ICCL recruiting Project Officer (Justice)

16 Aug

ICCL is recruiting for the post of Project Officer (Justice).

Job Purpose: contribute to the delivery of the ICCL’s programme of criminal justice advocacy activities, including its EU-funded work, under the supervision of the Senior Research and Programme Policy Manager.

Key responsibilities:

  • design, delivery and publication of research projects with particular relation to ICCL’s commitment to human rights and criminal justice
  • supervision of research conducted to this end
  • draft responses to domestic or EU policy initiative or draft legislation
  • briefing on policy issues
  • liaising with expert groups and EU stakeholders

Candidate requirements:

  • qualification in law, human rights, international relations, related area
  • organisational/administrative skills
  • strong drafting abilities
  • good knowledge of Irish criminal law and EU law
  • knowledge of human rights an advantage
  • excellent legal research and writing skills

The closing date is 5pm Friday 29 August, please send completed applications (no CVs) to info@iccl.ie.

Interviews will take place the week of 8 September, the post begins at the end of September.

Read more about the post and download the application here.

Assistant Lecturer in Law/Criminology

13 Aug

DIT are recruiting an Assistant Lecturer in the area of Law/Criminology.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Masters (must have been achieved by way of thesis/examination) (essential)
  • PhD in a related field
  • 3 years appropriate experience
  • Third-level teaching experience
  • Track record of scholarly activities including funding acquisition
  • Experience of e-learning

The position is Specified Purpose to cover another member of staff’s authorised leave.

This is a whole-time post, in addition to teaching hours of approx. 20 hours per week, the candidate will be expected to be present on-site from Monday to Friday.

The closing date is Friday 22 August, for further information contact Dr Kevin Lalor (kevin.lalor@dit.ie).

See further information and where to apply by visiting here.

Call for Abstracts – Challenging Social Injustice in Ireland

30 Jul

The UCD School of Social Justice 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of Equality Studies and Women’s Studies in UCD and the 10th anniversary of the UCD School of Social Justice. To mark these milestones, the School of Social Justice is hosting a conference which aims to bring together scholars working in these fields to present on the issue of ‘Challenging Social Injustice in Ireland: Learning from the Past, Actions for the Future’.

The conference will take place on Saturday 4 October 2014, in the UCD Student Centre in Belfield, and a call for abstracts is now open.

Submissions can take the form of:

  • Full paper (15 minutes to present, 250 word abstract, 5,000 paper)
  • Short paper (5 minutes to present, 150 word abstract, 500 word presentation)
  • Poster presentation
  • Practice stand (NGOs, groups etc)

Abstracts should include your name and affiliation, an overview of your research (max. 100 words), format of your presentation, and a short bio. Suitable papers will be collated for publication post-conference.

Abstracts should be submitted to ssjconference2014@gmail.com before 12 September 2014.

Please see conference flyer with more information UCD SSJ Conference Call for Abstracts.

Invitation to Tender: Research Projects

23 Jul

The IPRT are inviting tenders for two upcoming research projects:

1. Pre-trial detention: Monitoring Alternative and Judicial Decision-Making Process

2. Prison Litigation Network

The successful candidates will have:

  • Postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline; Knowledge of the Irish legal and criminal justice systems;
  • Experience in utilisation of a range of research methods, including survey design and distribution, interviews, hearing observations and desk-based research; experience of both qualitative and quantitative research;
  •  Experience in interpretation of EU led research protocols and adapting national research  designs as appropriate; experience in seeking and obtaining ethical approval for research purpose;
  • Liaison with key stakeholders and gatekeepers involved in Irish criminal justice; research;
  • Maintenance of detailed, accurate and fully evidenced time-keeping records;
  • Experience in producing high standard research to publication standard;
  • Exceptional attention to detail and ability to adhere to strict reporting, budgetary and time-recording requirements.

For more details on the two projects, see here.

IPRT at the UN

14 Jul

IPRT are attending at the UN Human Rights Committee today, 14 July, and have published the below press release to outline their intentions and goals in attending. Their full submission is available here, but a summary of the issues is below.


The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) will appear before the United Nations Human Rights Committee on Monday 14th July 2014 to provide expert evidence to the Committee on the State’s human rights record in respect of its treatment of prisoners and use of imprisonment. The IPRT will be urging the Committee to hold the State to account on the most pressing current human rights issues, including:

•       The on-going practice of slopping out, a practice to which more than 300 prisoners are still subjected;
•       Persistent overcrowding in our prisons, particularly within Ireland’s two female prisons;
•       Continuing high levels of inter-prisoner violence;
•       The on-going detention of children in adult prisons, including 17 year olds remaining on remand in St.Patrick’s Institution;
•       The soaring rates of committal to prison for non-payment of a court ordered fines;
•       The lack of a fully independent complaints mechanism for prisoners or Prisoner Ombudsman;
•       The failure to ratify OPCAT and establish a National Preventative Mechanism.

