Research Centre in International Justice 



Maynooth University’s Research Centre in International Justice (RCIJ) was established in 2022 by Dr Noelle Higgins and is hosted by the School of Law and Criminology. The work of the Centre focuses, in particular, on issues of human and environmental rights at an international, transnational, and global level. The Centre is unique in that it reflects the School’s interdisciplinary, legal and criminological approach to research with an emphasis on international, transnational, and global justice. Our members have a wide range of expertise in areas such as: international crimes, transnational state-corporate crimes and social harms, climate justice, environmental law, internally displaced persons, forced migration, refugee, minority, and indigenous rights, economic, cultural, and social rights, modern slavery and forced labour, and critical and decolonial approaches and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL).
Numerous members of the School’s staff have extensive teaching and research expertise in the spheres of international, transnational, and global justice, which extends across a variety of wider subjects, including public international law, international human rights law, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, global environmental governance, transnational and global crime, and economic, cultural, and social rights. Drawing on staff expertise in these areas, the School offers programmes in international justice and international law, and transnational, global, and comparative criminology (LLM in International Justice and an MA in Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice). Additionally, several of the School’s PhD students undertake research in the sphere of law and justice at the international, transnational, and global level.
The Centre was launched on the 6th of October 2024 by Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, FRSA and Professor Kristian Lasslett (University of Ulster). 

Affiliated Staff:
Dr Ramat Abudu
Dr Amina Adanan (Co-Director)
Dr Rhiannon Bandiera (Co-Director)
Dr Avril Brandon
Dr Mary Dobbs
Dr Noelle Higgins (Founding Director)
Dr Orla Kelleher
Dr Clíodhna Murphy
Dr Bríd Ní Ghráinne
Dr John Reynolds
Dr Sinead Ring
Current PhD students:
Chunhyang Chong
Natasha Bradley-Byrne
Léa Urzel Francil
Victoria Oluwatobi Isa Daniel 

Research Centre Contact:

To contact the RCIJ, please email or

Upcoming events:


Call for papers: Workshop on the Contribution of the United Nations War Crimes Commission to International Criminal Law, deadline 3 May 2024
Last year, marked 80 years since the establishment of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC) in London. To mark this occasion, the Research Centre in International Justice in Maynooth University is seeking abstracts to participate in a workshop on the contribution of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC) to International Criminal Law. This event will take place on 12 July 2024 online and in person. The event brings UNWCC experts and new scholars together to explore the contribution of the work of the UNWCC to contemporary international criminal law. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 3 May. This event is funded by the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute

For more information, please see here.

Call for Papers Maynooth University Workshop on Internal Displacement Law and Policy, deadline 24 May 2024
In June 2022, the UN Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement called for states to develop and implement ‘relevant laws and policy frameworks’ to address the rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Maynooth University responds to this call by hosting its second workshop on IDP law and policy on 19 and 20 September 2024. We welcome submissions of works in progress on all areas of IDP law and policy and we are particularly interested in papers that push the boundaries of existing thinking. 
For more information, please see here

Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery: Change In Ireland In Its European Context, 14th June 2024

Ireland is at a critical point of change in its response to human trafficking and modern slavery, following the long-awaited third National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking, proposed Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking) Bill 2023 (with a new ‘National Referral Mechanism’), and impending second National Plan on Business and Human Rights (entailing ‘ongoing …human rights due diligence’). These come amid a host of changes at the EU level, including the recently-adopted Forced Labour Regulation and much anticipated Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). Such changes require us to think about how we – as part of this broader multi-level and stakeholder response –can best respond to the challenges posed by human trafficking and modern slavery in Ireland.

This unique, one day in-person and online event brings together law and policy-makers, industry, service providers, practitioners, victims/survivors, activists, and academics, among other leaders working in this field to engage critically with these human rights challenges and work to promote meaningful and lasting change.

For more information, please see here
For information on upcoming events, please click here.

