Fiona Donson

Lecturer
Law
Faculty of Law
Ucc
Cork

T: +353-21-490 3159
F: +353-21-427 0690
E: f.donson@ucc.ie
W: Web Page
">Web Page

Fiona Donson (Administrative Law and Justice, Child Law, Criminal Law). Fiona Donson is a graduate of Leicester University (LLB 1988), Queen's University, Canada (LLM 1989), King's College London (PhD 1997). Her publications include Legal Intimidation: A SLAPP in the Face of Democracy (Free Association Books, 2000) and articles on protest, human rights, administrative justice, policing and prisons. She has collaborated on projects funded by the British Government, the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime. Before joining UCC at the end of 2007 she worked as a child rights advocate for a number of years in Cambodia including developing child rights training for lawyers for UNICEF and running a major child rights project funded by the European Commission. She has taught at a number of Law Schools in the UK including Leicester and Cardiff. Her current research includes work on the rights of children of incarcerated parents, the law related to citizen participation in democratic states, and more generally administrative justice.



Research Interests

My research interests fall into a number of areas related to human rights, administrative justice, protest/public order and criminal law pedagogy.


i. Administrative Justice – My research engages with critical intersections of law, accountability and government including the interrelationship between human rights, public administration and citizen participation; this is an area of legal research which has been neglected in the Irish context. At the same time, the failure of public administration and political oversight that underwrote the collapse of the Irish economy in 2008 has provoked widespread reflection on the need for increased administrative review in the country. I am currently completing a textbook in this area with Dr Darren O’Donovan (Bond University, Australia): Administrative Justice in Ireland (Clarus Press) with to be published September 2014.


ii. Human rights­

-       Children/families of prisoners - I am currently engaged in research into the rights of children and families of prisoners. This emerging and interdisciplinary work engages a variety of research themes including child rights, prisons and criminal justice. The research involves a series of collaborations both domestically and internationally; working with academic colleagues from University of Coventry, UK (Dr Rhona Epstein), within a European network (Networkcope) based in France, and in UCC (Dr Aisling Parkes).

-       Free speech – My ability to generate research outputs which have had a major impact on debates and policy analysis is demonstrated by my monograph published  in 2000, entitled Legal Intimidation, which remains the only book on strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) in the UK and Europe. SLAPPs are a well-known form of litigation in the USA but little considered in Europe. I continue to be one of the few researchers working on this issue within Europe.

-       Cambodia – Recognising the strategic significance of internationally-focused research, particularly in the Asian context, I am committed to developing research at the intersection between human rights practice in this jurisdiction and legal research. This is particularly in the area of juvenile justice and imprisonment both of young offenders and children of offenders.


iii. Protest/public order – This research is concerned with the role of protest in citizen activism, in particular protest as a form of political expression and the state’s attitude to it, in particular the legal response. The research spans the intersection of law, social science and political science. I have carried out research on the role of social movements in protest and other forms of engagement with the political system (this was an ESRC funded in the UK). I am also concerned with the role the citizen has to play in relation to policy development more generally, something which traditionally place primary emphasis on the relationships between government and expert groups (such as industry, research bodies). This work also looks to engage with other disciplines including political science/government and sociologists in considering how citizen participation should be understood and developed.


iv.Criminal Law pedagogy –Dr Catherine O’Sullivan and I have been integrating our research into our teaching of criminal law. The research explores how the separation of the core concepts of mens rea and actus reus from the rest of the syllabus can hinder understanding.  This examines how failing to recognise the role that threshold concepts play in the true assimilation of core concepts may act as a barrier to understanding.

Books

YearPublication
(2014)Administrative Justice in Ireland.
Donson, F.; O' Donovan, D. (2014) Administrative Justice in Ireland. Dublin: Clarus Press. [Details]
(2000)Legal Intimidation.
Donson, F. ; (2000) Legal Intimidation. London: Free Association Books. [Details]

Book Chapters

YearPublication
(2005)'Policing in Cambodia'
Donson, F.; (2005) 'Policing in Cambodia' In: World Police Encyclopaedia. New York, USA: Routledge. [Details]
(1999)'Limiting the Freedom to Protest: Legal Responses to Direct Action'
Donson, F.; (1999) 'Limiting the Freedom to Protest: Legal Responses to Direct Action' In: Making rights work. Aldershot Brookfield USA: Ashgate/Dartmouth. [Details]
(1998)'Data Bases - Positive Policing or Civil Liberties Nightmare?'
Donson, F.; (1998) 'Data Bases - Positive Policing or Civil Liberties Nightmare?' In: Invading the Private: State Accountability and New Investigative Methods in Europe. Dartmouth, Aldershot: Dartmouth, Aldershot. [Details]
(1997)'Civil Liberties and Judicial Review: Can the Common Law Really Protect Rights?'
Donson, F.; (1997) 'Civil Liberties and Judicial Review: Can the Common Law Really Protect Rights?' In: Administrative Law Facing the Future: Old Constraints and New Horizons. London: Blackstone Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

