This book addresses how law and public policy cause or exacerbate vulnerability in individuals and groups.

Bringing together scholars, judges and practitioners, it identifies how individuals and groups can become vulnerabilised through the operation of law, and examines how the State can acknowledge and remedy that impact. The book offers not only a theoretical, ethical and normative conception of vulnerability in law, but also an evaluation of the diverse practices of responding to vulnerability in law through accountability mechanisms and public campaigns. The analysis of vulnerability contained in this volume is enhanced by the common use of Ireland as a case study. Despite the robust rights protections available at national, regional and international level, Ireland remains a State where at risk people have experienced vulnerability across a range of thematic areas, such as criminal law, migration and asylum, historical abuse, LGBTI rights and austerity. Drawing on comparative analyses and a consideration of the role of international law in domestic settings, this book offers a comparison of diverse national and transnational attempts to ensure State accountability and responsiveness to legally created vulnerabilities. The book demonstrates lessons learned from theory and practice regarding how vulnerability can be experienced by individuals and groups, structured by law and addressed through legal and political action.

This book will be of considerable interest to socio-legal and "law and society" scholars, as well as others working in international human rights, jurisprudence, philosophy, legal theory, political theory, feminist theory, and ethics.

chapter |11 pages


State accountability and responsiveness
ByJames Gallen, Tanya Ní Mhuirthile

chapter 2|10 pages

The impact of the Charter of Fundamental Rights

The case of the Returns Directive
ByStephen Coutts

chapter 3|14 pages

Prosecuting domestic abuse

Vulnerability theory as heuristic
ByAntonia Porter

chapter 4|13 pages

Vulnerability in the Irish criminal trial process

The situation of giving evidence
ByLiz Heffernan

chapter 5|14 pages

State accountability and the vulnerable individual

An Irish restorative approach
ByDarren McStravick

chapter 6|15 pages

Vulnerability, resilience and the responsive state in transitional societies

Seriously injured victims of the troubles in Northern Ireland
ByLuke Moffett

chapter 7|16 pages

Responding to abuse in Ireland

What can the Catholic Church learn from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada?
ByGladys Ganiel

chapter 8|13 pages

Institutional liability, historical abuses and vulnerability

ByJames Gallen

chapter 9|10 pages

Vulnerability, social and economic rights and austerity in Ireland

ByClaire-Michelle Smyth

chapter 10|10 pages

Social rights and situational vulnerability in the UK

Theory and practice
ByKoldo Casla

chapter 11|15 pages

Is marriage a cure for all ills?

Vulnerability and LGBTQ communities in the wake of the Marriage Referendum
ByFergus Ryan

chapter 12|10 pages

Transgender children and young people in Ireland

Socio-legal challenges to self-identification and expression of gender
ByMáire Leane, Fiachra Ó Súilleabháin

chapter 13|12 pages

Recent reforms in law on LGBT rights in Ireland

Tightening the tourniquet in the rights of vulnerable intersex people
ByTanya Ní Mhuirthile