Speaking today, Deirdre Malone, Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust said:
“Ireland’s appearance before the UN Human Rights Committee provides a vital opportunity for an expert international monitoring body to closely examine what is really happening behind our prison walls and how Ireland measures up to international human rights standards. It is wholly unacceptable that in 2014, more than 300 prisoners continue to slop out, while in Cork prison, there are 59 cells measuring just 7.5m² currently holding two or more prisoners. In May of this year, 43 prisoners were on 23 hour lock up with another 218 prisoners subject to a restricted regime of 19 or more in-cell hours per day. While the State committed over 8,000 people to prison for non-payment of a court-ordered fine last year, many prisons frequently operated at levels well beyond the capacity designated by the Inspector of Prisons and over 600 incidences of inter-prisoner violence were recorded. Behind bars and hidden out of sight, enormous power differentials exist. The exceptional nature of the powers of the State over humans in detention makes effective external scrutiny of their use a matter of fundamental public importance. Monitoring and inspection of places of detention, along with an effective independent complaints mechanism for prisoners, are central to the protection of human rights of prisoners and form part of Ireland’s obligations under international law. The creation of a National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) and the ratification by Ireland of the OPCAT would act as a safeguard against the potential inhumane treatment of people in places of detention in Ireland. The establishment of a Prisoner Ombudsman would spur further improvements in prison conditions and would constitute a major step towards transparency and accountability”.


GRA Conference 2014

1 May

This week saw the 2014 Garda Representative Association annual conference in Killarney. The following are some of the issues raised:

  • Minister for Justice Alan Shatter was not invited to the meeting
  • Calls for the introduction of  Tasers
  • Training in firearms should be given to gardaí
  • Fears over below level recruitment and lack of resources
  • Drugs shipments were ‘slipping the net’ due to resource limitations
  • Gardaí want the powers to detain drunk persons in Garda stations until they have sobered up
  • A change of uniform
  • GRA General Secretary PJ Stone said he believed former Commissioner Martin Callinan had been sacked as a result of politics
  • Stone also called for the establishment of an independent police body with a much reduced role for the DoJ and the Minister for Justice in appointment of Commissioners and promotion of garda – thereby severing politics from policing
  • Calls for legislation to put an end to the need to write interviews down when they were being electronically recorded
  • Publication of garda assault figures annually to highlight it as a serious issue
  • GRA backed Interim Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan for the permanent post of Commissioner

Paul Senior on Integrated Offender Management

30 Apr

The ACJRD welcomed Professor Paul Senior from Sheffield Hallam University as the guest speaker to the 2014 Martin Tansey Lecture. Prof Senior has contributed to research and policy for the past 25 years and prior to this worked in the Probation Service, he spoke about the experience of Integrated Offender Management (IOM) in England and Wales.

Background to IOM in England and Wales:

In the mid-1990s it was noticed that the drop in crime rates was not accompanied by a corresponding fall in recidivism. This led to a conversation which centred on the issue of persistent core offenders, or the idea that 10% of the offenders were committing 60% of the offences. This coincided with the entry of New Labour to government and a focus on reducing re-offending. A variety of initiatives were established to tackle the issue, including the Prolific and Priority Offender Programme, the National Offender Management Service, Drug Intervention Programmes, incorporating the concept of the 7 Pathways (which aimed to take an holistic approach to recidivism), and including the involvement of the Third Sector with their acknowledged expertise in many extra-justice areas.


Prof Senior described IOM as a way of working, rather than as a specific programme to be followed. There are up to 100 schemes currently operating in England and Wales, providing a variety of differently tailored approaches. IOM offers a continuum of services, and involves a multi-agency approach to address the spectrum of offenders’ needs to aid them in rehabilitation. While initially it was targeted at acquisitive offenders, there are now schemes offering IOM schemes to a much wider variety of persons.

Prof Senior argued that it was crucial that all key players in the criminal justice system were involved, including representatives from prison and the police, and that to this end the concept of co-location was crucial. Working together in the same space, yet with each representative still belonging to their parent organisations; it is within this clash of approaches that IOM may work best.


Regarding effectiveness, Prof Senior noted the difficulty of quantitative evaluations due to the  multiplicity of factors, the tailoring and individuality of approaches and so on, and argued that qualitative approaches were often more suited to finding out ‘why’. However, he also noted the imperative to provide assessments and the difficulty that the research cycle was considerably longer than the policy cycle. For anyone particularly interested in the element of assessment he recommended an article by Kevin Wong on the issues involved.

Furhter issues highlighted:

  • the difficulty of terminology – is ‘offender’ really the term we’re sticking with? Isn’t it rather stigmatising?
  • the concept of ‘reintegration’ is often a misnomer – it is more about first time integration and changing allegiances
  • the problem of being a gate-keeper to an IOM scheme – who is it targeted at and who can benefit?
  • IOM participation is voluntary, and not court-mandated, were there human rights issues with this? Prof Senior noted that despite being on the alert for this particular problem, he found most persons engaged with the schemes welcomed the opportunity
  • Prof Senior highlighted a few of the schemes such as that running in Bristol

Finally, Prof Senior ended on a note of optimism regarding Ireland’s potential take-up of the concept and of his enthusiasm for IOM schemes.


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