The Return of “Captain Moonlight” – Informal Justice in Northern Ireland

Rachel Monaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In the working-class areas of Northern Ireland alternative forms of justice operatingin parallel to the State’s criminal justice system exist. This informal criminal justicesystem, administered by paramilitaries, includes threats, warnings, beatings, shootings,and executions. Informal justice mechanisms emerged in the early days of “theTroubles” and have continued to develop. This article maps the development ofinformal justice in both republican and loyalist areas of Northern Ireland and examinesthe ways in which paramilitaries “police” their communities and mete out“punishments.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-56
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2002


  • Northern Ireland
  • informal justice
  • vigilantism
  • paramilitaries


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