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Dr Susan Leahy

Dr Susan Leahy (Co-Director CCJVS)

Within the area of criminal justice, Susan’s primary interests in the law on sexual offences and victims’ rights were established during her PhD, funded by the IRCHSS. The Rules and Realities of Consent in Irish Sexual Offences Law: Perspectives on Reform examined the rules relating to consent in Irish sexual offences legislation. Susan has published on sexual offences both nationally and internationally and co-authored, with Dr Margaret Fitzgerald-O’Reilly, Sexual Offending in Ireland: Laws, Procedures and Punishment. She also co-authored The Victim in the Irish Criminal Process with CCJVS colleagues, Professor Shane Kilcommins, Dr Eimear Spain, and Kathleen Moore-Walsh (WIT). Susan developed and directs the BA (Criminal Justice), an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programme for students who wish to pursue a career within the criminal justice sector and is also a member of the Garda College Accreditation Committee and the Quality Assurance Board for the Garda training programme. Susan lectures on the online degree programme for serving members of an Garda Síochána (BA Applied Policing) and serves on the council of the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development.


Dr Andrea Ryan (Co-Director CCJVS)Dr Andrea Ryan

Dr Andrea Ryan’s research expertise lies in the areas of EU criminal justice, the European Convention on Human Rights, criminal evidence, comparative criminal procedure, criminal law, and sentencing. She has published widely in these areas, including a book, Towards a System of European Criminal Justice -The Problem of Admissibility of Evidence. She has acted as national rapporteur for Ireland on many cross-jurisdictional studies funded by the European Commission, including a study in 2011 on the prospects for the creation of a European public prosecutor. She has been project leader on many national and international projects including a study on sentencing practices in the District Court for the Judicial Studies Institute and a study on domestic violence funded by the Royal Irish Academy. She recently completed a project led by the Centre for European Constitutional Law, Athens, funded by the European Commission: Developing Directive - compatible practices for the identification, assessment and referral of victims. She is a committee member of ECLA UK and frequently participates in workshops and conferences on European criminal justice. She is a member of the Garda College Accreditation Committee and the Quality Assurance Board for the Garda training programme, the BA in Applied Policing. 


Prof. Shane KilcomminsProf. Shane Kilcommins

Professor Shane Kilcommins is currently Executive Dean of the AHSS Faculty and former head of the School of Law. He has co-authored various funded research reports on discrimination, victims of crime, and integrative learning and is widely published on penology and criminal justice (click here to see his full list of publications). Shane acted as co-director for the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights at UCC and is currently a director of the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development. He has obtained circa €1,556,000 in funding, most of which relates to criminal justice research, from the Department of Justice, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Judicial Studies Institute, IRC, Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime, An Gárda Síochána, Nairtl, National Disability Authority, Equality Authority, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Courts Service, and the UCC Strategic Research Fund. 

See Shane speak about his central research focus, the victims in the Irish criminal process in the UL Talks series.


Dr Margaret Fitzgerald-O’ReillyDr Margaret Fitzgerald-O'Reilly

Dr Margaret Fitzgerald O’Reilly has an LLM in Criminal Justice and, in 2012, was awarded her PhD entitled The Usual Suspects: The Legal Marginalisation of Ex-Prisoners in Irish Society, for which she was awarded a University President’s Scholarship. Her research interests are primarily in the field of criminal justice, criminology, and penology specifically, the treatment and management of offenders, social and legal exclusion, techniques of punishment, sentencing, and crime control policies. She engages in research concerning the implications of a criminal record from a social and legal perspective and has a book published with Palgrave Macmillan in this field: Uses and Consequences of a Criminal Conviction: Going on the Record of an Offender. Margaret’s work also focuses upon the punishment of sex offenders and their regulation in the community post release. She has has provided expert analysis to the Oireachtas and contributed to national media outlets. She is also co-author of, Sexual Offending in Ireland: Laws, Procedures and Punishment Clarus Press.


Prof. Paul McCutcheon

Prof. Paul McCutcheon

Professor Paul McCutcheon has a wealth of experience working as a consultant with the Law Reform Commission on its project, the defence of provocation, and as consultant to the Inspector of Prisons and Places of Detention. In January 2003, he was appointed a member of the expert group to advise the Minister for Justice on the Codification of the Criminal Law.  Watch Paul speak about self-defence and provocation in the UL Talks series.


Jennifer SchweppeJennifer Schweppe

Jennifer Schweppe’s research interests lie in the areas of hate crime and reproductive justice. She is co-editor of two major collections on hate crime and is widely published on her research interests.  An award-winning lecturer, she is a member of the National Steering Group against Hate Crime, a co-founder and co-director of the Hate and Hostility Research Group at UL, and co-founder and co-director of the International Network for Hate Studies.


Dr Ger CoffeyDr Ger Coffey

Dr Ger Coffey has an interest in many aspects of the criminal justice process from substantive criminal law through procedure, evidence and sentencing. His main research interest is the common law principle against double jeopardy and the related principle of ne bis in idem in civil law jurisdictions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, especially pertaining to the law and practice of post-acquittal retrials. He is also interested in the history of criminal law and related jurisprudence and is currently researching the influence of the Beckett/Henry II dispute over clerical immunity and the Restoration on the development of the common law principle against double jeopardy. Ger is the course director of the LLM/MA Human Rights in Criminal Justice and teaches modules on criminal justice, process, and sentencing, international criminal law, policing and human rights. He also teaches a module on criminal justice at undergraduate level. He is currently supervising two PhD students and one LLM student in CCJVS. In 2016, Ger founded Criminal Justice in Ireland, a collaborative academic blog with a focus on criminal justice issues to inform those involved in the criminal justice field and to share information and resources, as well as many other aspects of criminal justice.


Dr Eimear SpainDr Eimear Spain

Dr Eimear Spain is a senior lecturer in Health Law in a joint appointment between the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences and the School of Law. Eimear graduated with a BA in Law and Accounting and was awarded the University medal for first place in interdisciplinary programmes upon graduation. Upon commencing her PhD, she was awarded a University scholarship and a Government of Ireland Scholarship which she held for three years. Following completion of her PhD, Eimear took up a position as a research coordinator in Macquarie University, Sydney. She was subsequently appointed as a senior lecturer in the University of Northumbria before returning to take up a lecturing position in the School of Law in 2010. In 2015 she was appointed as a senior lecturer in Health Law.


Dr Alan CusackDr Alan Cusack

Dr Alan Cusack is a graduate of UCC (BCL, LLM, PhD), UCD (Dip.Emp) and the Law Society of Ireland (Solicitor 2012). Alan's research interestes lie at the intersection of vulnerability and criminal procedure and in 2017 he completed a PhD in the School of Law at UCC in the area of access to justice for victims of crime with intellectual disabilities. Alan's research has been widely published in national and international journals including, The International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, The International Journal of Evidence and Proof, Policing: An International Journal and the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. Alan has provided expert analysis on the treatment of vulnerable witnesses for national media outlets in Ireland including DriveTime (RTE Radio 1), Newstalk FM and the Irish Examiner and he has acted as a direct advisor on this topic to the Minister for Justice, the European Commission, the Department of Justice, the Strategic Human Rights Advisory Committee and Commissioner Drew Harris. Alan is a qualified solicitor and prior to commencing his doctoral studies, he practiced with Arthur Cox solicitors in Dublin.


The REPPP Team are also members of the CCJVS.