Cheryl Lawther is a Lecturer in Criminology, Queen's University Belfast. She was previously a Research Fellow in the School of International Relations, University of St Andrews. Funded by the European Commission - Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security, this project sought to explore and critically analyse the experience of victims of political violence and to assess the provision of support initiatives in Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and Spain.
Cheryl successfully completed a PhD in the School of Law, Queen's University Belfast (October 2007 - September 2010). Entitled 'Unpicking the Opposition to Truth Recovery: Unionism and the Contested Past', this thesis, supervised by Professor Kieran McEvoy and Dr Pete Shirlow, explored and critically analysed opposition to a formal truth recovery process in Northern Ireland amongst unionists, loyalists and the security forces. Cheryl also holds a MSSc in Criminology (with Distinction) and a BA Hons in Politics (First Class) from Queen's University Belfast.
In July 2011, Cheryl's paper "Securing' the Past: Policing and the Contest over Truth in Northern Ireland', British Journal of Criminology, 50, 3: 455-473 was awarded the Brian Williams Prize by the British Society of Criminology. This prize is awarded to a 'new' scholar who has made a valuable contribution to the further development of criminology.