Dr Susan Leahy, lecturer at the School of Law, presented her research on Irish sexual offences law at the Annual Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference at the University of Newcastle on April 5th. This annual conference is an important forum for socio-legal scholars to disseminate their research.

This year, Susan was invited to join Professor Phil Rumney (University of the West England, Bristol) as co-convenor of the sexual offences stream of the conference, a role she will continue in for the coming years. Susan’s presentation at the conference was entitled ‘: An Assessment of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017’. The paper discussed recent reform of Irish sexual offences law, focussing in particular on Susan’s work with Dublin Rape Crisis Centre to campaign for the introduction of a statutory definition of consent. Susan’s work in this area has been publicly acknowledged by An Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald, during both Seanad and Dáil debates during the passage of the 2017 Act.

The research presented in Susan’s paper will feature in her forthcoming book, Sexual Offending in Ireland: Laws, Procedures and Punishments which is co-authored with her School of Law colleague, Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald-O’Reilly and will be published by Clarus Press later this year. http://www.claruspress.ie/shop/sexual-offending-in-ireland-laws-procedures-and-punishment/.

Dr Leahy was awarded funding from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Research Board for her conference attendance.

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