Atrocity's Archives: the Role of Archives in Transitional Justice


 Dr Anita Ferrara is part of the research project called: “Atrocity’s Archives: the Role of Archives in Transitional Justice. This  is a collaborative project between Swiss peace in Bern, the Stasi Records Archive in Berlin and the Faculty of Law at University of Oxford, which aims to develop networks between academics and practitioners to develop a better understanding of the role of archives in various transitional justice context; We know little about how different types of archives such as court archives, truth and reconciliation archives, survivor testimony archives, (secret) police or state archives impact on the different stages in a transitional justice process or on proclaimed goals such as reconciliation, forgiveness or healing;   

Listen to Anita’s story about her research on the Chilean archives of the truth commissions, how they were used in various ways by different transitional justice mechanisms and what role archives play in memorialising the past.  



UN Peacekeeping and Protection of Civilians

 What was traditionally known as ‘peacekeeping’ has now evolved to include multi-dimensional peace operations involving both military and civilian components.  Involvement in what is sometimes termed ‘second generation’ and ‘third generation’ peacekeeping has presented new challenges for the United Nations, and other international and regional organizations.  It also presents opportunities and dilemmas for countries like Ireland, with a history under colonial rule and non-membership of a military alliance. Ireland, with its rich legacy of peacekeeping experience, its internationally recognised academic resources, its military tradition of neutrality and its expertise in multilateral diplomacy, is the logical place to develop institutions for teaching and research in this dynamic field.

The Irish Centre for Human Rights will continue to conduct research and teaching activities in the field of contemporary peacekeeping, thereby contributing to the formulation of national and international policy, and the encouragement of informed public debate. 

Prof. Murphy is engaged in research, training and advocacy in relation to peacekeeping operations in general, including the protection of civilians and the accountability of peacekeepers.

Selected publications on the topic:



Business and Human Rights in Ireland

Business and Human Rights in Ireland

Business & Human RightsStaff and students of the Irish Centre for Human Rights are engaged in research and advocacy activities in the area of business and human rights in Ireland, and seek to contribute to law and policy development in this area. The Centre has contributed to the consultation regarding the development of Ireland’s national action plan on business and human rights, having made a detailed submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Irish Centre for Human Rights also provided a response to the ‘Working Outline’ of the national action plan in January 2016.

The Irish Centre for Human Rights holds an annual spring symposium on business and human rights at NUI Galway (see for example Illusions of Progress? National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights (2018), Exploring Litigation as a Business and Human Rights Remedy (2017)) and has also hosted a number of conferences, including Ireland and the United Nations Framework for Business and Human Rights (2012) and Corporations and Armed Conflict (2010). Under the principal authorship of Dr Shane Darcy, the Centre produced the Business and Human Rights in Ireland Report, the launch of which was covered in the media, including the Irish Times. In September 2013, the Irish Centre for Human Rights made a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the issue of business and human rights. This submission was reflected in the list of issues adopted at the 109th session of the Committee.

Dr Shane Darcy runs the Business and Human Rights in Ireland blog, which tracks and analyses developments relating to business and human rights in Ireland. It aims to address legal and policy issues, as well as highlighting human rights concerns raised by the activities of Irish companies or multinational corporations based in Ireland. You can follow the blog on twitter @BHRIblog

For further details please contact Dr Shane Darcy (

Scholars At Risk

Dr Shirin EbadiThe Irish Centre for Human Rights is a proud member of the Scholars at Risk Network and is currently hosting a Scholar at Risk. 

Around the world today, scholars are attacked because of their words, their ideas and their place in society. Those seeking power and control work to limit access to information and new ideas by targeting scholars, restricting academic freedom and repressing research, publication, teaching and learning. The Scholars at Risk Network (SAR) is an international network of universities and colleges responding to these attacks. Scholars at Risk members save lives by providing sanctuary to professors, lecturers, researchers and other intellectuals who suffer threats in their home country. Through temporary academic positions, SAR members help scholars to escape dangerous conditions and to continue their important work. In return, scholars contribute to their host campuses through teaching, research, lectures and other activities. Many scholars return to their home countries after their visits. When safe return is not possible, SAR staff works with scholars to identify opportunities to continue their work abroad. The benefits are clear: Scholars are free to live and work without fear. SAR members gain talented academics and inspiring, courageous educators. The world benefits from solidarity among universities, greater awareness of current threats to academic freedom, and deeper appreciation of the vital role of higher education and scholarship in free societies.

Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI)

The ICHR is a member of the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI), a network of 59 member institutions that carries out research and educational activities in the field of human rights. The member institutions are from 33 different countries. AHRI's objective is to bring together human rights researchers from across the disciplines, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and collaboration, and to promote research, education and discussion in the field of human rights. AHRI is supportive of PhD researchers and the facilitation of exchange between the different member institutions.

ICHR Submission to the Irish Green Paper on Defence

The following is  a submission drafted by Prof.Ray Murphy (Irish Centre for Human Rights) on the Green Paper for Defence: ICHR Submission on Defence

Human rights symposium at NUI Galway celebrates the late Professor Kevin Boyle

On the 28th November 2014, the Centre was delighted to host a human rights symposium celebrating the career of Kevin Boyle, the noted human rights lawyer and activist.

More information on the event is available here and the event's poster is available here: Kevin Boyle Archive Launch poster

Investigating the Tuam Mothers and Babies Home

On the 10th November, 2014, the Centre held a seminar on the Tuam Mothers and Babies home. The poster for the event is available here: Tuam Mothers and Babies Home seminar