Lauren J. O’Connell

Thesis Title:

The Irish Forensic DNA Database: Exploring the Criminological Rationales Underpinning Contemporary Policy and Practice

Supervisor: 

Dr. Deirdre Healy

Abstract:

Lauren’s PhD research focuses on the Irish DNA Database System, which was introduced in late 2015 following the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014. Lauren aims to identify prominent criminological rationales underpinning the development and use of the DNA database. To do this, the research consists of two parts. The first part of the research involves an analysis of official documents and policy papers relevant to the Irish DNA database. The second part involves interviewing various criminal justice professionals so as to obtain an insight into their understandings and perceptions regarding Irish DNA database policy. When combined, this approach allows an insight into the theoretical rationales, values and concerns surrounding the Irish DNA database. In this way, this research aims to blend qualitative approaches with classic doctrinal analysis and adopts a criminological lens to explore a legal mechanism.

 

Biography:

Lauren is a PhD researcher in the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin. She is also a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science in University College Cork (UCC). Lauren has previously lectured in the School of Law and Government in Dublin City University and in the School of Languages, Law and Social Science in Dublin Institute of Technology (now the Technological University Dublin). She has a 1st Class Honours BCL degree from Dublin City University. Following this, she obtained an LLM (Criminology and Criminal Justice) from University College Dublin. Lauren also completed an Advanced Diploma in Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Science from the Communications and Management Institute in Dublin. Lauren’s teaching interests are wide-ranging, having previously lectured and tutored a variety of subjects in Law. Lauren is particularly interested in Criminal Law, Criminology and Evidence.

 

Presentations and/or Publications:

 

Conferences

  • ‘It's (in the Management) of our DNA: A Qualitative Content Analysis of the Development of the Irish DNA Database System’: Paper presented at the North South Criminology Conference at University College Dublin Graduate Symposium in September 2018.
  • ‘The Irish DNA Database: Exploring the Criminological Rationales underpinning Contemporary Policy and Practice’: Paper presented at the European Society of Criminology Conference, in Muenster, Germany, September 2016.  
  • ‘The Irish DNA Database: Exploring the Criminological Rationales underpinning Contemporary Policy and Practice’: Paper presented at the North South Criminology Conference at Maynooth University, June 2016.
  • ‘The Irish DNA Database: Exploring the Criminological Rationales underpinning Contemporary Policy and Practice’: Paper presented at University College Dublin Graduate Symposium in May 2016.
  • ‘The Irish DNA Database: Exploring the Criminological Rationales underpinning Contemporary Policy and Practice’: Paper presented at the Annual Postgraduate Criminology Conference in Ulster University, Belfast, March 2016.