Project on Femicide and Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a crucial moral philosophical topic. The project investigates its significance especially in late modern moral philosophy, as long as it is formed through the experience of crimes against humanity (e.g.: Vl. Jankélévitch, Forgiveness, Chicago UP 2005; J. Derrida, Pardonner l’impardonnable et l’imprescriptible, Galilée, 2012). It then focuses on femicide due to the latter’s traits such as universality, vulnerability and gendered nature (cf. e.g. Evelyn Rose, A feminist reconceptualisation of intimate partner violence against women: A crime against humanity and a state crime, Women’s Studies International Forum 53 (2015): 31-42), all connoting the depth of wrongfulness and the precariousness of forgiveness when related to it. With emphasis on the Cypriot criminal law and especially its sentencing stage, the project investigates further the modes of legally dealing with femicide according to whether remorse is displayed or not, and to what degree retributive aims of punishment are to be taken into consideration, i.e. in how far prevention, rehabilitation or mediation must yield to these aims. Therefore, a full critical review of the Cypriot jurisdiction of at least the last two decades will be carried out together with a thorough research into the respective criminal law literature (e.g. M. Proeve and St.Tudor, Remorse, Ashgate 2010; Chr. Bennett, The Apology Ritual: A Philosophical Theory of Punishment, Cambridge UP, 2008; J. G. Murphy, Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits, Oxford UP, 2005). The review will focus on issues like the morally imbued notion of remorse and its judicial assessment within formalism required by criminal procedure; the verification of authenticity of repentance; the relation between remorse and provocation defence; the adverse impacts on judging on remorse of public feelings of retaliation vs. misogynic stereotypes influencing judges’ psychology; the role of so called ‘cultural defences’. The project will end with de lege ferenda proposals, eventually to be addressed to the competent authorities for amendments in law.

Project Coordinator: Charalambos Papacharalambous (Associate Prof., Law Dept.; UCY)

Project Experts:

A. Kapardis (Emeritus Prof., Law Dept.; UCY);

N. Hadjimichael (Assoc. Prof., Law Dept.; UCY);

Z. Gregoriou (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Education; UCY);

C. Tsinas (Lecturer, Law Dept.; UCY);

External Collaborators: Loraine Gelsthorpe (Professor of Criminology; Criminal Justice; Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge); El. Loizidou (Prof., Birkbeck College, University of London); Art. Savvidou (Lecturer, Neapolis University); Chr. Hadjioannou (Postdoctoral Fellow); Students’ Research Team: A. Thoidou; K. Sofokleous; Z. Hadjicostas; K.Kitsiou; K. Zivla.

Final Users: Law academics; Law students; Lawyers; Judges; the Legislator as long as law amendments are proposed; the wider public.