Boston College ordered to turn over Northern Ireland conflict research

Boston College ordered to turn over Northern Ireland conflict research
By Keith Button
Education Dive
February 10, 2015

Dive Brief:

•A British judge has ruled in favor of police trying to access interviews from a Boston College oral history project on the Northern Ireland civil conflict, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
•Winston Rea, formerly a loyalist paramilitary member, had granted interviews to the college’s Belfast Project on the condition that they would remain confidential until his death.
•The court battle over the Belfast Project material began in 2011.

Dive Insight:

This case could have a chilling effect on academic research into other situations where police would have interest in information collected from sources who wish to remain confidential. In this case, the Police Services of Northern Ireland is using the information collected by Boston College to investigate a murder. Boston College had already turned over some interviews, and the police sought all of them in May 2014. Rea’s interviews may not be the only ones ordered to be turned over recently — the subpoena for the Rea interviews was exposed only when he tried to block it.

Recommended Reading
The Chronicle of Higher Education: Boston College’s Belfast Project Lands in Court—Again