Giving a voice to victims in the Irish criminal process

Many of us will become a victim of crime at some point in our lives, yet many victims chose not to report these crimes to the police. Ultimately, a large number of victims in Ireland are not engaging in the criminal justice system. Prof Shane Kilcommins, Dr Susan Leahy & Dr Eimear Spain from the Centre for Crime, Justice and Victim Studies (CCJVS) and the School of Law have sought to better understand this phenomenon with a view to understanding how best to engage with and support victims of crime, while also informing public policy and legislative reform. By focusing their research on the place of victims within the criminal justice system, the team is giving a voice to underrepresented minorities including victims with disabilities.

The systemic abuse that occurred in post-Independence Ireland firmly placed victimhood on the public agenda

By focusing their research on the place of victims within the criminal justice system, the team is giving a voice to underrepresented minorities including victims with disabilities. Their research has actively influenced public policy and legislative reform, and informed teaching and learning with the establishment of Ireland’s first module in victimology. The researchers have built a reputation for ‘cutting edge’  research in the area of victims’ rights and as being ‘very influential’ in highlighting the role of the victims as pivotal stakeholders.