Lorraine Barron, Lecturer in Law and Course Director of the Joint Sino-UK Commercial Law Degree partnership with the South West University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing, China, recently presented a ‘virtual’ paper on the above topic at the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference 2020.
The paper, titled ‘Post-Release Sex Offender Management in the Republic of Ireland: A Restorative Response?’, is based on her PhD research which examines the legislative and administrative regime regarding post-release sex offenders in the community in Ireland using theories of ‘control’ and ‘risk’ to explain how the ‘rehabilitative ideal’ in relation to this cohort of offenders has been in decline in favour of a risk-averse ideology since the early 1990s.
Having examined the (in)effectiveness of such an approach in terms of offender recidivism and public protection, and the potential adverse collateral consequences on the offender, a restorative justice approach is advocated as an additional justice mechanism in the Irish context. Although restorative justice in relation to sexual violence is a contentious topic, it has been posited as playing a vital role in desistance for sex offenders.
The tenet of this paper, then, was an analysis of the political and public climate in relation to the potential establishment of a system of restorative justice for sexual violence, as a complementary justice response at the post-release stage of the criminal justice system in Ireland, in light of the Council of Europe Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)8 on the use of restorative justice in criminal matters.
Lorraine’s paper was well-received by the panel and an interesting discussion on the area of sexual violence and restorative justice was held after the presentation.
You can find out more about Lorraine’s research through her Pure profile, where you can find more on her research interests, publications, and contact details. You can also find out more about Coventry University’s research through our dedicated research pages.