Our research students cover a variety of research themes, under the supervision of our research staff.
“Seeking Justice: A feminist exploration of how women experience the criminal system when they seek redress for domestic abuse in Northern Ireland”
Aoife’s project will fully explore how women experience the criminal justice system when they choose to seek justice for domestic abuse. By bringing into conversation feminist legal theory and socio-legal methods, her project will be a highly textured and in-depth feminist analysis of how it feels to be a survivor in the criminal justice system who is seeking justice.
PRIMARY SUPERVISOR: Dr Kathryn McNeilly
SECONDARY SUPERVISOR: Dr Ronagh McQuigg
"The Obstinate Jury: How Rape Myths and Misconceptions about Law affect Jury Decision-making in Rape Trials in Northern Ireland."
I shall script several versions of a mini-rape trial to be performed by actors in the School of Law's Moot Court in front of members of the public, who will participate in mock jury panels to reach verdicts on whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. I'll record and analyse their deliberations to see if they are influenced by false beliefs about rape which tend to blame victims and exonerate perpetrators, as well as how they interpret the law on consent and reasonable doubt.
PRIMARY SUPERVISOR: Dr Yassin Brunger
SECONDARY SUPERVISOR: Professor Therese Murphy
“From separation to synergy: Recasting Separation of Powers through Prior Review”
Anurag’s project examines the doctrine of separation of powers, which is fundamental to the UK constitution. At a time of considerable constitutional turbulence in the UK, with the UK Government embarking on multiple reviews of how institutions (in particular, the judiciary) function, this project examines a fundamental question: how sustainable is the orthodox view of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the state existing separately? Anurag’s research explores the separation of powers through the function of prior review, that is the review of a bill before it becomes a law. It does so through a qualitative analysis of the actors involved in prior review and aims to contribute to a more sustainable and stable constitutionalism in the UK.
CO-SUPERVISOR (PRIMARY): Professor Louise Mallinder
CO-SUPERVISOR (SECONDARY): Dr Conor McCormick
“Legal implications of Cross Border Data Collection and Usage Within Autonomous Vehicles: Selling Safety for Privacy?”
Jordan’s PhD research focuses on the cross-border regulation of data within connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). His project uses the island of Ireland as a model to deploy a socio-legal methodology which considers the interplay between road safety and privacy laws when CAVs cross international borders. Analysis of these areas will seek to ascertain whether it is possible to reconcile potential conflicts in a balanced and proportionate manner, whilst exploring interactions between the automotive industry and regulators in the UK and Ireland. It is anticipated that conclusions from this research will produce recommendations for the development of future laws pertaining to CAVs in Northern Ireland, before attempting to posit international standards for the control of data during cross-border CAV use.
PRIMARY SUPERVISOR: Dr Conor McCormick
SECONDARY SUPERVISOR: Professor Giancarlo Frosio
“The Role of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1852 to 1922”
Richard’s research investigates the judicial role and activity of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland before abolition in 1922. The aim is to evaluate any lessons that may be drawn that are relevant today, drawing on both legal history and developments in judicial studies. The Lord Chancellors in this period were, unlike many of their predecessors, from Ireland, and were more diverse in terms of religious denomination, educational background and social class. The project examines how they approached the role, the balance between its different aspects, and the division of labour with officials and the senior judiciary. This will allow a better and wider view of any trends and of the development or otherwise of the senior judiciary in Ireland before partition.
PRIMARY SUPERVISOR: Dr Conor McCormick
SECONDARY SUPERVISOR: Dr Andrew Holmes
TERTIARY SUPERVISOR: Professor Robin Hickey
“Women Narrating Justice: The Value of Women's Storytelling in Response to Gender Violence During Mexico's War on Drugs”
Femicide has become a critical issue of growing concern in the law, policy, and practice on gender-based violence. Feminist scholarship and socio-legal research have identified the power of stories as something that can potentially become an integral part of justice processes.
Diana’s PhD will investigate the use of storytelling in the context of the ‘War on Drugs’ in Mexico. Its focus is Mexican women, in the states of Jalisco and Colima, who have been victims of gender-based violence during the ‘War on Drugs’ from 2012 onwards. It aims to conduct fieldwork that adopts the decolonial approach of community research, as well as the feminist method of collective biography, to explore how storytelling modalities open new understandings of gender-based violence. The findings will make a significant contribution to the literature on sexual and gender-based violence, storytelling, and community-based justice.
PRIMARY SUPERVISOR: Dr Yassin Brunger
SECONDARY SUPERVISOR: Professor Louise Mallinder
“The Role and Involvement of Subnational Entities in International Trade”
Daniela’s research focuses on subnational entities and their role and involvement in international trade. As contemporary trade agreements can potentially affect the competences and regulatory autonomy of subnational entities within states, it is important to examine the role that subnational entities play in shaping trade negotiations. By integrating an interdisciplinary approach and comprehensively examining the role of subnational entities in trade negotiations, her research seeks to understand how trade policy making can be more inclusive.
“The Phantom of Disgust in Criminal Processes: Disgust’s Influence from Criminalisation to Sentencing”
Eamonn’s thesis explores disgust’s relationship to the criminal law as a mutual co-dependence between emotion and moral judgment, and he researches how disgust influences the criminalisation of offences, and their subsequent trial process. Building upon older foundations of legal moralism theory and the literature surrounding law & emotion, Eamonn uses a multi-strand methodology crossing both desk-based and empirical research to place the relatively recent literature on disgust firmly within the criminal law. He seeks to use a conception of disgust as a novel model through which the subtle morals expressed in criminal policy can be more deeply appreciated. In this way, he seeks to widen the channels through which to critically appraise whether, and when, moral judgment should guide criminalisation decisions.
Primary Supervisor: Dr Kevin Brown
Secondary Supervisor: Professor Anne-Marie McAlinden
Tertiary Supervisor: Dr Martin Regan
Anna’s project argues that domestic abusers attack their victim-survivors ‘file selves’ when they exercise coercive and controlling behaviour that is facilitated by using smart home technologies. This project unpacks a specific vector of harm stemming from this abuse that occurs in a smart home. This research contributes to the growing area of scholarship surrounding ‘technology-facilitated domestic abuse’ (tech abuse) and more specifically ‘smart home facilitated technology abuse’ (SHOT).
The negative impact of SHOT in particular is examined by drawing on the work of Rom Harré and others. Anna seeks to educate and inform lawmakers on this identified vector of harm and the necessity to protect file selves, through the intersection of psychology, technology and domestic abuse law.
Primary supervisor - Dr Ciarán O’Kelly
Second Supervisor – Dr Sandra Scott-Hayward
Amanda's project will examine to what extent International Human Rights Law protects refugees and their right to work. By examining the law in relation to refugees and the right to work, the project will then bring reflection from a decolonial feminist perspective using socio-legal methods to critique the doctrine of international human rights law in light of the experience of refugees' work rights.
Primary Supervisor - Professor Colin Harvey
Secondary Supervisor - Dr Amanda Kramer
External Supervisor - Professor Rory O'Connell