Legislating Hierarchies of Victimhood and Perpetrators: The Civil Service (Special Advisers) Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 and the Meta-conflict

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article interrogates the premise that the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 (SPAD Act) serves victim interests in Northern Ireland. It draws on theoretical literature from the fields of transitional justice and victimology as well as empirical data relevant to the act, to critically evaluate the practical outworkings of the SPAD Act as distinct from the politically charged rhetoric that accompanied its initiation and passage. In doing so the article contends that the SPAD Act moves political disagreement over the issues of victimhood and wrongdoing in Northern Ireland onto a formal legislative footing. The article critiques the terms ‘innocent victim’ and ‘justice’ within the confines of the SPAD Act debate and argues that the narrow and divisive approach to these concepts has created both a post-conflict hierarchy of victimhood and a hierarchy of perpetrators that sustains and fuels disagreement over the past in the North of Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-353
Number of pages21
JournalSocial and Legal Studies
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date03 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Legislating Hierarchies of Victimhood and Perpetrators: The Civil Service (Special Advisers) Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 and the Meta-conflict'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this