In July 2000 I successfully completed a Masters degree by research, entitled “The legal rights of the child in the Irish Legal System”, at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Following this, I was awarded a Postgraduate Teaching Assistantship at the School of Law, University of Birmingham in September 2000 which included payment of a bursary, payment for teaching and payment of all tuition fees. In September 2003 I successfully completed my PhD in “Family life and Youth Offending Behaviour” within the set deadline for the termination of my enrolment at the University of Birmingham.
Throughout my career I have developed the theme that all young people have a legal right to the provision of youth crime preventive support and services under domestic and international law. According to this view the state must acknowledge that it, as well as the offender, has some responsibility for youth crime and that it can justifiably punish young offenders for their crimes only to the extent it has fulfilled its obligations to those young people as members of society.