Europe in Irish Prisons: Not Quite the ‘Good European’

  • Claire Hamilton
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


While historically the incorporation of the ECHR in Ireland has met with some complacency, the influence of European human rights norms and standards has been palpable in some areas of penal policy, namely, prisoner voting and (to a lesser degree) the investigation of prisoner deaths. In this regard, Ireland may be regarded as more willing than its closest neighbour, the UK, to engage in a process of ‘controlled liberalisation’ or tactical concession to forestall potential criticisms. On the other hand, several areas of penal policy such as the law and policy on parole continue to highlight the jurisdiction’s resistance to European human rights norms. This chapter discusses these and other developments from the perspective of a small jurisdiction which, perhaps counterintuitively (given suggestions in the research that smaller jurisdictions may be more likely to adopt criminal justice changes from elsewhere), has not always taken its cue in matters of penal policy from the European model.


Ireland ECHR & ECtHR ‘Controlled liberalisation’ Resistance 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Hamilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Maynooth UniversityMaynoothIreland

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