Dr Claire Hamilton Awarded New Horizons' Research Project Grant by the Irish Research Council

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 10:45

Dr Claire Hamilton has been awarded a New Horizon's Research Project Grant by the Irish Research Council for her project 'CONTAGION': Counterterrorism, Coercion, and EU Criminal Justice Policy

Project Summary
Since the creation of the area of ‘security, justice and freedom’ in 1999, justice has been the fastest-growing policy area in the EU and has now (with recent constitutional changes) come to constitute one of the largest areas of attention on the EU agenda (Coolaset, 2010). Counterterrorism efforts have played a significant role in this growth with enhanced security measures adopted since 9/11 acting as a booster for cooperative cross-border arrangements ‘going far beyond terrorism’ (ibid: 873). Indeed, the securitisation demands placed on EU member states since the Twin Tower attacks have led some commentators to describe the Union as ‘poised somewhere on the brink’ of a more punitive or harsh approach (Baker, 2010: 206). Despite much excellent work, there has not yet been a full empirical (and theoretically informed) exploration of the impact of counter terrorism measures on the penal trajectories of EU countries. The proposed research seeks, through a rich, multidisciplinary analysis of the criminal justice policies and practices of three key member states in the critical area of counterterrorism, to address this lacuna by mapping and evaluating the extent to which a dangerous process of ‘contamination’ has occurred from the counter terrorism to the ‘ordinary’ criminal justice spheres (the ‘contagion thesis’). Without more detailed scrutiny of the impact of EU counter terrorism legislation and policy, important questions about the real character of criminal justice in the EU will remain unanswered, in particular, the extent to which counter terrorism’s contentious present represents the future of European criminal justice.

The mission of the Irish Research Council is to enable and sustain a vibrant and creative research community in Ireland. The Council funds excellent researchers across all disciplines and encourages interdisciplinary research and engagement with enterprise. New Horizons funding has been designed, in consultation with leading experts, with the objective of facilitating researchers and research teams to build capacity in their research area by way of stimulus awards.

Claire is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Maynooth University Department of Law. Prior to joining Maynooth University she worked for several years as a lecturer in criminology in Dublin Institute of Technology and Queen's University Belfast. She has published widely in various national and international legal and criminological journals including the British Journal of Criminology, the European Journal of Criminology and the European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research.