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Dr. Ciara O'Connell
Visiting Research Fellow, Law


Ciara O'Connell is a Research Fellow with the PRILA project (Prisons: The Rule of Law, Accountability and Rights). She examines how international oversight of prisons is experienced by people living and working in prison. Ciara is an experienced empirical legal researcher, having conducted field research in prisons in Norway, Scotland and Ireland. Her previous research has also included field research in Latin American and African countries. Her expertise is in qualitative research methods, with a particular focus on the lived experience of human rights monitoring.

Ciara holds a PhD in Law from the University of Sussex (UK), and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights. More recently, she held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Centre for Human Rights in South Africa, and also consulted with UNODC on the nexus between organised crime and terrorism.

Previous research includes gendered analysis of judgments and reparations emerging from the Inter-American and African regional human rights systems. Her research can be found in publications such as Health and Human Rights, International Human Rights of Women, the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the African Journal of Human Rights Law.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Ciara O'Connell, Reconceptualising the First African Women's Protocol Case to Work for All Women, African Human Rights Law Journal, 19, (1), 2019, p510 - 533 Journal Article, 2019 TARA - Full Text

Ciara O'Connell and Christina Zampas, The Human Rights Impact of Gender Stereotyping in the Context of Reproductive Health Care, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 144, (1), 2019, p116 - 121 Journal Article, 2019 URL TARA - Full Text

The Inter-American System and Women's Rights in, editor(s)Niamh Reilly , International Human Rights of Women, Online First, Springer Press Singapore, 2018, [Ciara O'Connell] Book Chapter, 2018 TARA - Full Text DOI

What a 'Private Life' Means for Women in, editor(s)Yves Haeck, Oswaldo Ruiz-Chiriboga and Clara Burbano Herrera , The Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Theory and Practice, Present and Future, Cambridge, Intersentia, 2015, pp629 - 645, [Ciara O'Connell] Book Chapter, 2015 TARA - Full Text

Ciara O'Connell, Litigating Reproductive Health Rights in the Inter-American System: What Does a Winning Case Look Like?', Health and Human Rights, 14, (2), 2014, p116 - 128 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text URL

Vinodh Jaichand and Ciara O'Connell, Bringing It Home: The Inter-American System and State Obligations, Inter-American and European Human Rights Journals, 3, (1-2), 2010, p49 - 69 Journal Article, 2010 TARA - Full Text

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Ciara O'Connell and Mary Rogan, Rights and Recommendations: Prison Perspectives on the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, 2020 Report, 2020 TARA - Full Text URL

Ciara O'Connell and Mary Rogan, Rights & Recommendations: Prison Perspectives on the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Law and Society Association Conference, Denver, Colorado, USA (virtual), 31 May 2020, 2020 Oral Presentation, 2020 TARA - Full Text

Ciara O'Connell, Eva Aizpurua and Mary Rogan, The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the Gendered Experience of Imprisonment, Gender in Law and Courts: Uneasy Encounters?, European University Institute, 8 November 2019, 2019 Oral Presentation, 2019 TARA - Full Text

Ciara O'Connell, Diana Guarnizo Peralta and Cesar Rodriguez Garavito, Amicus Curiae Brief Presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Case of IV V. Bolivia, 2016, - Miscellaneous, 2016 TARA - Full Text URL

Ciara O'Connell, Engendering Reproductive Rights in the Inter-American System, International Development Studies, Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice: What's Law Got to Do with It?, Brighton, UK, March 2015, edited by Kay Lalor, Elizabeth Mills, Arturo Sanchez Garcia and Polly Haste , 2016, pp58 - 66 Conference Paper, 2016 URL

Research Expertise


accountability in prisons; Civil/Human Rights; Criminology, Equality and Human Rights law, feminist theory; GENDER; gender based violence; Gender Equality; Gender issues, gender studies; Governance, Human Rights, European Union Law; Human Rights; human rights in prison; Prison; Prison Law; prison oversight; prison policy; Reproductive Rights; Sociology of Sex and Gender