NUI Galway Conference on Criminal Responsibility and People with Disabilities

Sep 19 2016 Posted: 15:05 IST

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy project, The Voices of Individuals: Collectively Exploring Self-determination (VOICES) will hold a seminar on Criminal Responsibility workshop on Friday, 23 September in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway. 

The seminar will focus on rethinking criminal responsibility in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It will explore how key components of the criminal justice system, such as unfitness to plead and the insanity defence, can be reconstructed in a way that does not discriminate against people with disabilites. The seminar will appeal to students, researchers, people with disabilities, people with experience of the mental health system, family members, and practitioners in the fields of law, health and social care.

Speakers include Florencia Hegglin, Public Defender and Professor of Law University of Buenos Aires;  Professor Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, Swansea University; Professor Amita Dhanda, NALSAR University of Law; and Professor Gabor Gombos, Adjunct Professsor NUI Galway. Storytellers and respondents from the VOICES project will also feature including John Kidney, Maria Gomez Carrillo de Castro, Dr Nell Munro and Nicholas Clarke.

Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Principal Investigator on the VOICES Project and Deputy Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said: “The speakers at the event come from a wide range of countries (Argentina, Hungary, Ireland, India, Spain, and the UK) with a diverse range of experience – as lawyers, researchers, artists and activists, with personal and professional experience of the criminal justice system. Together, we hope to answer some of the most difficult questions about how equal access to justice can be ensured for defendants and accused persons a label or diagnosis of disability in the criminal system, by reflecting on the stories and experiences of participants in the project and jointly developing new proposals for reform.”

The VOICES project is funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant, awarded to Dr Eilionóir Flynn, the youngest person to ever receive such an award.

The conference is a free public event and registration remains open until Wednesday, 21 September.

Further information is available at or email Clíona De Bhailís on or 091 494272. Participant accessibility requests and enquiries are welcomed.


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