Jennifer Schweppe of the School of Law and Dr Amanda Haynes from the Department of Sociology, both co-Directors of the Hate and Hostility Research Group (HHRG) were recently awarded a prestigious funding grant from the European Union Directorate-General Justice under its Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme. The grant was made to support projects to prevent and combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, and the project itself seeks to determine best practices for preventing hate crime.
Entitled “The Life Cycle of a Hate Crime”, the project proposes to examine the application of criminal laws and sentencing provisions for hate crime across 5 EU Member States, capturing best practice in the tools utilised to combat hate crime across Europe in relation to both the strategies of legal intervention and the implementation of these rules. By engaging with both actors in the criminal justice system and victims and perpetrators of hate crime, we will show how each participating State manages the prosecution of hate crime at key stages of the criminal process: (1) Proof Requirements and Making the Decision to Prosecute; (2) Court Procedure and Rules of Evidence; (3) Sentencing.
The project partners include long term collaborators of the HHRG, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the University of Sussex, as well as In Iusticia from the Czech Republic, the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Umeå Universitet from Sweden. The total funding awarded to the project was €659,950.91 with the EU funding total for UL €166,421.24.
The project will follow on from a number of research activities carried out by the HHRG, including A Life Free From Fear: Legislating for Hate Crime – An NGO Perspective (2014); Out of the Shadows: Legislating for Hate Crime in Ireland (2015); and Critical Perspectives on Hate Crime: Contributions from the Island of Ireland (2016) (Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming).