Obele Tom George Akinniranye
Thesis Title: Research topic: Exploring the legal ecosystem surrounding Artificial intelligence: Using the European Union as a case study to evaluate the effectiveness of the AI Civil liability Directive as it relates specifically to Humanoids (Autonomous Intelligent Robots).
Supervisor: Dr David Cowan
Abstract: The recent European Union Law on Artificial intelligence has four sliding categories of risk and numerous provisions that encourage innovation. In this thesis, I discuss the applicable duty of care as regards these risks particularly as regards autonomous robots known and referred to as humanoids. I take into consideration the need for any proposed scheme of liability to harmonize existing tort law valuation whilst acting as an incentive to innovation. I shall evaluate the distinction between types of autonomous intelligent robots and their associated risk categories. I shall propose a strict liability regime exploring personal injury and death and formulate a bespoke fault-based regime for other injuries suffered.
The proposed approach to regulation is to have a sliding scale with the rules based largely on risk, so the higher the perceived risk, the stricter the rules. The fundamental of the Act is a categorization system that determines the level of risk an AI technology could pose to the health and safety or fundamental rights of humans and its impact assessment for purpose of non-contractual liability. I shall review whether there is a need for a novel regime taking into consideration that humanoid as a programmed AI does not substantially increase the existing risk where in compliance with extant risk impact assessment procedures to justify an exit from the current civil liability regime.
Keywords: Artificial intelligence act, Civil liability, impact assessment, risk, Autonomous intelligent robots, Humanoids, Duty of care, presumptions
Biography: Obele Akinniranye is a PhD Research student Law, a law tutor, a Notary Public and a Barrister and Solicitor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Obele’s research interests are primarily in Information Technology Law, Data Protection Law, and Artificial Intelligence Law with emphasis on autonomous intelligent robots. Her research work which is pioneering in nature addresses fundamental analytical questions in the current civil liability regulatory framework and governance of Artificial Intelligence and its deployment within the European Union in the sphere of Autonomous intelligent Robot including outlining the safeguards and understanding the demands of innovation, creativity and equality in the technology economy. As a PhD researcher in Robotics arm of Artificial Intelligence Law, she delves deeply into the interdisciplinary world of Artificial Intelligence with her area of intersection being AI Ethics, Regulatory compliance, sustainable development goals and understanding and reviewing the societal and legal implications of AI. Her research delves into legal aspects of Society and AI seeking to incorporate the people process technology balances in the AI implementation process, reviews the Civic liability directive regulatory Framework for the Irish state and the EU level, its impact assessment considerations in the computation of damages.
Name: Shauna Philomena Armstrong
Funding: TUSLA Child and Family Agency Further Education and Training Award
Thesis Title: Children in Care and Their Overrepresentation in the Criminal Justice System: An Exploration of the Intersection Between the Risk Factor Prevention Paradigm, the Care System and Involvement with the Criminal Justice System
Supervisor: Dr. Etain Quigley
To fate, there has been no specific research in Ireland which focuses on the link between the care system, the Risk Factor Prevention Paradigm, specific risk and protective factors for young people in care. This is important as identifying these risk and protective factors that are specific to young people in care will ultimately contribute to evidenced based policy developments which will subsequently assist with reducing the overrepresentation of young people in care within the criminal justice system. The Risk Factor Prevention Paradigm ultimately is a tool used to identify the key risk factors for offending to implement prevention methods used to counteract them. With such an approach being used, not only to identify variables to be targeted, but also to identify persons to be targeted by an intervention programme. Typically, things such as low intelligence, low empathy, impulsiveness, family problems, abuse and neglect are identified as factors likely to put a person at greater risk of getting into trouble. As such, it is fair to say that children in care are automatically placed into this category of at risk individuals by the sheer nature of being in the care environment. Therefore, it can be argued that the Risk Factor Prevention Paradigm is a blunt instrument to use in relation to children in care. As such, I intend to use the Risk Factor Prevention Paradigm as inspiration to develop a more applicable risk and protective model that is more sensitive to the particular circumstances of children in the care system.
Having spent 12 years in the care system herself, Shauna offers a unique perspective to her research. Shauna has spent the last few years being a strong advocate for young people in the care system by telling her story so that others do not feel alone in their struggle. Shauna set out on her journey to incite change in the care system by firstly obtaining a PLC in Legal Studies from Drogheda Institute of Further Education. She then obtained a BCL Law and Criminology Undergraduate Degree from Maynooth University and most recently, she obtained a MA in Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice Postgraduate Degree from Maynooth University. Shauna actively participates in both policy and practical areas of the care system. She sits on an Advisory Committee to the Board of Management at TUSLA HQ, she is a member of the National Children in the Care of the State and the Education System Working Group at DCU, and sits on the North County Dublin Foster Carer Review Board. Shauna also holds a position in the Department of Justice where she deals with Tribunals and Commissions of Inquiry.
Name: Natasha Bradley Byrne
Thesis Title: “Who's responsible here?”- An Examination of attributing criminal liability for harm caused by Lethal Autonomous Weapons in armed conflict
Supervisors: Dr. Amina Adana and Dr. Noelle Higgins
Advances in modern technology and artificial intelligence are penetrating many areas of modern life; the weapons used in warfare and the consequential crimes are no exception. One of the challenges for the international legal community is to remain dynamic in responding to advances in technology and weaponry. Lethal Autonomous Weaponry (LAWs) are a type of modern weaponry utilizing artificial intelligence which has the potential to commit violations under International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law. To date there is no universal agreed upon definition of LAWs within the global community. However, The International Committee of the Red Cross defines LAWs as “weapon systems which select and apply force to targets without human intervention. After initial activation or launch by a person, an autonomous weapon system self-initiates or triggers a strike in response to information from the environment received through sensors and on the basis of a generalized “target profile””. The target profile engaged by LAWs created using pre-programmed algorithms and sensor suite data. This definition has been extended by numerous states and other independent organisations to include various categories of autonomous weaponry such as drones and land-based weaponry. The use of these modern weaponry systems is no longer speculative with reports of LAWs being used in various recent armed conflicts including Azerbaijan and Libya and in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
One of the areas in which the utilization of LAWs in armed conflict has created a need for a dynamic response is International Criminal law which seeks to prohibit certain criminal conduct, including during armed conflict. International Criminal Law holds individuals accountable for atrocities committed that affect the entire international community. For a person to be held criminally responsible they must fulfil the established legal maxim of “actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea”. This maxim requires both a guilty mind (mens rea) and a criminal act (actus reus) for a person to be held criminally responsible. With advances in modern technology, criminal acts can still be committed, however, the prerequisite guilty mind (mens rea) requirement becomes much more difficult to ascertain as LAW’s select and engage targets based on pre-programmed algorithms and sensor suite data. This in turn leads to challenges in prosecuting crimes and fulfilling the prerequisite mens rea requirement. This research project focuses on exploring International Criminal Law precedents with a focus on the development of concept of mens rea. The aim of this research is to track the development of the concept of mens rea from Ancient Law to modern times and establish how precedents from the past can be applied to modern artificial intelligence weaponry and establish how criminal accountability can be upheld for acts committed via LAWs.
Natasha graduated from Maynooth University in 2020 with her BCL Law with Arts (English). In 2021 she completed the micro credential at Maynooth University in Whistleblowing Law and Policy. She also completed the LLM in International Justice in 2022 with a first-class honour. Her Masters dissertation focused on the differentiation between Torture and Cruel and Inhumane Treatment. Natasha commenced her PhD with The School of Law and Criminology in January 2023 where she also tutors in a range of undergraduate law modules. Natasha is an active member of the UNWCC network steering committee.
Publications: RTE Brainstorm
Conferences: 2023: WINIR Conference on Technology and Institutional Change “Tracing the Concept of Mens Rea from Ancient Law to Modern Times: Can precedents from the past”
Chloë Cass BL
Thesis Title: Left out in the cold: the vulnerable plaintiff in the Irish Civil System
Supervisor: Dr Sinéad Ring
Victimhood in Ireland has a particular legal meaning. A victim is 'a natural person who has suffered harm including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss, which was directly caused by an offence’.1 With this title comes a package of legal rights which recognise victimhood, allow for active participation and confer protections such as a right to avoid contact with the offender. If you have suffered a harm and it is not recognised as a crime, you will not attract victim status. Given that the same harm can give rise to both a tort and a crime, it begs the question “Should a plaintiff be recognised as having victim status?”.
This project will consider what justifies a distinction between criminal law and tort law, which in turn legitimates victims of crime gaining legal protection but not victims of torts. It will propose an alternative framework using theories of vulnerability 2, harm 3 and embodiment 4.
Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017, S 2(1).
Stiina Loytomaki, 'Law and Memory: The Politics Of Victimhood' (2012) 12 Griffith Law Review,1.
Joanne Conaghan, 'Law, Harm And Redress: A Feminist Perspective' (2002) 22 Legal Studies, 322
Lauren Freeman, 'Embodied Harm: A Phenomenological Engagement With Stereotype Threat' (2017) 40 Human Studies.
Chloë is a practising barrister, lecturer and tutor. She has a mixed practice on the Eastern Circuit, with a special focus towards personal injuries law, family law and language rights. Chloë graduated with a BCL in Law and Irish from Maynooth University and a Barrister at Law Degree from King’s Inns. She lectures the Legal Diploma in City Colleges as well as the Diploma in Corporate Fraud Investigation. Chloë has also delivered guest lectures in the Law Society and TU Dublin, as well as giving CPD’s for CMG (2021, 2022) and the Bar of Ireland(2021). She tutors in King’s Inns in a variety of subjects including Human Rights, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Law. Chloë has previously tutored in Maynooth and UCD as well as acting as a moot judge for Maynooth and Foras na Gaeilge.
Name: Harry Chikasamba
Funding: International Disability Alliance (IDA) only for the first two years
Thesis Title: Progress on course or on hold? Narratives and counternarratives on OPD participation in decision-making processes
Supervisor: Prof. Delia Ferri & Prof. Malcolm MacLachlan
Abstract: Disability rights are primarily proclaimed, protected and promoted by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). General comments, and Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the CRPD (CRPD Committee) support interpretation and implementation of the Convention. The CRPD requires States parties to ensure participation of persons with disabilities through their representative organisations (OPDs). However, both the CRPD and the Committee’s jurisprudence have not fully clarified what ‘participation’ means, and has often given contradictory indications on which processes may be considered compliant with the CRPD. This lack of clarity has resulted in governments failing to fully involve persons with disabilities in public policy decision-making processes. My research, which is socio-legal in nature, focuses on addressing this gap by clarifying the scope and depth of the obligations that governments have under the CRPD to ensure meaningful participation of OPDs. The research does this by drawing on international disability law. In addition to clarifying the scope of participation in theory, my research also seeks to develop a taxonomy of existing and potential actions that are necessary to achieve meaningful participation in practice. Thus, my research will impact both knowledge production in academia and facilitate radical social change in how persons with disabilities globally participate in public policy decision-making processes. To achieve this, my study combines doctrinal and qualitative research methods.
Biography: I am a disability law and human rights expert from Malawi, with a Master of Laws (LLM) obtained with Distinction from the University of Leeds in the UK. I worked as a Human Rights Intern with the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva, which exposed me to the inner working of the UN human rights mechanisms and sharpened my understanding of the dynamics at play. I have also engaged with the World Blind Union (WBU) as a Human Rights Policy Advisor, where I spearheaded the development of global initiatives in human rights advocacy and policy – primarily revolving around ensuring strict compliance with the CRPD and other international human rights instruments. For a decade, I worked with grassroot organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) and a few national human rights NGOs in Malawi, which enabled me to cultivate a comprehensive understanding of the complexities surrounding human rights issues of marginalised populations in the Global South, and this further solidified my commitment to the pursuit of social justice.
- Harry CHIKASAMBA, ‘Zooming in the intersection of disability law and climate change: A global and African perspective’ (11th Annual Conference on Disability Rights in Africa, Johannesburg, 20-21 November 2023)
- Harry CHIKASAMBA, ‘Progress on course or on hold? Narratives and counternarratives on OPD participation and social sustainability’ (PhD and Early Career Researchers Conference, Online, 03 May 2023)
- Edister Jamu & Harry CHIKASAMBA, ‘Academic talent development in the face of inclusive higher education in Malawi’ (Annual Conference on Disability Rights in Africa, Pretoria, 6-7 November 2018)
- Harry CHIKASAMBA, ‘Equitable access to higher education in Malawi: A disability perspective’ ((International Conference on Higher Education, Mangochi, 26-27 June 2018)
: Chunhyang Chong
Current Funding: Maynooth School of Law and Criminology Doctoral Scholarship
Thesis Title: The Meaning of ‘Protection’ in International Refugee Law
Supervisor : Dr Bríd Ní Ghráinne
Abstract: This research critically examines the scope, content, and meaning of ‘protection’ in International Refugee Law (IRL). To be recognized as a refugee under IRL, an individual must demonstrate a lack (or failure) of state protection against persecution feared. Over time, the interpretation of IRL has evolved significantly, notably through the human rights approach. For example, the definition of ‘persecution’ initially referred to the absence of diplomatic protection but is now widely understood to encompass severe and systematic violations of basic human rights and lack of state protection. In other words, the criteria for determining refugee status have been changing, and ‘protection’ plays a more critical role in assessing whether one is a refugee.
However, due to the absence of consensus on the meaning of ‘protection,’ its interpretation varies among refugee-receiving states, allowing them to deny refugee status based on their own interpretations. For example, while only states have traditionally been considered actors of protection in IRL, there have been regional asylum laws and case laws where non-state actors (e.g., clans and militias) have been regarded as entities capable of providing protection in certain situations. The rationale often seen to explain these developments includes that refugee law requires evolutionary interpretation because it is a ‘living instrument.’
What do we currently know about ‘protection’? The lack of clarity surrounding this concept raises several important questions. What does ‘state protection’ mean? What level of protection is required from the country of origin to deny one’s refugee status? Can non-state actors fulfil a supplementary role to bridge the protection gaps accorded by the country of origin? What is the interrelation between the principle of surrogacy and the human rights approach? I aim to answer these questions by critically reconsidering the existing approach to IRL.
Chunhyang completed her MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies at the University of London in 2021 with distinction. In her MA dissertation, she examined how UK case law interprets the concept of Internal Protection Alternative (IPA). Prior to joining Maynooth, Chunhyang worked at the UNHCR Japan as a Protection Assistant (2022-2023) where she conducted various policy and legal analyses.
Aleks graduated with a 2.1 from her degree in Theology and Arts in 2020 from St. Patrick’s Pontifical University and Maynooth University, during which she was a successful participant in the SPUR programme. She followed this with an MA in Data Protection and Privacy Law from DCU in 2021 where she came 3rd and which led to a co-authored publication on health data in the context of Covid. Aleks recently completed an advanced Diploma in Planning Permission and Environmental Law at King’s Inns, while also working as a legal intern and subsequently a data protection officer. In March 2023, Aleks was awarded competitive funding to undertake her PhD thesis in the field of environmental and agricultural law, linked to the Horizon Europe Project P2GreeN. While her main research interests are within the area of environmental law, Aleks’ background in theology has influenced an interest in Neo-Spinozism and coupled human-environment systems. In Aleks’ spare time, she enjoys painting and grand strategy games. Her favourite authors include Cormac McCarthy and James Joyce.
Thesis Title: Legal analysis of the status of customs territories under the GATT/WTO: The EU as a “customs territory” in the WTO.
Supervisor: Dr Oisin Suttle
Abstract: The research examines unexplored and underexplored issues in the GATT/WTO accession criteria and analyzes the accession paths of some members and their compliance with the GATT/WTO membership criteria. The main example of these underexplored issues is the full autonomy criterion. The GATT/WTO puts the condition of having full autonomy in external commercial relations to the candidates for the membership, but the full autonomy criterion in terms of GATT/WTO membership has not been defined clearly. Another important issue in the research is that, unlike many other international organizations, the GATT/WTO opens its membership to non-state entities besides sovereign states. So, the research examines the procedure and limits of the membership of supranational and sub-national entities. Therefore, one of the important issues in the research will relate to the EU membership in the WTO. The EU’s status in the WTO has not been defined clearly, and the research will thereby scrutinize the EU’s status.
So, the research aims to find answers to the following questions:
- How is the concept and scope of the full autonomy criterion defined in terms of the GATT/WTO?
- What are the procedures and limits of the accession of non-state actors to the WTO? What is the existing practice for non-state actors in the WTO?
- What is the status of the EU in the WTO? Does the EU comply with the GATT/WTO provisions to gain WTO membership?
The research will be a significant study for enlightening uncleared issues in the WTO accession and will bring a clear view of the accession procedure of non-state actors. The research outcomes will be beneficial for the future accession practice of WTO, in particular, for non-state candidates. Additionally, the research will contribute to the more transparent status of the EU in the WTO and will provide insights into the legal status of the EU in international law.
Biography: Prior to commencing his doctoral studies in Law at Maynooth University in 2021, Farid obtained his LLB degree from Baku State University (Azerbaijan) and pursued further education at the Saarland University (Germany), obtaining a degree in LLM with a specialization in International Trade and European Economic Law. The primary focus of his research lies in the examination of various issues within the legal framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO). He conducted research about the Reformed Government Procurement Agreement of the WTO and its implementation by the EU, possible positive and negative outcomes of the establishment of a harmonised system of non-preferential rules of origin, anti-dumping as a trade defence instrument in the EU, etc. In addition to his research activities, Farid also tutors in EU law at Maynooth University.
Funding: Graduate Teaching Studentship
Thesis Title: Tutelam Corporum: A Critical Analysis of Witness Protection in Ireland
Supervisor: Professor Claire Hamilton
Since the somewhat improvised inception of ‘witness protection’ in the 1980s, emanating from the states’ desire for a “strategy to secure convictions against major organised crime figures”; The procedures afforded (or lack thereof) towards such witnesses have been continually highlighted and scrutinised by politicians, institutional bodies, members of the judiciary and legal academics alike. The issue garnered particular attention in the late 1990s in the aftermath of the murder of crime reporter Veronica Guerin.
The concept of a ‘protected witness’ presents a myriad of complex legal issues which mandate careful consideration for any prospective legislator or judge. Despite it being somewhat ubiquitous nowadays, Ireland remains one of only a handful of countries, either developed or developing, which does not possess any specific governing legislation on this potentially pernicious issue, which encompasses a broad range of interwoven rights, interests, principles and philosophies of law.
The aim of this research project is to examine the measures currently employed by the state concerning witness protection, as well as their associated implications, from the context of three key perspectives: The State, the protected witness and the accused. The study employs a comparative methodology in order to gain insight into the approaches of other relevant jurisdictions. Ultimately, the project aims to determine whether the states’ current legal understanding of witness protection ‘lawfully and prudently’ balances all vested parties’ interests, and to make recommendations as appropriate.
Aaron graduated from Maynooth University in 2020 with a First-Class Bachelor of Law (International) degree. In 2020, Aaron was elected by the President of ELSA (European Law Students’ Association) Ireland to the position of National Director for Alumni, as well as being a representative member on the Board of Management for the Association.
