Meet the Respondent – Nell Munro

In our last post we met Nicholas Clarke and now we will meet Nell Munro who is Nick’s respondent for on the project. Nick and Nell will be presenting at our first thematic workshop on Criminal Responsibility which takes place on the 23rd of September in NUI Galway. You can find out more about the event and about how to register here

My name is Nell Munro

I am from England

I am particularly interested in the experiences of disabled people in the criminal justice system.

I work in a law department where I teach mental health and social welfare law. I also research mental health and mental capacity law. Before going into law I worked as a mental health advocate in hospital and for people with mental health needs living in the community, and worked as an advice worker for a charity supporting people on the autism spectrum.

My 7 word autobiography is – friendly mental health lawyer loves cheese can’t count!

I joined the VOICES project because it is investigating the experiences of people whose own accounts of the law are often not heard. In law this is really innovative. I wanted to be part of the project to see how it works and to support it to succeed. I think research like this is really important.

What was your favourite part of the first workshop?

I enjoyed meeting all the storytellers and in particular getting to know Nick who I am now working with.

What are you hoping to learn from the project?

Through working with Nick over the summer I have started to learn about his experiences. The challenge for me is responding to his story. In what ways did the legal system allow Nick’s voice to be heard and in what ways was his voice excluded? How could the legal system change so that other people in Nick’s position get treated better? The criminal justice system has tended to treat disabled people in two ways, either they are the same as everyone else, or they are exceptional and decisions are made on their behalf. I want to think of some practical ways to introduce more support for decision-making for people in Nick’s situation.

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