Criminal justice scholars are often drawn to traditional ‘real crime’ (homicides, violent assaults, organised crime, sexual offences, requirements of mens rea and actus reus, and general defences) whilst ignoring regulatory offences that are often enforced by specialist agencies. They have tended to be preoccupied with the punitive regulation of the poor―a project closely tied to a police-prisons way of knowing―that focuses on ‘crime in the streets’ rather than ‘crime in the suites’. The narrow exclusivity of this approach is a mistake because regulatory criminal law is becoming increasingly influential, not least because criminalisation is now more than ever viewed as a panacea for almost any social problem. More and more we are witnessing the increasing and extensive use of regulatory strategies by the Irish state. In areas such as competition law, environmental protection, health and safety law, and consumer and corporate affairs, there has been a move towards using criminalisation as the last-resort strategy when compliance through negotiation and monitoring has failed.
CCJVS researchers have considerable expertise in the area of regulatory crime, having published nationally and internationally on this topic. In this particular area of research, CCJVS members work closely with their colleagues in the International, Commercial and Economic Law (ICEL) Research Group which is also based in the School of Law. The availability of expert researchers from both criminal justice and commercial law backgrounds to work on this challenging area situates the School of Law in UL as a unique centre of excellence for the development of top-quality, innovative research outputs in this area.
Key CCJVS researchers in this area: Professor Shane Kilcommins; Dr Eimear Spain
PhD candidates in this area: William Poutch