The 7th Annual Irish Criminal Justice Agencies (ICJA) Conference Protecting the Human Rights of Vulnerable Suspects and Offenders:  Defining, Identifying and Responding to Vulnerabilities” took place on Friday, 4th June, 2021.

Due to pandemic restrictions this multi-disciplinary conference was delivered online.

This one-day conference was a collaboration of the Department of Justice, the Policing Authority, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Irish Prison Service, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), An Garda Síochána, The Probation Service, the Courts Service, the Garda Síochána Inspectorate, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development (ACJRD).  The lead partner for this Conference was the Policing Authority.

To view a copy of the conference programme, please click here.

Please see below, copies of presentations where speakers have agreed to share them:

  • Conference Welcome - Bob Collins, Chairperson, The Policing Authority
    • Mr Collins' Welcome Address is available on the Policing Authority website.  To view, please click here.
  • Vulnerability theory in Practice: The Challenges and Opportunities of using Vulnerability as a Framework for Action in Community Safety - Francesca Menichelli, University of Surrey.  To view, please click here. 
  • Children’s Rights and Police Questioning  -   Professor Ursula Kilkelly, Head of the College of Business and Law, University College Cork.  To view, please click here.        
  • People with Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities in Ireland's Criminal Justice System  -  Professor Gautum Gulati MD, Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor, University of Limerick.  To view, please click here.
  • The Northern Ireland Appropriate Adult Scheme  -  Stanley Booth MBE, Criminal Justice Manager, MindWise.  To view, please click here.
  • Training for Effective Interviewing and Legal Assistance in Garda Detention  -  Professor Yvonne Daly, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University.  To view, please click here.
  • The Use of Intermediaries for Young Defendants: Overcoming Barriers to Young People Effectively Participating in Criminal Court Proceedings in England and Wales  -  Raymond Arthur, University of Northumbria.  To view, please click here.  
  • The Bail Supervision Scheme: “a period of detention should be imposed only as a measure of last resort” (CA2001 s.96)  -Tony O’Donovan, Principal Officer, Department of Justice, and Kevina Maddick, Service Manager and MST Supervisor, Extern.  To view, please click here.
  • Vulnerable Prisoners, including IPS Perspectives on Accommodating Transgender Prisoners  -  Seamus Beirne, Equality, Inclusion & Diversity Lead, Irish Prison Service.  To view, please click here.
  • Vulnerable Prisoners: The use of Complaints Procedures and Monitoring Mechanisms  -  Sophie van der Valk, Prisons: The Rule of Law, Accountability and Rights (PRILA) at Trinity College Dublin.  To view, please click here.
  • Mental Health Among Probation Service Clients in Ireland  -  Tony Swaine, Probation Officer, Learning & Development Unit, The Probation Service.  To view, please click here.
  • A Regulatory Framework for Adult Safeguarding  -  Patricia Rickard-Clarke, Chairperson, Safeguarding Ireland.  To view, please click here.


Please see below, links shared in the Conference chat:

Professor Ursula Kilkelly, UCC

The Children Act 2001 is 20 years old this year and we at UCC are convening an online symposium to reflect on what we have achieved and learned in Irish youth justice.  Details here:


Oberstown’s statistical data has been important in sharing in the public domain a sense of the characteristics of young people in trouble with the law.  See information here:


Fiona Murphy, Irish Criminal Justice and Disability Network (ICJDN)

Click here to view a leaflet which give an overview of the PARC Communications Technique, one tool used in Disability Awareness Training but also appropriate for those with ACE’s and Mental Health Conditions.  We hope you find it useful.


Professor Lorraine Leeson, Trinity College Dublin

We are currently inviting stakeholders who have engaged with women and girls who have experienced domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and who are non-native language users. (We are working with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and An Garda Síochána on this project).  We would GREATLY appreciate it if you would be willing to take 15 minutes to complete our survey/share it with others who may be in a position to respond. 

Service providers Ireland:

Interpreters Ireland:

Or for UK colleagues:

Service providers UK:

Interpreters UK:


Through our Justisigns (1) project (we are now onto Justisigns 2!) We developed a range of open access material that may be of interest.  They are available here http://justisigns.ue (See the ‘Course’ tab).  And watch this space for content that will be developed to support service providers on working with non-native language users who are victims of sexual, domestic and GBV.  Our project team would be delighted to engage further and take on board any advice/guidance you may have!


Aidan Cooney

In Ireland, there is no Care Act nor is there a care pathway that supports social care needs of those who come into contact with CJS. I am looking at this topic at the seminar 'Social care in prisons on the island of Ireland':