Human Dignity as a Focus for Criminal Justice and Human Rights: Report on 6th Annual Postgraduate Conference, April 2012

The Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights’ 6th Annual Postgraduate Conference was held on 26th April 2012 in Áras na Laoi, UCC on the theme of “Transformation and Reform: Structures and Mechanisms for Rights-Based Protections”. The aim was to critically examine the implications for individuals and rights-based protections that arise from recent proposals for major reforms at the national, European and international level. This was reflected in the variety and high quality of papers presented on a wide range of topics including Scottish and Irish Criminal Processes, Gender and Sexual Offences, Racism and Hate Speech, Irish Legal Processes, International Criminal Law, and International Humanitarian Law.

Professor Christopher McCrudden of Queen’s University Belfast delivered the keynote address examining An Integrated Approach to International Human Rights through the Concept of Human Dignity. Professor McCrudden traced the origins of the concept of human dignity, and noted the implications for both methodological approaches to researching and substantive enforcement of human rights that arise from a renewed focus on human dignity within international human rights law.


A video of the event can be seen here

The conference attracted a total of 66 attendees with speakers from across the island of Ireland and the UK, including from UCC, TCD, UCD, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, University of Ulster, King’s College London, University of Strathclyde, NUIG, the Law Reform Commission, Griffith College Dublin, University of Nottingham, University of Aberdeen, University of Bedfordshire, Queen’s University Belfast, Queen Mary, University of London as well as legal and non-governmental practitioners.

A number of innovations were made to the conference programme this year including the introduction of a competition for best paper. The competition was won by Sarah Singer of Queen Mary, University of London. Sarah presented her paper titled “Exclusion from Refugee Status: Asylum Seekers & Terrorism in the UK” at a plenary session of the conference. The paper was very well received and provided a valuable opportunity to highlight the excellent standard of postgraduate research which the CCJHR seeks to promote.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion on the topic of Transformation and Reform. This was also a new addition to the CCJHR conference programme and allowed for reflection and discussion on the disparate issues raised in the plenary sessions and parallel workshops during the day.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended and presented at the conference, in particular Professor McCrudden and Sarah Singer, and for the excellent support from UCC Faculty staff on the day. Pictures from the conference and a podcast of the keynote speech by Professor McCrudden will be available shortly on the CCJHR website.

Save the Date: CCJHR 6th Annual Postgraduate Conference, 26th April 2012

The Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights (CCHJR) is pleased to announce that the 6th Annual Postgraduate Conference will take place in UCC on Thursday, 26th April 2012. The conference is aimed at postgraduate researchers working in the areas of criminal law, criminal justice and human rights.

Reflecting proposals for major reforms that will directly affect key national, European and international concerns, such as proposals for changes to the Irish legal profession and constitutional amendments, and the UN Treaty Body Reform process, the theme for this year’s event is “Transformation and Reform: Structures and Mechanisms for Rights-Based Protections”. This international one-day event is aimed at promising research scholars from Ireland, the UK and Europe in the areas of law, politics, philosophy and the related social sciences. Further details on the conference and a Call for Papers will be issued in early January 2012. For more information on the CCJHR, please visit:

Call for Papers – Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights Post-graduate Conference 2011

The Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights at University College Cork is pleased to announce its fifth Annual Postgraduate Conference which will take place on Thursday, 28th April, 2011.  The conference is aimed at those who are undertaking postgraduate research in the areas of criminal law, criminal justice and human rights.  The Organising Committee is particularly eager to incorporate multi-disciplinary perspectives. Abstracts are welcome from scholars from disciplines outside of law (such as politics, social studies, sociology and philosophy, for example) who are working on related topics. 
The theme for this year’s event is “Human Rights Protection and Criminal Justice in the Age of Crisis”. The aim is to reflect upon the impact of crises on fundamental rights protection and the criminal law.  We hope that this theme will encourage debate on the challenging and complex questions which arise in turbulent times. We are especially interested in papers that relate to human rights, criminal justice, criminal law or the intersection of these fields.  However, we also welcome papers dealing with issues outside these areas that fall within the broader theme of the conference.  Papers will be streamed thematically.  Anticipated sessions include “Contemporary Discourse in Criminal Law”, “Civil Liberties, Technology and State Security Claims” and “International Law, Human Rights and Development Policy”.  Session titles will be finalised based on submissions, and the Committee also invites proposals for additional streams.
This international one-day event has attracted promising research scholars from Ireland, the UK and Europe in the areas of law, politics, philosophy and the related social sciences. This year’s conference aims to build on this success. A report on last years conference – “Borders of Justice: Locating the Law in Times of Transition” – can be found here.

Details of the keynote speaker will follow shortly.

Please submit an abstract (max. 300 words) to the organising committee by Friday 18th February 2011. Successful conference submissions will be notified by Friday, 4th March 2011.

Submissions and further enquiries should be directed to