Aaron commenced his PhD in January 2021, as a successful recipient of the Department sponsored Studentship, tutoring in undergraduate areas of Law including Introduction to Criminal Justice, Tort Law and Evidence Law.
2021: Most Read on RTE Brainstorm – The Secret World of the Irish Witness Protection Programme
2021: Presentation of THE GREATEST LEGAL ENGINE VERSUS WITNESS PROTECTION: EXAMINATION OF A PROTECTED WITNESS at the Maynooth-Modena Colloquia.
Name:Victoria Oluwatobi Isa Daniel
Current Funding: Maynooth Law Department Doctoral Scholar
Thesis Title: Access to Legal Advice and Assistance for International Protection Applicants
International and EU law obligations require States to develop an asylum system that properly identifies and supports people in need of international protection. A critical component of a functional and human rights-compliant asylum system is providing international protection applicants (‘asylum seekers’) with high-quality legal assistance. Although the EU’s Asylum Procedures Directive provides that ‘every applicant should have the opportunity to consult a legal adviser’, European studies on the provision of legal assistance in asylum proceedings express concerns about the effectiveness of the legal assistance afforded to asylum seekers. This is apprehension is reflected in the current state of access to and quality of legal assistance for asylum seekers in Ireland as the system is more concentrated on providing legal advice rather than guaranteeing legal representation at the initial interview, therefore proving insufficient. Community advocates have consistently emphasised that ’the difficulty people have in accessing legal advice and assistance from qualified solicitors means that people seeking asylum in Ireland have great difficulty in getting a positive decision’.
While the Irish direct provision and international protection determination systems have been the subject of sustained critique due to serious human rights deficiencies, the specific issue of access to legal assistance has been neglected in both the domestic and the international literature. This socio-legal study offers the first comprehensive and scholarly review of the existing law, policy, and practice in this area in Ireland. It critically analyses whether Irish law, policy and practice comply with regional and international legal obligations (including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights). The study will adopt doctrinal, comparative, and qualitative methodologies. Crucially, this thesis will draw on in-depth interviews with legal practitioners and relevant stakeholders to understand how Irish law and policies relating to legal assistance for asylum seekers and refugees work in practice.
Victoria graduated top of her class from Maynooth University’s first cohort of BCL Law and Criminology student in 2020. During her undergraduate degree, Victoria received a research award from the law department for her contributions in 2020. Victoria then went on to study an LL.M. in International Human Rights and Public Policy in University College Cork. Her LL.M. thesis explored the right to legal advice and assistance for international applicants in Ireland. Victoria has worked in the field of Immigration law and research on several projects with various non-governmental organisations. Her interests are around advocacy, human rights, and refugee law. Victoria has hosted events on the Refugee determination process with a panel of legal professionals on Refugee week in 2021. Victoria was offered a John and Pat Hume Scholarship and awarded the Maynooth Law Department Doctoral Scholarship in 2021 to undertake her PhD research in the area of Refugee Law under the supervision of Dr. Cliodhna Murphy.
Danielle C. Jefferis
Funding: Irish Research Council
Thesis Title: CONSPACE: Penal Nationalism and the Northern Ireland Border – Border Living
Supervisor: Dr Lynsey Black
Abstract: The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is a contested space, one that has been the site of policing and punishment since its inception a century ago and one that achieves an urgent timeliness post-Brexit. CONSAPCE is a multi-strand, interdisciplinary project that aims to study successive phases of penal nationalism, defined as “a form of state power that relies on the logics and legitimacy of criminal justice to protect national interests,” at the Irish border (Barker 2021). The project will provide a new framework for understanding the role of national interests and state power in criminology, joining a novel case study – the Irish case – to an important dialogue and testing debates and theories in a different context.
Danielle’s research focus is Border Living, a project strand that examines the embeddedness of border security and punishment in the mundanity of day-to-day life at and around the Irish border. Border Living investigates the ways in which ordinary people have lived and continue to live under imposing security regimes, as well as the experiences of those who have and continue to police this region. Lived experiences of penal power in the contested border space may yield insights into the manners in which, and the reasons why, national interests manifest through policing and punishment and the ways in which the law and legal actors both construct and react to perceived identities (e.g., Other, Threat, Insider/Outsider, etc.).
Border Living relies on a mixed, reflexive methodology, combining documentary research and participant research. The documentary research focuses on archival sources such as legal texts, governmental records, and newspapers to trace themes of border policing and punishment through successive historical phases. The participant research consists of focus groups and oral history interviews, as well as photovoice, involving people living and working in border regions. The focus groups and oral history interviews will be voice recorded to allow for the preservation of participants’ inferences and emphases, and subject to analysis through an iterative process of meaning-making within the historical context. The documentary and participant research are complementary, each enhancing the usefulness of the other and creating a more nuanced record. They join the recorded past to the remembered past, and the past to the present.
Source: Barker, V. (2021) Penal Nationalism: The Penal Technologies of Migration Control in Sweden. Nordiques (Online), 40:1-9, https://doi.org/10.4000/nordiques.1454.
Biography: Danielle is a US-trained civil rights lawyer and legal academic. In addition to her work on the Irish border, she researches and writes about prisons and the law governing incarceration.
- Presenter, “CONSPACE: Penal Nationalism and the Northern Ireland Border,” 2023 North South Criminology Conference, Dublin City University (June 16, 2023) (with Dr Lynsey Black).
- Presenter, “CONSPACE: Penal Nationalism and the Northern Ireland Border,” Somewhere in Between: Borders and Borderlands, Birbeck / University of London (April 30, 2023) (with Dr Lynsey Black).
- Presenter, “CONSPACE: Penal Nationalism and the Northern Ireland Border,” Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, Derry, Northern Ireland (April 4, 2023) (with Dr Lynsey Black).
Name: Firdavs Kabilov
Funding: Maynooth University Department of Law Scholarship
Thesis Title: Mainstreaming Climate Change into Project Finance: A Path to Sustainability through Public-Private Partnerships
Supervisor: Dr. Edana Richardson
The research investigates the role of finance as the engine of change in responding to the challenge of climate change. In the face of ongoing global warming and habitat loss, the financial industry has a two-fold responsibility. On the one hand, it needs to take measures to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on its business and clients. On the other hand, it should help to build a sustainable future by redirecting funds to ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ projects. Yet within the financial industry, there remains a prioritisation of commercial value over broader public interests. From a legal perspective, a question that arises is how such prioritisation is sustained in the face of significant environmental implications, and the role existing legal and voluntary frameworks play in facilitating this.
With that said, a change in perception, and a shift in practice, may now be starting to happen. One example is the emergence of environmental, social and governance indicators applied by investors and fund managers. Through doctrinal and qualitative investigation, Firdavs’ research, explores the legal, regulatory, and structural implications of incorporating climate change considerations into financing activities in the European Union (EU). The choice of jurisdiction is inspired by the EU’s global leadership in supporting the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient and sustainable economy. In particular, the research will focus on financing with respect to large infrastructure projects under public-private partnerships mechanisms (PPP), and their suitability for environmentally-friendly infrastructure financing and development. The legal interaction between PPP financing and climate change goals remains underexplored in an academic context. This doctoral research aims to address this gap, and to make recommendations that have policy and practical implications for ongoing efforts to build a climate friendly future.
Firdavs started his doctoral studies at the Maynooth University Department of Law in October 2021. He holds a law degree from the University of Edinburgh (LLM). Prior to joining Maynooth, Firdavs has worked as a legal practitioner focusing on infrastructure, renewable energy and other regulated sectors in Uzbekistan. He has also advised international organizations and governments across Central Asia on environment, water and climate change related issues. In addition to legal practice and international consultancy work, Firdavs held the position of a Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law at Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, an accredited institution of Westminster University in London.
Jakhongir-Salim Abdurazzakov & Firdavs Kabilov (Aug 2021), “The Renewable Energy Law Review: Uzbekistan” in The Law Reviews by Law Business Research Ltd, UK (4th edition)
Firdavs Kabilov (Jan 2018) “Local Water Management in Tajikistan: Legal Framework”, (2017) 3(2) Central Asian Journal of Water Research, 73-88
Alexander Platonov, Kai Wegerich, Jusipbek Kazbekov, Firdavs Kabilov “Beyond the state order? Second crop production in the Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan”, (2014) 2 International Journal of Water Governance, 83–104
Oliver Olsson, Kai Wegerich & Firdavs Kabilov “Water Quantity and Quality in the Zerafshan River Basin: Only an Upstream Riparian Problem?”, (2012) 28(3) International Journal of Water Resources Development, 493-505
Kai Wegerich, Jusipbek Kazbekov, Firdavs Kabilov & Nozilakhon Mukhamedova “Meso-level Cooperation on Transboundary Tributaries and Infrastructure in the Ferghana Valley”, (2012) 28(3) International Journal of Water Resources Development, 525- 543
Funding: Irish Research Council, award number GOIPG/2022/620
Thesis Title: The Legal & Ethical Impacts of Emerging Reproductive Technologies: A Human Rights-Based Analysis of Complete Ectogenesis from an Irish Perspective
Supervisor: Professor Aisling McMahon
Ectogenesis, the growth of a fetus outside the body in an artificial womb, is an emerging area in assisted reproductive technologies. Two types of ectogenesis exist: complete ectogenesis which would involve growing a fetus entirely outside of the human body, from conception to birth, in an artificial womb technology; and partial ectogenesis which is the transfer of a fetus at some point during pregnancy from the human body to develop in an artificial womb. While ectogenesis is not yet possible, though by some definitions partial ectogenesis includes current neonatal intensive care practices, developments in partial ectogenesis in animals are developing at pace.
Given such developments, it is vital to establish what legal and bioethical issues complete ectogenesis may give rise to, including understanding how its use might impact intended parent(s), intended child(ren) who may be born using such technologies, and society more broadly given the changes it could bring for reproduction.
This thesis focuses on these timely issues and develops proposals for the regulation of ectogenesis in light of the human rights implications of this emerging reproductive technology. Ireland presents a particularly challenging landscape to regulate ectogenesis because there is no tailored regulation for artificial human reproduction here and the latest proposal, the General Scheme of Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017, makes no reference to ectogenesis. There is no current research on the legal implications of or pathways for regulating ectogenesis in Ireland. Using a human rights based analysis and framework, this thesis aims to fill this gap.
Alanna graduated from Maynooth University with an LLB (first class honours) in 2021, having received an entrance scholarship, awarded on the basis of academic merit, in 2017. She graduated from Maynooth University with an LLM in Global Legal Studies (first class honours) in 2023, having received a Taught Master’s Scholarship. During her LLM studies, Alanna was awarded a legal writing prize by Matheson LLP, having received the highest grade in the written assignment of the Funds Law module. In 2022, Alanna was awarded an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship for her PhD studies. She was recently awarded ‘highly commended’ at the postgraduate poster competition in the SLSA conference for her poster on the use of ectogenesis in space, based on her PhD research. She also published an article in RTÉ Brainstorm in April 2023, considering the potential legal and ethical implications posed by ectogenesis.
Alanna recently worked as a Research Assistant on an Irish Research Council funded New Foundations project examining the legal and ethical issues related to providing access to advanced cancer immunotherapies (focusing on CAR-T cell therapy) in Ireland. This project is conducted by Principal Investigator, Professor Aisling McMahon, in partnership with Breakthrough Cancer Research.
Professor Aisling McMahon, Alanna Kells, Sinead Masterson, ‘Access and Provision of CAR-T Therapies in Ireland for Cancer Care: The Current & Future Landscape, Opportunities and Challenges: Legal, Ethical and Broader Policy Considerations’, report developed as part of the Irish Research Council funded: ‘Patients’ Access to Advanced Cancer Therapies: Ethics and Equity of Access’ (PAACT) project (2023) https://issuu.com/breakthroughcancerresearch/docs/access_and_provision_of_car-t_therapies_-_final_ve
Alanna Kells, ‘Could babies soon be grown outside of the human body in artificial wombs?’ RTÉ Brainstorm, 20 April 2023 https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2023/0420/1378091-artificial-womb-ectogenesis-brave-new-world/
Conferences: Alanna Kells, Poster presentation: ‘The Use of Ectogenesis for Space Exploration’, Socio-legal Studies Association (SLSA) Conference, Derry-Londonderry, April 2023
Triona Kenny (she/her)
Funding: School of Law and Criminology Doctoral Scholarship
Thesis Title: Reducing Secondary Victimisation in the Irish Criminal Justice System – A Novel Application of Therapeutic Jurisprudence
Supervisor: Dr. Ian Marder and Dr. Avril Brandon
Secondary victimisation (SV), wherein victims are retraumatised by criminal justice processes and professionals, is widely recognised in the international literature. While it is acknowledged that SV occurs in Ireland, there is limited empirical research examining its scale and nature, nor the possible solutions. Therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) argues that legal processes and actors have therapeutic and anti-therapeutic properties and effects on citizens; however, despite its clear applicability, the international literature has yet to explore the ways in which TJ can impact and address the harms of SV (e.g., guilt, depression, diminished trust in the legal system) (Campbell, 2005; Orth, 2002). This research aims to: 1) establish the extent and nature of SV for victims of different offences in Ireland; and 2) identify how to apply TJ to maximise the therapeutic properties, and minimise the anti-therapeutic properties, of Irish criminal justice for victims. This will be achieved through a mixed methods study, involving quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews with victims who have experience of criminal justice processes. Following an initial phase involving quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews, workshops will be organised with victims and victim service providers to explore what changes can be made to processes and services to improve victims’ experiences.
Triona graduated with a first-class honours degree in Criminology (major) and Sociology (minor) from Maynooth University in 2020. In 2021, she graduated top of her class from the Maynooth University MA Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice with a first-class honours and received the Department of Law State Responses to Historical Gendered Violence Prize in the Maynooth University Prizes and Scholarship Awards 2021. Her dissertation, titled “The Clumsy Blunt Instrument That is the Criminal Justice System”: Secondary Victimisation, Therapeutic Jurisprudence & the Potential of Legal System Victim Impact Statements as a Tool for Irish Criminal Justice Reform, coundcuted empirical research to examine the extent and nature of secondary victimisation in Ireland, as percieved by those who work directly with victims of crime through victim support organisaitons. In 2022, Triona received the School of Law and Criminology Doctoral scholarship to conduct empirical research with victims of crime about their experiences of secondary victimisaiton in the Irish criminal justice process, and to work with victims, victim service providers, and criminal justice stakeholders to identify ways to promote the therapeutic conseuqences and mitigate the anti-therapeutic consequnces of Irish criminal justice for victims.
Since 2020, Triona has been a teaching assistant with the School of Law and Criminology, providing teaching, marking, and administrative support across modules on victimology, criminal justice, policing, and criminological research methods. Aslo since 2020, Triona has been a research assistant across a number of funded and voluntary projects that have focused on victimological education, pedagogy, and resorative practices/justice. She has received additional training in restorative practices (Childhood Development Initiative), sexual violence awareness and discloure (Dublin Rape Crisis Centre), mini-consent workshop (Dublin Rape Crisis Centre), departmental tutor training (School of Law and Criminology), trauma informed care (Quality Matters), and strategies for mitigating trauma through care of self and others (University of Kentucky). In 2023, Triona was invited to complete Consent Ambassador training and became a voluntary Consent Ambassador with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s We-Consent campaign.
Key Focus Areas:
Victimology, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Trauma and Trauma Informed Practice, Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System, Restorative Practices
- Marder, I., Vaugh, T., Kenny, C., Dempsey, S., Savage, E., Weiner, R., Duffy, K. & Hughes, G. (2022) “Enabling student participation in course review and redesign: piloting restorative practices and design thinking in an undergraduate criminology programme”, Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 33(4), 526-547.
- Marder, I., Vaugh, T., Dempsey, S., Kenny, C., Savage, E. & Weiner, R. (2021) Participatory mechanisms for reviewing and redesigning curricula with students, Team Teaching and Learning Fellowships 2020, Maynooth University, pp. 5-12.
- Kenny, C. (2021) Gavin and Sabbagh (2019) on restorative community courts in Ireland [online]. Available at: restorativejustice.ie.
- Kenny, C (2021) Van Camp and Wemmers (2013) on victim satisfaction with restorative justice [online]. Available at: restorativejustice.ie.
- Duffy, K., Kenny, C. & Hughes, G. (2021). The Meeting Review [online]. Available at: restorativejustice.ie.
- “CTL Teaching and Learning Fellowship Showcase Event”, The Centre for Teaching and Learning, Maynooth University (online, 20 October 2022).
- “A Restorative Approach to Teaching in Higher Education”, Estonian Ministry of Justice, workshop (online, 04 May 2021).
- “Restorative approaches to designing restorative justice assessments in higher education”, Restorative Justice Pedagogy Network, workshop (online, 22 April 2021; video here).
- “Participatory mechanisms for reviewing and redesigning curricula with students”, final workshop of Team Teaching & Learning Fellowship for academic colleagues (online, 23rd Apr 2021).
Name: Muiread Murphy
Funding: Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship (2019-2023)
Thesis Title: The Investigation and Identification of Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Labour Exploitation: A Frontline Actor Perspective
Supervisor: Dr. Clíodhna Murphy & Dr. Charles O'Sullivan
Muiread’s research will focus on State obligations relating to the investigation and identification of victims of severe labour exploitation, drawing on international, European and domestic law. For the purpose of this research, the concept of “severe labour exploitation” encompasses trafficking for labour exploitation, slavery, servitude and forced labour (EUFRA 2014). Through a combination of doctrinal and qualitative research, the proposed research will be novel in examining the difficulties associated with identification and investigation both in law and in practice, considering how criminal law and labour law approaches may be integrated more effectively to ensure comprehensive investigation and identification regimes.
Muiread graduated from Maynooth University with a first class honours Bachelor of Laws Degree in 2017. On the basis of her undergraduate performance, she was nominated by the Maynooth University Law Department to participate in the Chief Justice’s Superior Court Summer Internship Programme in the Summer of 2017. In 2018, she completed a Masters in Arts Degree (Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice), with first class honours. Muiread was awarded the Maynooth Alumni Scholarship to complete this Masters Degree. Her MA thesis explored the difficulties encountered in the identification of victims of labour trafficking.
David M. Doyle, Clíodhna Murphy, Muiread Murphy, Pablo Rojas Coppari and Rachel J. Wechsler, ‘“I Felt Like She Owns Me”: Exploitation and Uncertainty in the Lives of Labour Trafficking Victims in Ireland’ (2019) 59(1) The British Journal of Criminology 231-251.
Clíodhna Murphy, David M. Doyle and Muiread Murphy, ‘“Still Waiting” for Justice: Migrant Workers’ Perspectives on Labour Exploitation in Ireland’ (2020) 49(3) Industrial Law Journal 318-351.
Muiread Murphy, David M. Doyle and Clíodhna Murphy, ‘Labour trafficking and the challenges of victim identification in Ireland: exploring the legacy of Article 4 UDHR’ in N. Higgins, A. Adanan, D.M. Doyle and M. Doherty (eds), The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: A Review of Successes and Challenges (Clarus Press 2020).
Name: Catherine O’Connell
Catherine is a practicing mediator, restorative dialogue facilitator, conflict management coach and delivers training in all three areas. From 2014 to 2020 Catherine has been a lecturer in restorative practice, mediation and conflict management coaching at the Edward Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University. She also has been engaged in various peace building projects run by the Edward Kennedy Institute.
Catherine provides restorative facilitation, conflict management coaching and mediation in workplace, community and family settings under the banner of her company Blossom Development. She develops bespoke training in Conflict Management and Communications skills for leaders, groups and organisations and uses the Enneagram Personality System as a tool for personal and professional development.
Supervisor: Dr Ian Marder, Dr Treasa Kenny
This research will explore how using restorative approaches in an organisation can impact aspects of its culture, particularly it’s conflict management and relationship practices. In October 2018 the Council of Europe made a recommendation that quality restorative justice services be promoted and used widely across the member states (CM/Rec (2018)8). Restorative approaches, stemming from restorative justice, proactively and responsively focuses on building positive relationships, good communications and healthy conflict management in organisations. The Council of Europe recommendation suggests that organisations working within and along-side the Criminal Justice System use restorative approaches (RA) to build relationships, trust, and social capital amongst staff with a view to promoting a restorative culture within these organisations (Rule 61, CM/Rec (2018)8). This project wishes to explore the feasibility of using such an approach within the Legal Aid Board, a public sector organisation within the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. A core hypothesis is that adoption of restorative approaches will assist in legitimising and supporting participatory change management, relationship building within and across teams, healthy conflict management, accountability and staff buy in to organisational values (Watchel, 2013). A further hypothesis is that organisations ‘give away’ conflicts to experts (formal procedures) due to an inability to deal with them resulting in a conflict avoidant culture. Restorative approaches have their roots in social constructionism which will be the theoretical framework underpinning the research. Restorative approaches work with stories so that untold and unknown stories unfold, and new discourses emerge. Therefore, narrative theory and participatory action research (PAR) which are aligned to this focus will be used in the research. While there has been some research conducted on using restorative approaches in a 'whole-school-approach' in education there has not previously been research on using restorative approaches to drive cultural change and support organisational development within a public service organisation.
Publications and Conferences:
Catherine was a researcher in the seminal collaborative research project between Facing Forward and Dr Marie Keenan entitled “Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities.”
She has written “Building Bridges,” which is an article about a Restorative Justice Initiative in Green Bay Maximum Security Prison Wisconsin for the ‘Journal of Mediation and Applied Conflict Analysis,’ which was published online by Maynooth University.
In 2018, she participated in a consultation with Barbara Walshe and a report was completed on the ‘Options and Appropriate Courses of action available to Government in relation to the site of the former Mother and Baby Home, Tuam County Galway’ (April 2018). In July 2019 with Barbara Walshe, she engaged and consulted with survivors of residential institutional abuse which resulted in a report on Consultations with Survivors of Institutional Abuse on Themes and Issues to be addressed by a Survivor Led Consultation Group.
Name: Mick O' Keeffe
Thesis Title: Young People and the Crime – Terror continuum in Ireland: A critical Analysis of the recruitment of children to Armed Groups in Ireland.
Supervisor: Professor Claire Hamilton
Terrorist groups and organised criminals have a long history of exploiting young people. Global trends highlight that youth radicalisation, recruitment and utilisation are major issues and there is little doubt that these are becoming real concerns here in Ireland. In recent years Irish society has witnessed first-hand the terrifying results of the exploitation of children at the hands of Irish armed groups. This research will examine the crime terror continuum as it exists in Ireland and critically analyse the myriad of complex reasons why children are recruited by armed groups.
Mick is a PhD candidate and a member of An Garda Síochána with 19 years service. In 2000 he graduated from Mary Immaculate College with a BA (Hons) and in 2001 he attended NUI Galway graduating with a HDip in Education. He left life as a teacher to study policing in Templemore Garda college graduating in 2003. In 2004 he received a BA in Public Management from the IPA. In 2006 to 2007 he studied in New York receiving an MA from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In 2011 he received an LLB in Irish Law before studying at the Kings Inns receiving a BL in 2013. In 2018 he graduated from the University of St Andrews receiving an M.Litt in Terrorism Studies. His current research focuses on the crime terror continuum here in Ireland and the recruitment of children to armed groups.
Thesis Title: "Protecting the Right to Culture of Persons with Disabilities and Enhancing Cultural Diversity through European Union Law: Exploring New Paths - DANCING"
Biography: Iryna is a PhD candidate within the project "Protecting the Right to Culture of Persons with Disabilities and Enhancing Cultural Diversity through European Union Law: Exploring New Paths - DANCING" funded by the European Research Council. Her research seeks to investigate the extent to which the rights of persons with disabilities are integrated within the EU External Action and how the 'global reach' of EU law impacts on the rights of people with disabilities outside the EU. In doing so, she will focus on the reach of EU law in the national legal systems of the Eastern Partnership countries, with cultural rights of persons with disabilities in Ukraine as a case study.
Iryna graduated from the University of Bremen with an LL.M Degree in "International and European Law". She has over five years of experience as an inclusion expert and consultant for Ukrainian state authorities, international and national civil society organizations. From 2021 she holds membership in the Advisory Panel on the Political Participation of Persons with Disabilities of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
Current Funding: John and Pat Hume Doctoral Award 2020
Stephanie graduated from Carlow Institute of Technology with an Honours Bachelor of Law (LL.B) in 2018. Stephanie then went on to complete a Masters in Arts Degree (Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice) at Maynooth University’s Department of Law and graduated with first class honours. Her MA thesis explored the link between addiction and drug-related crime in her local community of Athy Co. Kildare. Upon completion of her master’s degree Stephanie began working in the University as a research assistant and a criminal law tutor. In 2020, Stephanie was awarded the John and Pat Hume Doctoral Award by the Department of Law. Stephanie has a keen interest and passion for further and higher education with a specific focus on quality assurance and equal access opportunities. This year, she was invited to become a member of Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board’s (KWETB) Quality Control Council which oversees the planning, coordination, quality, development and improvement of all aspects of further education and training offerings of the ETB. She is also a current member of a Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) steering committee which was formed to oversee their inaugural review in partnership with Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Stephanie regularly speaks publicly about her own experiences of further and higher education and training. In 2020, She made a speech at the launch of SOLAS new five-year strategy alongside Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Mr Simon Harris at Richmond Barracks in Dublin. In September 2020, she was on the front page of the Irish Times newspaper and the main feature of their ‘Smart Choices’ magazine. Stephanie has also spoken on local and national radio stations such as, 2FM, FM104 and Spirit Radio. In addition, she was invited to be panellist at the College Connections webinar as part of College Awareness Week 2020.
