• Room 07.011 - Main Site Tower

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to discuss potential PhD projects in the following areas: Transitional Justice; Truth recovery, Dealing with the past; Victims; Ex-Combatants; Reparations; Emotions; Dark tourism


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Personal profile

Research Interests

Transitional Justice; Truth recovery and dealing with the past; Victims; Ex-Combatants; Reparations; Emotions; Dark tourism/use of atrocity sites.

Research Statement

Dr. Cheryl Lawther is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and a Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. She is also the Director of the Human Rights Centre at Queen's University Belfast. Situated within the field of transitional justice, Cheryl's research interests focus on truth recovery and dealing with the past, victims, ex-combatants, reparations and the use of atrocity sites.

Cheryl is currently leading and working on a number of UKRI funded research projects. In late 2015 she was awarded an AHRC Early Career Research Grant for a project on 'Voice, Agency and Blame: Victimhood and the Imagined Community in Northern Ireland' (with K. McEvoy, £250,000). Full details on the project and associated publications can be found on the project website - victimsandthepast.org  In November 2016, Cheryl became a Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded project 'Reparations, Resonsibilites and Victimhood in Transitional Societies' (with L. Moffett and K. McEvoy, £655,198). The project website can be accessed here - reparations.qub.ac.uk.  Finally, Dr. Lawther is leading a Department for Education - Global Challenges Research Fund pilot project on representations of victimhood at dark tourist sites, with a specific focus on Cambodia.

In addition to these collaborative projects, Cheryl has had significant success in securiing research fellowships. These include a Fulbright Irish Scholar Award (2020) (based at the School of Law, UC Berkeley) and a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2022-2023). This latter award will facilitate the writing of a monograph on the construction and reproduction of victimhood in transitional justice, under contract with Oxford University Press.

Her research has garnered a number of awards. Her article “Securing’ the Past: Policing and the Contest over Truth in Northern Ireland’, British Journal of Criminology, 2010, 50, 3: 455-473 was awarded the Brian Williams Article Prize by the British Society of Criminology in July 2011.  This award is made in recognition of the best sole authored journal article by a ‘new’ scholar in the previous year.  A subsequent article - 'The Truth about Loyalty: Emotions, Ex-Combatants and Transitioning from the Past', International Journal of Transitional Justice, 2017, 11, 3:484-503 was shortlisted for the Socio-Legal Studies Association Article Prize.

Cheryl's key publications include the monograph Truth, Denial and Transition: Northern Ireland and the Contested Past (Routledge), co-edited (with L. Moffett and D. Jacobs) Research Handbook on Transitional Justice (co-edited with L. Moffett and D. Jacobs) (Edward Elgar) and journal articles in, amongst others, Social and Legal Studies, the International Journal of Transitional Justice, British Journal of Criminology, Journal of Human Rights in Practice, International Journal of Human Rights Practice, International Review of Victimology, Journal of Genocide Research and Policing and Society.

In addition to her scholarly committments, Cheryl is a trustee of the Human Rights Trust and is the former Vice Chair of the Committee on the Administration of Justice.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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