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Transitional Justice, Confict Resolution, Socio-Legal Studies.

1993 …2022

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Kieran McEvoy is Professor of Law and Transitional Justice at the School of Law and a Senior Research Fellow at the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University Belfast. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

He has conducted research in over a dozen conflicted or transitional countries contexts on topics including politically motivated prisoners, ex-combatants, victims, amnesties, truth recovery, human rights, restorative justice and the role of lawyers in conflict transition. He has authored or co-authored four books, co-edited eight books or special issues, a four volume Handbook of Transitional Justice and over sixty journal articles and scholarly book chapters. His research has garnered a number of awards including the British Society of Criminology book of the year award and the Socio-legal Studies Association article of the year, 3 times.

He has conducted a large number of comparative research projects in countries including Colombia, South Africa, Chile, Tunisia, Argentina, Uruguay, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Israel, Palestine, Spain and Italy. In recent years these have included a project on Transforming Cultures of Violence from below: A Comparative model of Community-Based Peace-Building (with H. Mika, £270,000-funded by Atlantic Philanthropies) and ‘Beyond Legalism: Amnesties, Transition and Conflict Transformation (with L Mallinder £305,000, AHRC). He was also Principal Investigator on another AHRC funded project on Amnesties Prosecution and the Public Interest in Northern Ireland (with L. Mallinder and G. Anthony, £91,482); and an ESRC funded comparative project (Lawyers in Conflict and Transition, £490,000 - with L. Mallinder and A. Bryson).

In recent years he commenced work on a number of new projects. He is Principal Investigator on an ESRC funded project on Apologies, Abuses & Dealing with the Past (with A.M. McAlinden, A. Bryson, S. Maruna and M. Macarthaigh). He was also mentor\Senior Co-Investigator on a number of additional projects including; an AHRC funded project Voice, Agency and Blame: Victimhood and the Imagined Community in Northern Ireland (with C. Lawther PI and L. Dempster, £199,761, completed 2018); an ESRC funded project Truth, Accountability or Impunity? Transitional Justice and the Economic Crisis’ (with I. Kovras PI, S. Wheeler and N. Loizides, £521,000 -completed 2019) and another ongoing 3-year AHRC funded project Reparations, Responsibility and Victimhood in Transitional Societies (with L. Moffatt, C. Lawther and K. Hearty). In addition, he worked as Co-I with Colin Harvey PI, A. Bryson, R. O’Connell (UU) and A. Kramer on an ESRC funded two year project on Brexit and Northern Ireland: The Constitutional, Conflict Transformation, Human Rights and Equality Consequences (£237,202, completed 2019).

He has been a Visiting Scholar at New York University Law School; University of Cambridge; the London School of Economics, the School of Law at Berkeley, and was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at Harvard Law School for a year.

He has also been leading a team of academics and civil society activists on dealing with the past in Northern Ireland for a number of years. That project, supported by the AHRC, Queens Business Alliance and ESRC Accelerated Impact fund has resulted in a range of practical and policy reports designed to assist the public conversation on these difficult and sensitive issues. Outputs from that project have included; a ‘Model Bill’ on implementing the past focused elements of the Stormont House Agreement launched at the House of Lords in 2015, and papers presented to the UK Defence Select Committee (2017), Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Good Friday Agreement (2018) and Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee (2019). He has also co-authored a number of collaborative papers with local NGOs and academic colleagues on legacy issues.

 He is a long term human rights and peace activist in Northern Ireland, a former chair and Executive Committee member of the region’s main human rights NGO the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), and a founding member of Community Restorative Justice Ireland (CRJI). He also a member of the Board of the London based human rights NGO Rights and Security International.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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