• Room 01.006 - 18 University Square

    United Kingdom

1993 …2020

Research output per year

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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 Institute of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, Queen’s University Belfast. 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 written or edited six books, a four volume Handbook of Transitional Justice, five special issues 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 (UU) £305,000, AHRC). He was recently 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 2016/17 he commenced work on a number of new projects. He is Principal Investigator on a 3 year ESRC funded project on Apologies, Abuses & Dealing with the Past (with A.M. McAlinden, A. Bryson, S. Maruna and M. Macarthaigh). He is 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); 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) and another 3 year AHRC funded project Reparations, Responsibility and Victimhood in Transitional Societies (with L. Moffatt, C. Lawther, R. Killean). In addition, he is working 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.

He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He has also 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 and Queens Business Alliance, 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 October 2015, a paper presented to the UK Defence Select Committee in March 2017 ‘Amnesties, Prosecutions & the Rule of Law in Northern Ireland’ and a collaborative paper written with a number of local NGOs and academic colleagues designed to help resolve the National Security impasse Dealing with the Past: A Proposed Model for Information Redaction under the Stormont House Agreement - launched in April 2017. 


He is a long term human rights and peace activist in Northern Ireland, a former chair 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 Watch UK.

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Research Output

Victims and Transitional Justice: Voice, Agency and Blame

McEvoy, K. & McConnachie, K., Dec 2013, In : Social and Legal Studies. 22, 4, p. 489–513 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 74 Citations (Scopus)
    18 Downloads (Pure)

    What Did the Lawyers Do During the 'War' ? Neutrality, Conflict and the Culture of Quietism

    McEvoy, K., May 2011, In : The Modern Law Review . 74 , 3, p. 350-384 35 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 20 Citations (Scopus)
    173 Downloads (Pure)

    Amnesties in Transition: Punishment, Restoration, and the Governance of Mercy

    McEvoy, K. & Mallinder, L., Sep 2012, In : Journal of Law and Society. 39, 3, p. 410-440 31 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 33 Citations (Scopus)
    1395 Downloads (Pure)

    Beyond the Wire: Former Prisoners and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland

    Shirlow, P. & McEvoy, K., Jan 2008, Pluto. 185 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    Economic & Social Research Council (External organisation)

    Kieran McEvoy (Member)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

    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


    Paramilitary imprisonment in Northern Ireland 1969-1999 : resistance, management & release

    Author: McEvoy, K., 2000

    Supervisor: Morison, J. (Supervisor) & Livingstone, S. (External person) (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The IRA and the shadow of the informer : punishment, governance, and dealing with the past

    Author: Dudai, R., Dec 2013

    Supervisor: McEvoy, K. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The management of sexual offenders in the community in Northern Ireland

    Author: McAlinden, A., Dec 2002

    Supervisor: Doran, S. (Supervisor) & McEvoy, K. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy