Irish Penal Reform Trust

Speaker biographies

Biographies of speakers (in alphabetical order)

Dr. Cormac Behan, University of Sheffield

Dr Cormac Behan joined the Law School at the University of Sheffield as a Criminology lecturer in September 2011. Prior to taking up this position, he taught political education and history in Irish prisons for 14 years. While teaching political education in prison, he developed an interest in political activity among prisoners. In 2006, he was awarded an Ad Astra scholarship to undertake a PhD at the UCD Institute of Criminology. His doctoral research examined the level of civic engagement and political participation among prisoners in Ireland, with a particular focus on the extent to which they have exercised their franchise since legislation enabling prisoners to vote was introduced in 2006. He completed his PhD in 2009 and was the first Ad Astra scholar to graduate from the UCD School of Law. Dr Behan is the author of Citizen Convicts: Prisoners, politics and the vote(Manchester University Press) which was published in 2014.

Professor Andrew Coyle, Emeritus Professor of Prison Studies in the University of London

Andrew Coyle is Emeritus Professor of Prison Studies in the University of London. He has a PhD in criminology from the Faculty of Law in the University of Edinburgh and is a Fellow of King’s College London.

Between 1997 and 2005 he was founding Director of the International Centre for Prison Studies. Previously he worked for 24 years at a senior level in the prison services of the United Kingdom where he was latterly Governor of Brixton Prison. He has been a prisons adviser to several United Nations bodies and to the Council of Europe, including its Committee for the Prevention of Torture. He was one of the main drafters of the European Prison Rules (2006) and drafted the Code of Ethics for Prison Staff (2012) on behalf of the Council of Europe.

In the course of 2015 he assisted Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons, in a review of the organisation and culture of the Irish Prison Service.

Stephen Doyle, Director of Services, Care after Prison

Stephen Doyle is the Director of Services at and cofounder of Care After Prison (CAP). He has a background in youth work, community and voluntary services, and a lived experience of imprisonment. The organisation’s aim is to work with all people affected by criminality including: offenders, ex-offenders, family members & victims of crime. His educational as well as lived experience gives him a unique advantage in providing beneficial knowledge to the CAP staff, as well as a first-hand understanding of the issues CAP’s service users face. Stephen has worked with organisations such as: the City of Dublin YMCA, the Carmelite Community Centre and Y-POD Youth Services, as well as volunteering for Down Syndrome Dublin.

Stephen developed Care After Prison in 2011 with a strong belief that individuals facing difficulties as a result of imprisonment could overcome them and get on the right path with the proper support. He is responsible for the day to day running, direction and development of the organisation. Stephen also facilitates interactive workshops at schools across the country to spread awareness of the dangers of peer pressure and the negative impact that imprisonment can have on an individual’s life.

Deirdre Duffy, Deputy Director Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

Together with the ICCL's Executive Director, Deirdre is responsible for managing the full spectrum of the organisation's activities, with a particular focus on research, policy and communications across three of the ICCL's work pillars: criminal justice, equality and human rights. In 2015, Deirdre was appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality as the human rights expert member of the DNA Database System Oversight Committee. She is a former Co-Chair of Comhlámh (association of volunteers and returned development workers).

Deirdre has extensive experience in legal research and policy development across a broad range of human rights and equality issues. She is skilled in advocating for legal and social change at international and regional fora, including the UN mechanisms, EU institutions and Council of Europe bodies.

Deirdre holds an LLM in Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc in Human Rights and Politics from University College Dublin, and has completed specialist training in international human rights reporting. A graduate of the BCL programme at University College Cork, Deirdre is a barrister and has previously worked as a policy advisor with the Scottish Executive Justice Department and as a legal researcher with the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Prof Malcolm Evans, Chair of the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture

Malcolm Evans is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Bristol, UK. His areas of legal specialism include both international human rights protection and the international law of the sea. In the field of human rights his particular interests concern torture and torture prevention and the protection of religious liberty under international law. He became a member of the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (the SPT) in 2009 and since 2011 has served as its Chair. In 2014-15 he was Chair of the Meeting of Chairs of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies. From 2002 – 2013 he was a member of the OSCE ODIHR Advisory Council on the Freedom of Religion or Belief. Since 2010 he has been a member of the UK Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Group. In 2015 he was appointed as a Member of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales. From 2003-5 he was Head of the School of Law and from 2005-2009 Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol.

Nick Hardwick CBE, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons

Nick Hardwick began work as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in July 2010. He was previously the first Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission from 2003 to 2010.

His earlier career was in the voluntary sector, where he began working with young offenders for NACRO (The National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders). From 1986 to 1995 he worked as Chief Executive of Centrepoint – a charity and housing association for young homeless people. He was the Chief Executive of the Refugee Council from 1995 to 2003 and was Chair of the Housing Ombudsman Service from 2010-2013. He is currently a trustee of New Horizon Youth Centre.

Nick is an Honorary Visiting Fellow of the Criminology Department of the University of Leicester and Honorary Visiting Professor in Criminal Justice of the Royal Holloway School of Law, University of London. He was awarded a CBE in 2010.

Deirdre Malone, Executive Director of IPRT

Deirdre Malone is Executive Director of IPRT. Previously a barrister in private practice, Deirdre worked from one of the foremost human rights chambers in the UK; initially purely on criminal defence matters in the Youth Court, Magistrates Court and Crown Court and then as a member of the inquest and prison law team specialising in the representation of bereaved families at inquests into deaths of their loved ones within prisons and other places of detention.

Deirdre has uniquely broad human rights experience having also worked in Liberty (National Council for Civil Liberties UK), in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Ireland), and as a researcher for the Irish Attorney General.

Prof Ian O’Donnell, UCD

Ian O'Donnell joined the School of Law at University College Dublin in 2000 and became Professor of Criminology in 2006. He completed a six-year term as Director of the UCD Institute of Criminology in December 2010. Previously, Professor O'Donnell was Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust (1997-2000), Research Officer at the Oxford University Centre for Criminological Research (1992-1997), and Research Assistant at the University of London (1989-1992). During his time in England he served as a member of the Board of Visitors for HMP Pentonville and as a Magistrate on the Oxford bench. Professor O'Donnell is an Adjunct Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford; a Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society; a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; a Member of the Academia Europaea and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Professor Michael O'Flaherty, Chairperson of IPRT

Professor Michael O'Flaherty has been Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway since February 2013. He was Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission until November 2013. From 2004-2012, he was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, latterly as a Vice-Chairperson.

Professor O’Flaherty is a member of the UK Foreign Office’s advisory bodies on freedom of expression and the prevention of torture and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs’ human rights advisory committee. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and sits on the advisory boards of numerous human rights groups and journals internationally.

Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons

Judge Michael Reilly served as Judge of the District Court from 1982 to his appointment as Inspector of Prisons in 2008. He was a Judge of the Special Criminal Court from 1992 - 2008. In 1991 he presided as Sole Member of a Judicial Inquiry which investigated the deaths of fishery officers off the South Coast of Ireland. In 1999 he established the Nenagh Reparation Project and from 1999 to 2007 he chaired the Criminal Justice Sub Group of the National Crime Council. In 2007 he was nominated by the Irish Authorities to conduct an Inquiry into human rights abuses in the Seychelles on behalf of the Seychelles Government.

As Inspector of Prisons, Judge Reilly has published Standards for the Inspection of Prisons, Reports on International Best Practice on issues including, obligations owed to prisoners, complaints procedures, disciplinary procedures, and investigative reports into prisoners’ deaths. With Professor Andrew Coyle he conducted a Review of the Irish Prison Service which was published in November 2015.

He is a member of the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation. He is Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Limerick and was recently reappointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality as Inspector of Prisons for a further term up to 2018.

Dr Mary Rogan, Head of Law, DIT

Dr. Mary Rogan is Head of Law at Dublin Institute of Technology. Dr. Rogan is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the University of Oxford. She is a barrister and has postgraduate qualifications in Higher Education, and Statistics. Dr. Rogan is the author of Prison Policy in Ireland: Politics, Penal-Welfarism and Political Imprisonment, (Routledge), which is the first history of Irish prison policy. Her second book, Prison Law was published by Bloomsbury in 2014.

Dr. Rogan is a representative of Ireland on the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation. She participated on a Strategic Review of Penal Policy, which reported to Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D in September 2014. She was appointed Chairperson of the Implementation Group for this report in February 2015. She is a member of the Central Statistics Office's Expert Group on Crime Statistics. Dr. Rogan was the Chairperson of the Irish Penal Reform Trust from 2011 – 2014.

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Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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