Lawyers sought for research into sexual history evidence

Lawyers sought for research into sexual history evidence

Dr Sinéad Ring

Lawyers are being sought for research into the legal framework governing previous sexual history evidence in serious sexual offences trials.

Dr Sinéad Ring of Maynooth University School of Law and Criminology is in the recruitment phase of the research and looking for lawyer participants.

The study, which is funded by the Irish Research Council, is examining how the law on the use of a victim’s sexual history in criminal trials is operating in practice.

Interviews with key stakeholders in the criminal process will explore issues such as:

  • What kinds of arguments are being made about previous sexual history evidence by defence and prosecution counsel?
  • What is the impact of separate legal representation?
  • Should the law explicitly distinguish between different kinds of sexual history, and if so, how?

Dr Ring is very interested in talking to lawyers with experience of proceedings where previous sexual history evidence was an issue.

The results of the study will be written up in a report. There will also be academic publications. Recommendations for reform will be made if appropriate. Ultimately, the study seeks to improve academic and policymakers’ understanding of how the current law is working (or not) in practice.

Lawyers interested in taking part in a one-hour interview should email Ashleigh Pillay MA at Those with questions or requests for additional information about the study can contact Dr Ring at

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