Institutions and Ireland: Law, Punishment and Accountability

20 Apr


Institutions and Ireland will attempt to reframe debates surrounding such structures and address conceptual concerns that stretch back centuries and across disciplinary and national boundaries. Over a series of three one-day workshops in 2016, we will start an enduring conversation about the different institutional structures which have contributed to the makeup of Irish society.

The next conference deals with Law, Punishment and Accountability:

  • 7 June 2016
  • Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute
  • Trinity College Dublin

Keynote speaker: John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy Prison

In recent years, legal institutions on the island of Ireland have investigated a series of institutional failures. The Ryan Commission, the Murphy Commission, and the Saville Inquiry—to name but a few high-profile examples—have probed the relationship of the citizen to educational, religious, and military institutions. In turn, these investigations have been subject to analysis from academic, political, and cultural institutions, as well as the media. In 2011, as part of an Amnesty International publication responding to four reports on institutional abuse, Kevin Rafter diagnosed a ‘conspiracy of silence’ as an underlying factor in such institutional failure. Legal inquiries have gone some way towards breaking this silence and the university has a key role to play in furthering this debate. How do legal institutions hold sections of society to account? Are these institutions themselves held to account? How effective are the legal systems in Ireland at administering justice?

Law, Punishment, and Accountability is a one-day conference that will critically examine the legal institutions on the island of Ireland through a thematic and interdisciplinary approach. As the second event in TCD’s Institutions and Ireland series, the conference will analyse the ways in which Ireland has been shaped by both its own legal institutions, as well as by international bodies such as the European Parliament and European Court of Human Rights.

We invite abstracts of up to 300 words from any discipline for 20-minute papers in Irish or English that shed light on Ireland’s evolving relationships with legal institutions. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is Friday 29 April at 5pm. Please send your abstract and a short bio to

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Public inquiries and their impact
  • The law in translation
  • The study of legal history in Ireland
  • Cultural representations of law and punishment
  • Coercive confinement
  • The Irish courts systems
  • Law before and after colonisation
  • Policing and the Defence and Security Forces
  • European and international law from an Irish perspective
  • The crisis of migration
  • Restitution and retribution
  • Privacy and defamation
  • Memory, the past, and accountability
  • The impact of digitisation on the law

The Institutions and Ireland series has been developed as part of TCD’s core research theme Making Ireland, which spans fifteen disciplines within the college and explores Ireland as ‘a continuously evolving and plural phenomenon, produced through diverse media and varieties of human agency’. Further details can be found on and


3 Responses to “Institutions and Ireland: Law, Punishment and Accountability”

  1. oconnellpadd13 15/03/2018 at 15:26 #

    Paddoconnell blogs 2007.Juveniles In Portlaoise Prison In The 1960s

  2. oconnellpadd13 01/06/2018 at 16:39 #

    Reblogged this on Oconnellpadd13's Blog.

  3. paddoconnell 22/06/2018 at 12:12 #

    Reblogged this on Paddoconnell's Blog.

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