YearPublication
(2014)'Critical Junctures: Regulatory Failures, Ireland’s Administrative State and the Office of the Ombudsman'
Donson, F.; O' Donovan, D. (2014) 'Critical Junctures: Regulatory Failures, Ireland’s Administrative State and the Office of the Ombudsman'. Public Law, [Details]
(2012)'Changing mindsets, changing lives: increasing the visibility of children’s rights in cases involving parental incarceration'
Donson F and Parkes A (2012) 'Changing mindsets, changing lives: increasing the visibility of children’s rights in cases involving parental incarceration'. International Family Law, (4):408-413 [Details]
(2010)'Libel cases and public debate - Some Reflections on whether Europe should be concerned about SLAPPs?'
Donson, F; (2010) 'Libel cases and public debate - Some Reflections on whether Europe should be concerned about SLAPPs?'. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 19 (1) [Details]
(2004)'Rebels With A Cause, Folk Devils Without a Panic: Press Jingoism, Policing Tactics and anti-capitalist protests in London & Prague'
Donson, F., Chesters, G., Tickle, A., and Welsh, I. ; (2004) 'Rebels With A Cause, Folk Devils Without a Panic: Press Jingoism, Policing Tactics and anti-capitalist protests in London & Prague'. Internet Journal of Criminology, Globe icon [Details]
(1996)'Benham v UK: Human Rights and Poll Tax Imprisonment'
Donson, F. (1996) 'Benham v UK: Human Rights and Poll Tax Imprisonment'. Journal of Civil Liberties, 1 :139-148 [Details]
(1996)'Environmental Protection: Public or Private Law?'
Donson, F. and Lee, R.; (1996) 'Environmental Protection: Public or Private Law?'. Judicial Review, 1 (1) [Details]

Other Journals

YearPublication
(2010)'Further Reflections on the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009'
Donson, F (2010) 'Further Reflections on the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009' Criminal Law Online Service, . [Details]

