Judicial criminal case management in ten English Crown Courts

Darbyshire, Penny (2014) Judicial criminal case management in ten English Crown Courts. In: Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting 2014: Law and Inequalities: Global and Local; 29 May-01 Jun 2014, Minneapolis, U.S.. (Unpublished)


This was a small study conducted in 2012. The aim was to explore and describe different methods of managing criminal cases, both in terms of court regimes and individual judicial approaches. Ten resident (managing) judges were interviewed, plus seven other judges, at ten of the 71 English and Welsh Crown Courts. The judges were also observed in court, in pre-trial hearings, using the work-shadowing method, previously used by the same researcher, in the book SITTING IN JUDGMENT - THE WORKING LIVES OF JUDGES (HART, 2011). The researcher sat next to the judges in and out of court, accompanying them throughout the working day, discussing their work and their approach. This study had been prompted by the researcher's coincidental observation that case management methods and judicial attitudes differed from court to court and judge to judge. Those differences are described. The study explored specific aspects of case management, such as judicial initiatives offering discounts for guilty pleas and the impact of lawyers' preparedness and behaviour on the judge's ability to manage the case. The study was sanctioned by the senior judiciary and the Ministry of Justice, and funded by the Nuffield Foundation. It will be published in 2013. Keywords: THE FORMAL LEGAL SYSTEM

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