governmental organisations and other criminal justice stakeholders. The research conducted by centre members in this field has influenced law reform and policy development. For example, in 2017, Dr Susan Leahy, together with adjunct professor Ellen O’Malley Dunlop and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre were influential in the introduction of a statutory definition of consent into Irish sexual offences law (section 48 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017).

Key CCJVS Researchers in this area: Professor Shane Kilcommins, Dr Alan Cusack, Dr Johnny Connolly, Dr Susan Leahy, Dr Andrea Ryan, Dr Eimear Spain.

PhD researchers in this area: Stephen Strauss-Walsh, Carolanne Lynch, Michelle McCarthy.