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    United Kingdom


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Socio-legal research; history of punishment; conflict transformation; modern Irish history

Research Statement

Dr Anna Bryson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, working on two ESRC funded projects - 'Apologies, Abuses and Dealing with the Past' and 'Lawyers, Conflict and Transition'. She is the 2016 winner of the Vice-Chancellor's Research Impact Prize (postdoctoral research category).


Her research has developed along three closely related lines: modern Irish history, socio-legal studies and conflict transformation. She has considerable experience of conducting interviews for social and historical investigation.


Her most recent publications draw on both interviews with international cause lawyers and civil society actors and her own previous research in Northern Ireland. ‘Victims, Violence and Voice: Transitional Justice, Oral History and Dealing with the Past‘ explores the ethical dimensions of sensitive field research and draws out some of the theoretical and practical intersections between law, history, and the interview. More recently she has explored the intersection of gender politics and transitional justice in 'Women Lawyers and the Struggle for Change in Conflict and Transition'. 


Since 2014 Anna has been working together with colleagues from QUB, Ulster University, the Committee on the Administration of Justice and a former senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office lawyer to develop a Model Bill for the Dealing with the Past elements of the Stormont House Agreement.


Developing drafts were discussed in the course of more than twenty detailed face-to-face meetings with senior British and Irish officials (involved in both the political negotiations and the preparation of their respective legislation on dealing with the past), senior politicians from across the political spectrum and a wide range of local civil society organisations.


The Model Bill was formally launched at an event at the House of Lords sponsored by former NIO Minister Lord Dubbs in October 2015 and addressed by Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary of State Vernon Coker amongst others. It was also widely publicised through the local print and broadcast media, at a number of major conferences in Belfast, and a range of seminars and briefings aimed at civil society organisations and political parties.


The full Model Bill, together with an explanatory framework and an analysis of the process of ‘legislating the past “from below”‘ was recently published in the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.




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Research Output

The Empire Strikes Back: Brexit, The Irish Peace Process, and the Limitations of Law

McEvoy, K., Bryson, A. & Kramer, A., 07 Feb 2020, (Accepted) In : Fordham International Law Journal. 43, 3, p. 608-668

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Transitional Justice, Historicity and Praxis in Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland

Bryson, A., 01 Jun 2018, Transitional Justice Beyond Blueprints. Garbett, C. & Wastell, S. (eds.). London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Open Access
  • Transitional Justice in Social and Legal Studies Revisited

    Bryson, A. & McEvoy, K., Sep 2018, In : Social and Legal Studies. Virtual Special Issue, 2018

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

  • Prizes


    Anna Bryson (Recipient), 08 Nov 2016

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    The Implications of BREXIT for Migrant Workers: What to watch out for

    Amanda Kramer (Contributor), Colin Harvey (Keynote speaker), Daniel Holder (Organiser), Anna Bryson (Contributor), Rory O'Connell (Contributor), Emma Patterson-Bennett (Contributor), Fidelma O'Hagan (Contributor)
    13 Feb 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar

    Internal Examiner for Phd, School of Law, Queens University Belfast

    Anna Bryson (Examiner)
    10 Jan 2018

    Activity: Examination typesOther examination

    Social and Legal Studies (Journal)

    Anna Bryson (Editor), Kieran McEvoy (Editor)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    External Examiner, Deakin University Law School, Australia

    Anna Bryson (Examiner)
    15 Jan 2018

    Activity: Examination typesPhD external examination

    Press / Media

    Brexit could 're-ignite conflict' in Northern Ireland

    Amanda Kramer, Colin Harvey, Kieran McEvoy, Anna Bryson, Rory O'Connell, Brian Gormally, Daniel Holder, Fidelma O'Hagan, Emma Patterson-Bennett & Gemma McKeown


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Brexit holds grave risks for Northern Ireland, study warn

    Amanda Kramer, Colin Harvey, Kieran McEvoy, Anna Bryson, Rory O'Connell, Brian Gormally, Daniel Holder, Fidelma O'Hagan, Emma Patterson-Bennett & Gemma McKeown


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement

    Anna Bryson


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Invited Guest - UTV 'View from Stormont' Programme - 2 October 2017

    Anna Bryson


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities