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Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir successfully defends her doctoral thesis

Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir. Photo: Emma Lord

Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir at the Sociology of Law Department defended her doctoral thesis “Decentring Criminal Law: Understandings of Justice by Victim-Survivors of Sexual Violence and its Implications for Different Justice Strategies” on Friday, 24 April.

The thesis defence was a mostly digital occasion, with Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir streaming from Iceland, and the discussant, Professor Clare McGlynn of Durham Law School, broadcasting from the UK. More than 75 people were at times watching the procedure online, and another ten were spread out in Pufendorfsalen at Lund University.

With her dissertation based in feminist socio-legal studies, Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir set out to investigate how victim-survivors of sexual violence in Nordic contexts experience justice. She writes that the premise of her research is that “justice  is  largely  unattainable for people who have been subjected to sexual violence, and that to advance  the  justice  agenda,  it  is  necessary  to  move  beyond  a  one-dimensional  focus  on  the  conventional  criminal  justice  system.” To this end, Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir interviewed 35 victim-survivors of sexual violence. One of the aims of the thesis is to look into if the knowledge produced through her research can facilitate strategies that meet the justice interests of victim-survivors within and outside the criminal justice system.

 “A text that really deftly combine legal scholarship with the voices of victim-survivors. I found it deeply moving in that sense,” said examining committee member Professor Liz Kelly of London Metropolitan University. The rest of the committee seemed to agree with Professor Kelly as they decided to pass the thesis.

Video streams of Pufendorfsalen, Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir and Professor Heini Kainulainen
Video streams of Pufendorfsalen, Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir and Professor Heini Kainulainen

Dissertation details

Professor Clare McGlynn, Durham University. Law School

Main supervisor
Professor Reza Banakar, Lund University

Karl Dahlstrand & Isabel Schoultz, Lund University

Examining committee
Professor Liz Kelly, London Metropolitan University
Professor Heini Kainulainen, University of Turku
Professor emeritus Håkan Hydén, Lund University


To learn more about Hildur's research, visit her personal page.