NewsJohn Fitzsimons Memorial Lecture in Criminal Law & Justice

Wednesday 20th March 2024, 5.45-7.45pm

University of Strathcyde, Law School
Lecture Theatre 325, Teaching & Learning Building (Jocelyn Bell Wing), 16 Richmond Street, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ

John Fitzsimons

Responses to sexual violence: How Can We Improve Victim-Survivor Experiences?

Despite important changes over recent years to our laws and policies regarding sexual violence, justice for survivors remains elusive. Attrition rates through criminal justice processes remain high, conviction rates low, and many survivors experience the legal system as alienating and traumatising. 

These injustices have prompted debate over possible alternatives to the conventional criminal justice system approaches. 

How can, and should, we improve the experiences of victims/survivors?

Join us to learn, think and discuss what is and is not possible and desirable. 

In the Chair: Frances McMenamim, KC

Lead Speakers:

Ailbhe Griffith is a survivor of sexual violence. In 2005 after getting off a bus she was brutally raped. Her attacker was convicted and sentenced to prison. Nine years later she chose to meet her attacker face-to-face. She played herself in the award-winning feature film, The Meeting. Ailbhe will share her remarkable story.

Dr Marie Keenan (University College Dublin) is an internationally-renowned expert on: childhood sexual abuse (including in relation to the catholic church), sexual violence, trauma and restorative justice. Prior to her academic career, she worked as a forensic psychotherapist and social worker in several settings including: child protection, mental health, the probation service (prison-based) and addiction treatment. She was instrumental in establishing the Granada Institute in Dublin for the treatment of men who had perpetrated sexual crime against minors, where she was one of three people to design the treatment programme and was the co-ordinator of the programme for five years. Dr Keenan has served on several statutory boards and professional bodies in Ireland and around the world. She is sought across the world as a speaker and adviser to government and inquiries. She acted as clinical and restorative justice consultant to the award winning film The Meeting.

Professor Tim Chapman, Visiting Professor at Strathclyde Law School, will join the panel for the Q&A. He is one of the world's most eminent thinkers and trainers in restorative justice. With extensive experience in the Northern Ireland Probation Service, Tim has trained serious politically motivated prisoners in restorative practices in order to move them away from violence. Widely sought after as a trainer, adviser and speaker, Tim is currently acting as a restorative consultant and practitioner in two major cases of multiple institutional sexual abuse, and he is conducting research into the experience of participation in restorative justice by victims.

Join us for this Third John Fitzsimons Lecture to listen, think and discuss.

The John Fitzsimons Memorial Fund honours the courage and integrity of John Fitzsimons, inspirational Lecturer at Strathclyde Law School and highly-respected Sheriff. In keeping with John's belief in the importance of education and equality of opportunity, the John Fitzsimons Memorial Fund provides financial support to academically meritorious mature Strathclyde Law students who are in genuine need.

CPD Information: 1.5 hours

Book your place here.

Ailbhe Griffith

Ailbhe Griffith (speaker)