Our Research

Browse current research projects at TJI. Our research falls into four main themes - Dealing with the Past, Gender, International Law and International Justice and Social and Economic Rights in Transition.

Current projects

Our current projects fall into four main themes:

  1. Dealing with the Past
  2. Gender
  3. International Law and International Justice
  4. Social and Economic Rights in Transition

Dealing with the Past

Advocacy Services Research Project

This is a project designed to study and examine the effectiveness of advocacy services for victims, survivors and their families.

  Funding Amount


  Project Funders

Commission for Victims and Survivors Northern Ireland

Amnesties, Prosecution and the Public Interest in the Northern Ireland Transition

Research project that looks at dealing with the past.

Belfast Guidelines on Amnesty and Accountability

The Belfast Guidelines on Amnesty and Accountability aim to assist all those seeking to make or evaluate decisions on amnesties and accountability in the midst or in the wake of conflict or repression.

Commemoration and Law: Narratives of Political Violence in Transitional Societies UURCF

Politically transitional societies are not havens of new peace, but arenas of transformed conflict; violence has greatly declined but cultural brushfire wars combust and groups create identity and memory in new spheres.

  Project Funders

Ulster University Research Challenge Fund


Commemoration and Law: Narratives of Political Violence in Transitional and Conflicted Societies

This partnership project facilitates the development of relationships between researchers addressing commemoration practices in Northern Ireland and amongst Palestinians.


Community Constructs: Hidden Barriers and Cartographies of Conflict

The project, funded by the AHRC and running from May 2015 for three years, assesses the impact that the Troubles had on the architecture of Belfast’s residential communities.

Disappearance and state responses in Latin America

Professor Cath Collins has been working on different aspects of this theme since 2015, drawing on her ongoing engagement in Latin America.


Implementing the Stormont House Agreement

This project has developed from a partnership between civil society and academia.

Lawyers, Conflict and Transition

Research looking at the role that lawyers play in conflicted societies.

Maternal Harms and Conflict

The definition of maternal harms appears opaquely in contemporary academic and policy literatures.

Picturing Peace: Murals, Conflict and Transition in Colombia

Colombia is in the middle of peace negotiations. It is far from being a fully fledged cease-fire, and is rather a tentative and gradualist process that may or may not be leading to a solution to the protracted violent conflict.


Policing and Forensic Issues in the Search for Truth and/or Justice for Forced Disappearance

The exploratory study ‘Policing and Forensic Issues in the Search for Truth and/ or Justice for Forced Disappearances’ investigates how truth, justice and reparations (“transitional justice”) for past crimes.


Screening Violence: A transnational study of Post-conflict Imaginaries

Screening Violence is an innovative engagement with communities that have experienced prolonged and entrenched violence of different kinds from guerrilla warfare, to state sponsored persecution of particular groups, to mass murder, to sectarian conflict.


Terrorism and the Courts

Legal analysis of the “war on terror” has been a growth industry in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere since the events of September 11, 2001.


Building Capacity in Northern Ireland Women’s Sector to Utilise International Human Rights and Gender Equality Instruments

This research, evidence-gathering and information-sharing project is designed to build capacity and be a resource to support local women's organisations in Northern Ireland to use international human rights and gender equality instruments to add value to their work.

The TJI will use its research and expertise to identify and share timely international developments on a broad swathe of women’s rights issues (health, violence, poverty, peacebuilding, political participation, rural women, etc) with the local women’s sector and to build capacity in using international instruments to hold local policymakers to account.

  Project Funders

Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform (NIWEP)


GCRF Research Hub on Gender, Justice and Security

QUB (Law) and Ulster (TJI) are partners in an LSE-led GCRF Research Hub on Gender, Justice and Security.

   Project Duration

5 years

  Project Funders

Gender Principles for Dealing with the Legacy of the Past

The absence of a gendered lens and the sustained exclusion of women from dealing with the past


Gender and the Law of Occupation

One glaring limitation in addressing the experiences of women in situations of armed conflict is the absence of a sustained analysis of the structural limits and capture of the law of occupation.

Gendering Constitutional Debates in Northern Ireland: The Case of Irish Unification

Brexit has deepened deliberations on Irish unification.

  Funding Amount


  Project Funders

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust


LGBTQ Visions of Peace in a Society Emerging from Conflict

During the Northern Irish peace process (1998 -) lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people have been excluded from participating in shaping visions of a peaceful future in both societal and political realms.

