The Mitchell Institute welcomes Doctoral Scholar Damien Rea
We welcomed Doctoral Scholar Damien Rea to the Institute in January, where he will be based for the duration of his PhD. Supervised by Institute Theme Lead for Rights and Social Justice Prof Kieran McEvoy, Damien’s working title for his research project is: “The role of civil society in transitional justice in Colombia: lessons to be learnt for Northern Ireland“.
He will be looking at the impending implementation of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill (NITLRB), which intends to initiate legislation to deal with the legacy of the Northern Ireland conflict. Once enacted, it will see all conflict related prosecutions, police investigations, inquests and civil actions closed down as well as the introduction of a conditional amnesty scheme. The introduction of the Bill will lead to a significant mobilisation from civil society, with victims seeking legal advocacy and taking challenges.
Damien will be working alongside the local NGO, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ). The CAJ have been collaborating with QUB on legacy issues associated with Northern Ireland and are the partner organisation for the PhD project. On the Colombian side, he will be examining the key role that civil society has played in their transitional justice process and identifying lessons learnt, with a particular focus on the victim-centric mechanisms that have been adopted.
We look forward to sharing updates on Damien’s research and activity in the coming years.