Observations on Criminal Justice in Accession States: Greece and Ireland

Anna Bryson, Seán McConville

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


In the field of public policy comparative studies can be illuminating and productive, but such analyses are extremely difficult to carry out. What may be represented as comparative research is all too often a recitation of the statistics of an aspect of the economic, cultural, social, demographic or other dimension of national life of two or more countries.

Other studies describe the different institutions or processes such as legal, financial or other bodies, or their product, be it throughput, sentencing, regulation, inspection, or whatever. It is always useful to gain a perspective on one’s own country, or any aspect of it, by looking at life lived beyond its borders. But these are comparisons only at a superficial level and can sometimes be misleading: context is essential and frequently hard to grasp and to explain.

It is not the purpose of this short paper to compare crime and criminal justice institutions in Ireland and Greece, but rather to set out some facts concerning economic and social developments in Ireland over the last several decades and to suggest that these two countries, on the periphery of Europe (and on diametrically opposite sides of that periphery) may have a number of features in common, in their history, their structures and their national character, which would suit them very well to be partners in comparative study.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationEssays in Honour of Professor C.D. Spinellis
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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