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Prof. Shane Kilcommins



Shane Kilcommins is a full professor in Law at the University of Limerick. His areas of expertise are criminal law, evidence law, criminal procedure, penology and legal philosophy. He has been head of the School of Law since 2014, and sits on other university reviews/committees such as Tenure Track Development Review, Executive Campus Infrastructural Committee (2018-), and the Research Rankings Sub Committee (2018). He is a Fulbright scholar, has been appointed an expert with European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. He has also worked as part of a team of inspectors for the Inspector of Prisons, and being invited by the then Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, to chair the Consultative Council to advise on issues relating to penal policy. He has also chaired the consultative forum on the Victims' Charter, as part of its relaunch by the Minister for Justice and Equality. He has also acted as an expert adviser to Transparency International Ireland. In 2020, he was appointed to An Garda Síochána's Expert Review Group on Recruit Education and Entry Pathways and Learning and Development, to provide strategic advice and make recommendations on the delivery of learning and development interventions in the organisation. He has obtained €2,654,636 in competitive funding, and has supervised 17 Ph.D. students and 2 postdoctoral students to completion. He is an examiner for the Law Society of Ireland, and sits on the board of the Victims' Rights Alliance. He has authored or edited 8 books with publishers such as Manchester University Press, Willan, Clarus Press and Routledge. He has also published reports and numerous articles in leading journals such as the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, International Journal of Evidence and Proof, International Review of Victimology, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, European Journal of Criminology, and Criminology and Criminal Justice. In addition, he has contributed 25 chapters to edited books, and presented over 75 conference papers.

Research Interests

My research orientation is heavily focused on the interface that exists between criminal law, penology, and history. I am interested in tracing and examining ‘histories of the present' of conceptual ideas and governing principles that shape our current penal and criminal complex. This necessarily involves a fusion of legal, historical and sociological thinking.

I have developed strong links with various organisations including the Fulbright Commission, An Garda Siochana, Criminal Assets Bureau, CEPOL, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Mental Health Commission, the Inspector of Prisons, the IPRT, ACJRD, ICCL, the National Disability Authority, the Victims of Crime Unit in the Department of Justice and Equality, and Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime.

Teaching Interests

I have undertaken a postgraduate certificate, diploma and MA in teaching and learning (2004-2007). My teaching has been recognised in the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching 2005-2006 (€4,000), and I was a member of the University Teaching and Learning Committee at UCC (2012-2014).


Conference Publication

Published Report