Conference Contributions

YearPublication
(2012)Society of Legal Scholars, 2012,
Donson, F. (2012) Sentencing of mothers and the rights of the child. [Oral Presentation], Society of Legal Scholars, 2012, Bristol University , 11-SEP-12 - 14-SEP-12. [Details]
(2012)Irish Society of Comparative Law Annual Conference,
Donson, F, (2012) The rights of children of incarcerated parents. [Oral Presentation], Irish Society of Comparative Law Annual Conference, UCC , 02-MAR-12 - 03-MAR-12. [Details]
(2012)Asian Studies in Ireland and Asian-European Social Innovation,
Donson, F. (2012) “Securing Children’s Rights in Cambodia – Challenges and Achievements in the Development of a Functioning Juvenile Justice System”. [Oral Presentation], Asian Studies in Ireland and Asian-European Social Innovation, Cork , 22-NOV-12 - 23-NOV-12. [Details]
(2011)IALT - 'Added Value(s) - The Role of Law in Contemporary Society’,
Donson, F. & O'Sullivan, C. (2011) Threshold or barrier to understanding? Teaching actus reus and mens rea as foundational concepts in criminal law. [Oral Presentation], IALT - 'Added Value(s) - The Role of Law in Contemporary Society’, Athlone , 18-NOV-11 - 20-NOV-11. [Details]
(2011)Environmental Citizenship, Ecological Politics and Global Justice,
Donson, F. (2011) Protest as Environmental Citizenship. [Oral Presentation], Environmental Citizenship, Ecological Politics and Global Justice, UCC , 22-SEP-11 - 22-SEP-11. [Details]
(2010)Thirty Years of Irish Scholarship:Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future,
Fiona Donson and Steve Hedley (2010) Thirty Years of Irish Scholarship:Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future. [Oral Presentation], Thirty Years of Irish Scholarship:Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future, University of Limerick , 26-NOV-10 - 26-DEC-10. [Details]
(2010)Accomodating Victims in the Criminal Justice System,
Donson, F.; (2010) Accomodating Victims in the Criminal Justice System. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Accomodating Victims in the Criminal Justice System, UCC, Cork , 11-JUN-10 - 11-JUN-10. [Details]
(2009)Third Legal Education Symposium,
Donson, F. (2009) Blogging and legal education. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Third Legal Education Symposium, UCD , 13-MAR-09 - 13-MAR-09. [Details]
(2008)Judicial Diversity: Strategies for Change,
Donson, F; (2008) Judicial Diversity: Strategies for Change. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Judicial Diversity: Strategies for Change, Dublin, Ireland , 01-JAN-08 - 31-DEC-08. [Details]
(2008)Youth Justice 2008: Measuring Compliance With International Standards,
Donson, F. (2008) Paying lip service to child rights - challenges in developing a juvenile justice system in Cambodia. [Oral Presentation], Youth Justice 2008: Measuring Compliance With International Standards, UCC , 03-APR-08 - 04-APR-08. [Details]
(2007)2nd National Workshop on Juvenile Justice,
Donson, F; (2007) 2nd National Workshop on Juvenile Justice. [Conference Organising Committee Member], 2nd National Workshop on Juvenile Justice, Phnom Penh Cambodia , 01-JAN-07 - 31-DEC-07. [Details]
(2007)Recent developments in Juvenile Justice,
Donson, F; (2007) Recent developments in Juvenile Justice - the NGO context. [Oral Presentation], Recent developments in Juvenile Justice, Phnom Penh, Cambodia , 01-JAN-07 - 31-DEC-07. [Details]
(2007)Juvenile Justice in Cambodia,
Donson, F.; (2007) Securing Children's Rights in Cambodia: research and advocacy work. [Invited Oral Presentation], Juvenile Justice in Cambodia, Phnom Penh , 15-MAY-07 - 15-MAY-07. [Details]
(2006)1st National Workshop on Juvenile Justice,
Donson, F; (2006) 1st National Workshop on Juvenile Justice. [Conference Organising Committee Member], 1st National Workshop on Juvenile Justice, Phnom Penh Cambodia , 01-JAN-06 - 31-DEC-06. [Details]
(2006)International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates XVII World Congress,
Donson. F. (2006) Securing Children's Rights in Cambodia. [Oral Presentation], International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates XVII World Congress, Belfast , 27-AUG-06 - 01-SEP-06. [Details]
(2006)Securing Children's Rights in Cambodia - juvenile justice research,
Donson, F; (2006) Securing Children's Rights in Cambodia - juvenile justice research. [Oral Presentation], Securing Children's Rights in Cambodia - juvenile justice research, Phnom Penh, Cambodia , 01-JAN-06 - 31-DEC-06. [Details]
(2001)Legal Intimidation - Big Business and Free Speech,
Donson, F.; (2001) Corporate intimidation and free speech. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Legal Intimidation - Big Business and Free Speech, Faculty of Law, University of Southampton , 28-FEB-01 - 28-FEB-01. [Details]
(2000)Direct Action and Environmental Protest,
Donson, F; (2000) Direct Action and Environmental Protest. [Invited Oral Presentation], Direct Action and Environmental Protest, Roehampton Institute, London , 01-OCT-00 - 01-OCT-00. [Details]
(1995)Making Rights Work,
Donson, F; (1995) Making Rights Work. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Making Rights Work, Cardiff, UK , 01-JAN-95 - 31-DEC-95. [Details]
(1995)Making Rights Work,
Donson, F; (1995) Limiting the Freedom to protest: Legal Responses to Direct Action. [Oral Presentation], Making Rights Work, Cardiff, UK , 01-JAN-95 - 31-DEC-95. [Details]

Published Reports

YearPublication
(2010)The Needs and Concerns of Victims of Crime in Ireland.
Kilcommins, S.; Leane, M.; Donson, F.; Fennell, C.; Kingston, A. (2010) The Needs and Concerns of Victims of Crime in Ireland. Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime, Dublin. [Details]
(2004)Complaint Mechanisms and the NEC in the 2003 Cambodian National Election.
Sek, S., Lay, S., Donson, F.; (2004) Complaint Mechanisms and the NEC in the 2003 Cambodian National Election. Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), Phnom Penh, Cambodia. [Details]
(2003)NGO Statement on the First Year of Implementation of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Donson, F.; (2003) NGO Statement on the First Year of Implementation of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy. NGO Forum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. [Details]
(2003)Cambodian National Assembly Election Report 2003.
Donson, F.; (2003) Cambodian National Assembly Election Report 2003. Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections Cambodia (NICFEC), Phnom Penh, Cambodia. [Details]
(2001)Monitoring the Good Practice Guidance on Managing Unauthorised Encampments.
Lomax, D., Cowan, D., Donson, F., Third, H., and Higate, P.; (2001) Monitoring the Good Practice Guidance on Managing Unauthorised Encampments. DTLR, UK. [Details]
(1992)Report on Imprisonment for Non-Payment of Poll Tax.
Donson, F.; (1992) Report on Imprisonment for Non-Payment of Poll Tax. Von Hügel Institute, Von Hügel Institute, Cambridge. [Details]

Blog

YearPublication
(2013)The Reality of Cheap Clothes: Reputation and Responsibility in South Each Asian Garment Industries.
Donson, F. (2013) The Reality of Cheap Clothes: Reputation and Responsibility in South Each Asian Garment Industries. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2013)The Price of Accountability.
Donson, F. (2013) The Price of Accountability. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2012)Protest is not self-indulgent.
Donson, F. (2012) Protest is not self-indulgent. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Murphy Report: Can a failure to protect be prosecuted?.
Donson, F. (2009) Murphy Report: Can a failure to protect be prosecuted?. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2010)More on Stop and Search Powers.
Donson, F. (2010) More on Stop and Search Powers. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2010)Gillan & Quinton v. UK - ECtHR rules UK police stop and search powers violate Art 8.
Donson, F. (2010) Gillan & Quinton v. UK - ECtHR rules UK police stop and search powers violate Art 8. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Trial by Jury to be Removed for Organised Crime Offences.
Donson, F. (2009) Trial by Jury to be Removed for Organised Crime Offences. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Free speech and euthanasia.
Donson, F. (2009) Free speech and euthanasia. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)First Khmer Rouge Trial finally underway.
Donson, F. (2009) First Khmer Rouge Trial finally underway. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Northern Ireland Detention challenge successful.
Donson, F. (2009) Northern Ireland Detention challenge successful. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)5 years on and Chea Vichea’s murder continues to highlight the lack of justice in Cambodia.
Donson, F. (2009) 5 years on and Chea Vichea’s murder continues to highlight the lack of justice in Cambodia. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Khmer Rouge trial date announced.
Donson, F. (2009) Khmer Rouge trial date announced. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Lord Lester condemns British Government’s Human Rights record.
Donson, F. (2009) Lord Lester condemns British Government’s Human Rights record. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)International Human Rights Day - thoughts from Ireland to Cambodia.
Donson, F. (2009) International Human Rights Day - thoughts from Ireland to Cambodia. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)20th World Aids Day - Stigmatisation and Discrimination in Ireland.
Donson, F. (2009) 20th World Aids Day - Stigmatisation and Discrimination in Ireland. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Elder Abuse finally receives some attention.
Donson, F. (2009) Elder Abuse finally receives some attention. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Updates on Information Retention in the UK.
Donson, F. (2009) Updates on Information Retention in the UK. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Nepalese professor appointed as Human Rights envoy for Cambodia.
Donson, F. (2009) Nepalese professor appointed as Human Rights envoy for Cambodia. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Prison populations and sentencing reform.
Donson, F. (2009) Prison populations and sentencing reform. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Kids for cash’: the dangers of private prisons laid bare.
Donson, F. (2009) Kids for cash’: the dangers of private prisons laid bare. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.
Donson, F. (2009) Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2009)1 in 31 US adults are under ‘correctional control’.
Donson, F. (2009) 1 in 31 US adults are under ‘correctional control’. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2008)Justice for Victims initiative poses a challenge to the law on double jeopardy.
Donson, F. (2008) Justice for Victims initiative poses a challenge to the law on double jeopardy. Blog Globe icon [Details]
(2008)Will everyone say No to the WTO?.
Donson, F. (2008) Will everyone say No to the WTO?. Blog Globe icon [Details]

Book Reviews

YearPublication
(2013)Review of - Irish Criminal Justice: Theory, Process and Procedure.
Donson, F.; (2013) Review of - Irish Criminal Justice: Theory, Process and Procedure. Book Reviews [Details]
(1999)Law in Environmental Decision-Making - National, European and International Perspectives'.
Donson, F.; (1999) Law in Environmental Decision-Making - National, European and International Perspectives'. Book Reviews [Details]
(1999)Review of - Law in Environmental Decision-Making; National, European and International Perspectives.
Donson, F. (1999) Review of - Law in Environmental Decision-Making; National, European and International Perspectives. Book Reviews [Details]
(1995)Review of - Butler, Adonis & Travers, Failure in British Government.
Donson, F. (1995) Review of - Butler, Adonis & Travers, Failure in British Government. Book Reviews [Details]

