Victims' rights in Ireland: influences, illusions and impacts

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Moore Walsh, Kathleen A.
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University College Cork
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Following international trends victims of crime in Ireland have increasingly become a source of political, policy and to a lesser extent academic concern. Although it is assumed that the Irish victims’ rights movement is having a profound impact on the criminal justice system there are very few studies addressing this assumption or the genesis of the Irish movement. At the time a victims’ rights movement was established in Ireland there were movements already established in the U.S. and Britain. To determine which model Ireland followed, if any, in establishing its movement a comparative analysis of the emergence of the victims’ rights movements in these three common law jurisdictions was undertaken. This research examines possible victim policy transfer to test the transfer route perception that the victims’ movement began in the U.S., was transferred into Britain and then onto Ireland. At the same time that the victims’ rights movements were emerging in the U.S., Britain and Ireland, and asserting pressure on their national governments for beneficial changes for victims of crime, international organisations such as the U.N. and Council of Europe were being pressured by victims’ rights groups into introducing victim centered instruments of guidance and best practice for member states. Eventually the E.U. became involved and enacted a binding instrument in 2001. These victim centered instruments provide legal and service provision rights to Irish victims of crime, but they do not generate much academic interest. This research, in addition to providing a detailed account of the victim centered instruments, analyses the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, and identifies and analyses the primary victim centered statutory modifications and case law in Ireland over the past three decades. Lastly, the current law and practices in Ireland are evaluated against Ireland’s obligations under international and E.U. law.
Victims' rights , Victims' rights movement , Policy transfer , Victims of crime
Moore Walsh, K. A. 2013. Victims' rights in Ireland: influences, illusions and impacts. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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