Thesis Title: Understanding the needs and perspectives of domestic violence victims in Ireland
Supervisor: Dr David Doyle
Stephanie’s research investigates victims’ perspectives of domestic abuse in Ireland. It is a qualitative study focusing specifically on female victims of domestic abuse. The findings of the research will be used to ascertain victims’ perspectives on domestic violence law and policy in Ireland, with a view to informing victim-centred policy development. The research also seeks to establish whether the existing legal mechanisms are successful in their aims to deter and provide redress for domestic abuse victims, and to explore how victims experience those mechanisms in practice. From a disciplinary perspective, the research comprises an innovative socio-legal study of victims’ experiences of domestic violence law and policy in Ireland and will be of international interest.
: Léa Urzel Francil
Current Funding: ERC Project DANCING (ERC Grant n° 864182)
Léa Urzel Francil is a PhD student with the DANCING research project. She holds an LL.B. from the University of Nantes (France) and studied European and International Law at the University of Helsinki (Finland). In 2018, she completed an LL.M. in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She carried out traineeships at the Office of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, contributing to a chapter of "The UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty" and at the NGO Humanity & Inclusion. Prior to starting her PhD studies, Léa also joined the European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in Brussels as a trainee.
Thesis Title: Investigating the Disability Dimension of Cultural Production in the European Union
Supervisor: Prof. Delia Ferri
Her PhD research focuses on the disability dimension of cultural production in the European Union. It intends to investigate the dynamics involving cultural producers and consumers, which influence the participation of persons with disabilities in cultural life. In doing so, the research will address how disability features in the production of cultural goods and services, and the extent to which persons with disabilities are included in the production process. By considering both cultural producers in general and cultural producers with disabilities, it is intended to provide insights into the dynamics of cultural production at European and national level.
Name: Oscar Verdoire
Funding: Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research Training (ADVANCE CRT)
Thesis Title: The Metaverse, A New frontier for Copyright and the Protection of User Generated Content
Supervisors: Prof Aisling McMahon & Dr Karen Walsh
Biography: Oscar is a PhD student at Maynooth University with the ADVANCE CRT research project. He obtained a BCL in both French and Irish Law in 2021 under a partnership between Maynooth University and the Catholic University of Lyon (UCLy), and has since obtained an LLM in Global Legal Studies at Maynooth University and an LLM in Intellectual Property and Information Technology at Trinity College Dublin. In his LLMs, his work has focused on intellectual property law. His first dissertation focused on how user-generated content in video games, specifically under the form of mods, can be protected under copyright. The second dissertation discussed how public figures may use copyright and related rights to protect their image from being used in deepfakes. Currently, his research focuses on the upcoming technological development called “The Metaverse”, attempting not only to discern what it is but also how copyright could be used to regulate user-generated content on this future platform when it eventually releases, due to its nature as a new form of experiencing reality and sharing information.
Abstract: The proposed ‘Metaverse’, or similar developments, will act as digital platforms combining virtual and augmented reality with the potential to fundamentally disrupt how we interact online and create digital content. Much of the digital content we experience is created for us as users to interact with, but recent years have seen the advent of digital platforms giving users greater potential for content creation. Within the Metaverse, ‘users’ will likely become ‘creators’ of the new digital landscape - which, accordingly, raises questions about the potential intellectual property rights that may apply to content created on the Metaverse. Copyright grants creators certain rights concerning the commercialisation and distribution of their works. The Metaverse blurs the line between creators and users, making it unclear who will be entitled to the rights regarding the content that users will make on the Metaverse, and how each party’s rights should be balanced. This PhD will examine the extent to which existing copyright laws are fit to regulate user-generated content on a platform like the Metaverse. With a focus on EU law, lessons will be drawn from existing approaches to user-generated content to develop an appropriate system for the Metaverse.
Thesis Title: Fair chance hiring and its impact on criminal stigma.
Dr. Joe Garrihy and Dr. Shadd Maruna
This project explores how and why employers decide to adopt fair chance hiring practices, by examining two firms that represent ‘polar type’ job offerings and industry in a comparative case study. It will focus on private employers that have integrated fair chance hiring into their staffing strategies and interrogates (1) the motivations, interests and circumstances that shape their decisions, and (2) the impact of fair chance hiring on criminal de-stigmatisation at the individual, firm, and community level. While most of the research on employment post incarceration focuses on the difficulties of reintegration, this work will spotlight employers that have identified formerly incarcerated individuals as desirable employees and will investigate why and how certain firms have been ‘evangelised’ to support the fair chance hiring movement, while also considering the distinctive political economy in which this is occurring. Moreover, the project is interested in how sustainable and scalable these private rehabilitation initiatives are, specifically as a substitute for state action.
Teressa is a part-time PhD Candidate who graduated with a MSc in Organisational Psychology from Birkbeck, University of London 2021. Her Master's thesis focused on barriers to employment for returning citizens post incarceration, and she continues her research in this field while working full-time at GoFundMe International. She has over ten years of occupational experience in compliance and human resources and has lived and worked for a range of multinational corporations and nonprofits across the US, and in Tanzania and Ireland.
Funding: Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research Training (ADVANCE CRT)
Thesis Title: Can we regulate the use of online manipulative political bots around political elections?: Considering the AI Act and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union`
Supervisor: Dr. David Mangan & Professor Aphra Kerr,
Primary Supervisor: Dr. Maria Helen Murphy
Biography: Gizem is a PhD student with the ADVANCE CRT research project. She holds an LL.B. from Marmara University (Turkey). Then she carried out internship and she has been a member of the Ankara Bar Association (Turkey) since 2014. In 2020, she completed Master of Human Rights at the Ankara University Human Rights Centre (Turkey). Her master’s thesis explored the right to free elections in the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. During the master program, in 2017, she participated in `Ethnicity, Conflict, and Inequality in Global Perspective Program by Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI)` at Brown University. She also carried out consultation for ` Anti-discrimination and Equal Treatment Right Project` at Public Administration Institute for Turkey and the Middle East (TODAIE).
Besides academic studies, she worked for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Authority (DGCA) under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Turkey as an aviation expert for six years. Her expertise thesis is about ` Liability for damages caused by Civil Unmanned Aircraft. ` In addition, she served as Deputy National Continuous Monitoring Coordinator (NCMC) of Turkey in the field of civil aviation safety oversight systems, and National Coordinator of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) activities of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP). During this period, she represented Turkey in many international events and meetings, such as International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation.
Her current research focuses on artificial intelligence, human rights, drone law, and data protection.