Cases

YearPublication
(1996)Benham v UK: Human Rights and Poll Tax Imprisonment.
Donson, F.,; (1996) Benham v UK: Human Rights and Poll Tax Imprisonment. Cases [Details]

Manual

YearPublication
(2005)Child Rights and the Legal Representation of Children in Cambodia, Training and Resources Manual.
Donson, F; (2005) Child Rights and the Legal Representation of Children in Cambodia, Training and Resources Manual. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Manual [Details]
(2005)Induction Training Kit - rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
Donson, F; (2005) Induction Training Kit - rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Manual Globe icon [Details]

Other

YearPublication
(1998)Review of - European Civil Liberties and the European Convention on Human Rights - A Comparative Study.
Donson, F., ; (1998) Review of - European Civil Liberties and the European Convention on Human Rights - A Comparative Study. Other [Details]
(1996)Case Analysis - Right of Liberty, Right to a Fair Trial.
Donson, F.; (1996) Case Analysis - Right of Liberty, Right to a Fair Trial. Other [Details]

Newspaper Articles

YearPublication
(2014)Why prisoners' families need support.
Donson, F. (2014) Why prisoners' families need support. Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2013)The impact of imprisonment beyond the offender.
Donson, F.; Parkes, A. (2013) The impact of imprisonment beyond the offender. Newspaper Articles [Details]

Pamphlet

YearPublication
(2007)Our Drawings: Experiences and Dreams by Children in Prison.
Donson, F; (2007) Our Drawings: Experiences and Dreams by Children in Prison. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Pamphlet [Details]

Web Page

YearPublication
(2013)Sentencing: The impact of imprisonment on offenders’ children (Justice for Children of Prisoners).
Donson, F.; Parkes, A. (2013) Sentencing: The impact of imprisonment on offenders’ children (Justice for Children of Prisoners). Web Page Globe icon [Details]
(2013)New Network for Children of Incarcerated Parents (Guest Article for the PILA Bulletin).
Donson, F.; Parkes, A. (2013) New Network for Children of Incarcerated Parents (Guest Article for the PILA Bulletin). Web Page Globe icon [Details]
(2005)Variety of news, advocacy and research items for DanChurchAid in their organisational newsletter and English language website.
Donson, F; (2005) Variety of news, advocacy and research items for DanChurchAid in their organisational newsletter and English language website. Web Page [Details]

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2001An Evidence Based Approach to Global Social Movements: The Prague IMF Action Economic and Social Research Council (UK)

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Faculty of Law, UCC Lecturer01-DEC-07 /
DanChurchAid Cambodia Advocacy Coordinator01-JAN-04 / 30-NOV-07
Cardiff University, UK Lecturer01-JAN-94 / 31-DEC-04
Leicester University Lecturer01-SEP-91 / 31-AUG-92
Von Hügel Institute, Cambridge, UK Research Fellow01-JAN-92 / 31-DEC-92
Courts Service of England and Wales Judicial Assistant01-OCT-92 / 15-JAN-93

Education

 YearInstituionQualificationSubject
1997King's College, University of London, UK PHDLaw
1989Queen's University, Kingston, Canada LL.MLaw
1988Leicester University, UK Bachelor of Arts/LawLaw

Consultancy

 ClientDescription
BBC Wales
Regular contributor to both TV and radio programs on issue of protest, policing and human rights
Consultant to Community Legal Education Centre, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Working on research project into the complains mechanisms during the 2003 Cambodian National Election
UNICEF
LICADHO Cambodia

Reviews

 JournalRole
Criminal Law Newsletter ¿ First Law Editor
Journal Of Law And Society Referee
Criminal Law Review Editor

Other Activities

 Description

Research Talks 
Title LocationDate
Direct action and environmental protests  Roehampton Institute, London, UK2000
Legal Intimidation Big business and free speech  Southampton University, UK2001
Securing Children's Rights in Cambodia: research and advocacy work Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2007

Teaching Interests

Criminal Law, Administrative Law (Administrative Justice and Judicial Review), Children's Rights, Contemporary Issues in ECHR Law

Current Postgraduate Students

 StudentDegree TypePrimary
Brennan Anna Marie Doctoral DegreeYes
Williams Emma-Jane Doctoral DegreeNo
Mc Carthy Shane Finian Doctoral DegreeNo

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2015Administrative Law: Grounds of Judicial Review LW2264Administrative Law: Grounds of Judicial Review
2015Criminal Law LW1153Criminal Law
2015Children's Rights LW6549Children's Rights
2015Law of Public Administration LW2263Law of Public Administration
2015Contemporary Issues in ECHR Law LW6593Contemporary Issues in ECHR Law