Past Events 

Nimah Ní Bhriain, 'On EU Militarism, Arms Trade, Deadly Border Politics and Complicity in Israel's Genocidal War on Gaza', 25 April 2024  

The Research Centre in International Justice, with support from Academics for Palestine, are hosting Niamh Ni Bhriain of the Transnational Institute who will be delivering a presentation 'On EU Militarism, Arms Trade, Deadly Border Politics and Complicity in Israel's Genocidal War on Gaza' on Thursday the 25th of April at 4:00 pm, Maynooth University. Read more about the event here.

Dr Ger Maguire, ‘Indigenous Gender Justice: Two-Spirit Identity, the Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Crisis, and Canada's Commitment to UNSDG 5’, 7 March 2024.

This event was a hybrid keynote by Dr Gerard Maguire (Lecturer, Irish Centre for Human Rights and the School of Law and Criminology, Maynooth University). This lecture delved into the positioning of gender within Indigenous life. Dr Maguire focused particularly on the pre and post-colonial roles of Two-Spirit peoples and the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) in Canada.

Maynooth University law and criminology students visit international institutions in The Hague, January 2024.

On the 29th and 30th of January 2024, masters students from the law and criminology programmes in Maynooth University took part in a study trip visiting several international institutions in The Hague, including EUROJUST, the International Criminal Court, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.  visit here.

Collective Punishment, Genocide and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine, 22 November 2023.

In November 2023, the RCIJ convened an expert panel to speak on Collective Punishment, Genocide and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine. The speakers were: Maha Abdallah, Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD Researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp; Professor Shane Darcy, Professor of Law and Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, National University of Ireland Galway; and, Saleh Hijazi, Policy Coordinator, Palestinian BDS National Committee. A recording of this event is available here.

 Launch of Research Centre in International Justice, 6 October 2023.

The RCIJ officially launched on Friday the 6th of October with two stirring and thought-provoking keynote addresses delivered by Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC FRSA (international human rights lawyer, and Ireland’s Special Rapporteur on Child Protection) and Professor Kristian Lasslett (Ulster University and the International State Crime Initiative). For more information on this event, please see here.

Outer Space: A Contested Environment, 4 May 2023

In this seminar, Dr Lauren Napier and Dr Ciara Finnegan discussed the intersection of International Space Law with International Humanitarian Law and how this could apply to the contested environment of Outer Space. For more information on this event, please see here. 

Dr Gerard Maguire, ‘The rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas: History, Development and Current Concerns’, 20 April 2023.

In this seminar, Dr Gerard Maguire (School of Law and Criminology, Maynooth University) explored the history and development of legal protections for Indigenous groups in the Americas. Two key issues addressed included that of Blood Quantum Laws in the USA and the on-going struggle for recognition and reaction to the instances of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. For more about this event here.

Dr Jean Molloy, ‘Quasi-Sovereignty and the Making of Minorities’, 30 March 2023.

The foundational principles of international law are sovereign equality – all states and their citizens stand equally before the law and must be treated equally under that system of law and sovereign authority - all states possess legal authority over their own affairs. The principle of sovereign non-interference remains the cornerstone of international law and is protected in Article 2(1) of the United Nations Charter, which stresses that “[t]he Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members”. In contemporary international law, sovereignty is “the political and legal basis of the international personality of the state. It belongs to all states, regardless of size, power, stage of development (…). The most important feature of state power is the sovereignty, which requires supremacy internally and independence externally.” However, in this seminar, Dr Jean Molloy challenged these claims of equality, non-interference, and political authority in the international legal system. She examined the genealogy of sovereignty, uncovering the emergence of a two-tier system of sovereignty from the non-European world – full sovereignty and quasi-sovereignty. Quasi-sovereignty, i.e. a lack of full sovereign rights over a state’s economic, political and cultural affairs, provides a very useful paradigm through which to examine the ways in which mechanisms of inequality and exclusion persist and endure in the international legal system, creating minorities, not necessarily in numerical terms, but as groups who are denied sovereign and political equilibrium, set apart from the dominant power structures. The seminar engaged with these themes through an examination of violated sovereignty in the Middle East. More information about this event can be found here.

Professor Mohamed Elewa Badar (Northumbria University), ‘Recent Developments in Universal Jurisdiction: The Case of Hamid Noury before Swedish Courts’, 27 April 2023.