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    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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