  Funding Amount

£78,017 GBP

  Project Funders


Political Settlements Research Programme: towards open and inclusive settlements

The Political Settlements Research Programme is a four year research programme, undertaken by a North-South Consortium of five organisations.


Toolkit - Grassroots Transitional Justice Programme

Grassroots experience of conflict and transition is the main focus of this community based partnership programme.

Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict under International Law

The impact of conflict on the lives and rights of women is an issue of growing international importance.


International Law and International Justice

Accountability for British War Crimes in Iraq? Examining the Nexus between International and National Justice Responses

The project has led to a number of academic and other outputs, including paper presentations at international conference and workshop.


An Investigation of Use of Force by UN Peacekeeping Operations

Viewed collectively the Rules of Engagement (ROE) of current UN missions suggest that the UN may be developing its own sui generis rules governing intentional use of deadly force.


Balancing Justice and Peace?

This research project creates a foundation for collaboration between established and early career researchers based in Europe, including Northern Ireland, and African countries to investigate how regional organizations balance the pursuit of justice for serious crimes under international law with the need to achieve peaceful resolution of conflict.


Conflict, Legal Compliance and Democracy: Addressing the Complexities of Humanitarian Law in Mexico, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and Colombia.

The project’s findings will contribute to the theory and history of international law-making and international legal influence, and will produce policy recommendations for democracies facing armed violence.

Developing the “Nairobi Principles on Accountability”

The project is based on close collaboration between the principal investigator, Thomas Obel Hansen, and key stakeholders in Kenya, including researchers and civil society activists within the framework of ‘Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice’.


Economic Liberalism, Democracy, and Transitional Justice

This pump-priming project explores the intersections between economic liberalism, democracy, and transitional justice.

Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Innovation Grant

Prof Wills and co-investigator Prof McLaughlin (QUB) will research and make a documentary film on the legacy impact of the use of lethal force by UN peacekeepers in Cité Soleil in the period 2005-2007.


The Port-au-Prince-Rio Connection: 'Collateral Damage' by UN Troops in Haiti and Brazilian Troops in Rio

The purpose of the Impact and Engagement for Development Project is to expand the impact of the GCRF AHRC funded research on use of deadly force by the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), to engage similarly affected communities in Brazil.


The accountability deficits of major western powers: A pilot project on UK military accountability for international crimes in Iraq

The project presents a follow up to Hansen’s previous research on accountability issues in the context of alleged UK war crimes in Iraq.


Using Participatory Film Practices to Investigate the November 2018 Lasalin Massacre in Haiti

The film will provide a platform for survivors to express their views to the UN and international audiences and for these to be taken into account in planning responses.


Social and Economic Rights in Transition

Brexit and Northern Ireland: The constitutional, conflict transformation, human rights and equality consequences

This is a collaborative ESRC-funded research project between the Law Schools of Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University and the region’s leading human rights organisation, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ).


Democracy and the European Court of Human Rights

This project analyses the European Court of Human Rights’ understanding of democracy, taking a detailed look at the jurisprudence and placing it in a theoretical context.

GCRF – Low cost technologies for safe drinking water in developing regions (SAFEWATER)

The SAFEWATER research programme seeks to tackle a global challenge by looking at clean water solutions and the development of smart devices to quickly tell if water is safe to drink.


National Human Rights Action Plans

National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: Theoretical, Doctrinal and Empirical Perspectives

Political Capacity Building: Advancing a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland

The report, ‘Political Capacity Building: Advancing a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland’ was researched and written between March 2013 - September 2014.


Role of Databases in Transitional Justice Research

The project explores the role of databases in categorising, compiling and interpreting data on transitional justice.


Social citizenship transformed: (de)constructing the 21st century welfare state

This project examines the perspectives of elite policymakers at devolved level within the UK.


Transitional Justice: the socio-economic dimension

The research is premised on the view that questions of socio-economic injustice frequently combined with structural inequality are a fundamental feature in the two paradigmatic instances of transitional justice.

Universal credit in Northern Ireland: sharing experiences, suggesting changes

This research is being conducted by Ulster University and University of York, in partnership with Universal Credit claimants in Northern Ireland and stakeholders including Law Centre NI.

Where next for a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland?

The overall goal of the project is to progress the enforcement and implementation of a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights.