Book Launch online Event : Maternal sentencing & the rights of the child 8th February 2021

Author: Dr Shona Minson 

Discussants: Professor Felicity Gerry QC, Professor Laura Lundy, Professor Shadd Maruna (see below for bios)

Chair: Professor Rachel Condry 

The Centre for Criminology and the Global Prisoner’s Families Group are pleased to launch Dr Shona Minson’s timely book, Maternal Sentencing and the Rights of the Child on Monday 8th February from 1-2pm.

Shona will provide a short introduction before Professor Felicity Gerry QC, Professor Laura Lundy and Professor Shadd Maruna reflect on the implications of this book. This will be followed by a Q&A session chaired by Professor Rachel Condry

The book brings to life the experiences of children affected by maternal imprisonment, and provides unique, in-depth analysis of judicial thinking on the issue. It explores the experiences of children whose mothers are sentenced to imprisonment in England and Wales and contrasts their state-sanctioned separation from their mothers in teh criminal courts (where the court may not even be aware of the existence of a child) to the state0sanctioned separation of children from their parents in teh family courts, where the child has legal representation adn their best interests are the court’s paramount consideration. Drawing on detailed empirical research with children, caregivers, and Crown Court judiciary, Maternal Sentencing and the Rights of the Child brings together relevant literature on law, criminology and human rights to provide insight into the reasons for the differentiated treatment and its implications for children, their caregivers and wider society. 

Event registration will close at midday on the 5th February 2021: Register here

Following registration the Zoom link to attend the launch will be sent to participants on Friday 5th February 

Professor Felicity Gerry QC

Professor Felicity Gerry QC is an international QC at Libertas Chambers, London and Crockett Chambers, Melbourne, largely defending in serious and complex criminal trials and appeals, often with an international element. 

Admitted to the list of counsel for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague and in England & Wales and in Australia (Victoria and the High Court Roll) and has had ad hoc admission in Hong Kong and Gibraltar. She led the appeal in R v Jogee in the UK Supreme Court which was described by the BBC as a ‘moment of genuine legal history’ , she is one of the few women silks to defend in a terrorism trial and led a team of academics and practitioners who were given leave to file an Amicus Curiae brief in the ICTY on JCEIII liability. She has also advised in relation to death penalty matters in Indonesia and the Philippines, on citizens held in Syrian camps and on complicity in international cases involving torture.

Felicity is  also Professor of Legal Practice at Deakin University where she lectures in MLL419/MLJ728 Contemporary International Legal Challenges – including Modern Slavery, Terrorism, War Crimes and Climate Change law and is involved in the clinical programs. She has a long history of cases and research on human trafficking / modern slavery. Her current PhD candidature is on the topic of transnational feminisms and technological process to combat human trafficking in organised crime.

Professor Laura Lundy

Professor Laura Lundy is Co-Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights and a Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is  Joint Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Children’s Rights and a qualified barrister at law.  Her expertise is threefold.

Children’s right to participate in decision-making:  Her 2007 paper, “’Voice’ is not enough” is one children’s rights and the model of children’s participation it proposes (based on four key concepts – Space, Voice, Audience and Influence) is used extensively in scholarship and practice. The ‘Lundy model’ of child participation is core to the Irish National Children’s Participation Strategy (2015) and has been adopted by international organisations such as the European Commission  and  World Health Organisation and global NGOs such as World Vision. and UNICEF.

The Right to Education: she has written extensively on domestic education law (including the first text on that subject in Northern Ireland) and the international human right to education and human rights education.

The implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in law and policy:  She was the principal investigator in a  2012 study for UNICEF UK which examined incorporation of the UNCRC in law in 12 countries. This study won a Best of UNICEF research award in 2014 and was chosen as one of its most impactful research projects ever in 2019. 

Professor Shadd Maruna

Professor Shadd Maruna is Professor of Criminology at Queen’s University Belfast. Prior to moving to Queen’s, he has been a lecturer at the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester, and a Dean of the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice (US). His book Making Good: How Ex-Convicts Reform and Rebuild Their Lives was named the “Outstanding Contribution to Criminology” by the American Society of Criminology  (ASC) in 2001. He has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Soros Justice Fellow, and an H. F. Guggenheim Fellow, and has received research funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the ESRC, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, among other sources. He has received awards from the Howard League for Penal Reform and from the ESRC for the impact of his research on challenging the prison and probation systems. He has authored or edited six books and over 85 articles and book chapters since 1997. For a complete list with citations, etc, See

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