Page content

We are delighted to announce that first year PhD Researcher Leah Rea has been awarded a place on the Washington Ireland Program Class of 2021. Leah is in the School of Law and Transitional Justice Institute (TJI).

The Washington Ireland Program develops and supports promising leaders through a unique programme of personal development, policy debate, work placements, and community service. It aims to equip participants with the skill set and experience necessary to cultivate and sustain mutual relationships of support and collaboration both within and between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and maintain historic ties with the United States of America.

Established in 1995, the Program has undertaken an important role in the transition from conflict to peace across Ireland as it unites young leaders from a variety of backgrounds and communities and develops relationships of mutual understanding and respect.

Leah has been assigned to the Diplomacy and Advocacy stream for the duration of the Programme, and will undertake a virtual group placement with the Irish Embassy in Washington DC.

Leah’s PhD research, under the supervision of Dr Anne Smith and Dr Mark Simpson, seeks to explore the development of human rights in constitutional arrangements by examining the relationship between constitutionals conventions arising from devolution and the progression of human rights standards in Northern Ireland.

She believes her participation on the Program, and in particular the undertaking of research in the area of cultural ties as part of her placement, will enhance her knowledge and understanding within her subject area. Leah also hopes to develop her understanding of the role played by academic research in policymaking and legislative proposals, so that this can assist in her research project development.