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Giving a voice to victims in the Irish criminal process


Researchers Involved:

Prof. Shane Kilcommins

BA MA PHD

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Dr. Susan Leahy

BCL LLM PHD

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Sustainable Development Goals

  • 16 Peace and Justice

Summary of the impact:

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.


References to the research

The victim in the Irish criminal process

https://www.doi.org/10.7765/9781526153722

Authors: Shane Kilcommins, Susan Leahy, Kathleen Moore Walsh, Eimear Spain


Sexual Offending in Ireland: Laws, Procedures and Punishment

https://www.claruspress.ie/shop/sexual-offending-in-ireland-laws-procedures-and-punishment/

Authors: Susan Leahy and Margaret Fitzgerald O’Reilly


Sexual Offences Law: the Impact of Gender Stereotypes on Adjudications of Consent in Rape Trials in Ireland

http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781509917242.ch-001

Authors: Susan Leahy


Section 5 Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (Ireland)

http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781782259800.ch-060

Authors: Susan Leahy


The Domestic Violence Bill: A Good Start but Not Enough

Authors: Susan Leahy


Exploring the impact of the Victims’ Directive on service provision for victims of crime in Ireland

https://ulir.ul.ie/handle/10344/6689

Authors: Susan Leahy and Eimear Spain


Too Much Information? Regulating Disclosure of Complainants’ Personal Records in Sexual Offence Trials

https://ulir.ul.ie/handle/10344/7947

Authors: Susan Leahy


The Development of Victims’ Rights in Ireland

Authors: Shane Kilcommins, Susan Leahy, Eimear Spain


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