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'The McDonaldization of justice and the disappearance of fair trial?' Conference 19- 21 May 2022

From 19 - 21 May 2022 the 11th conference in the series The Future of Adversarial and Inquisitorial System, a collaboration between the Universities of Warwick, North Carolina, Bologna, Basel and Duke University will be hosted at Scarman House, University of Warwick.

The conference draws upon what Ritzer has described as a kind of McDonaldization of criminal justice. As the trial becomes increasingly rare, along with opportunities to challenge the reliability of evidence, the accused finds herself encouraged to make an admission at the earliest opportunity based on the information gathered during the police investigation. The presence of defence counsel at strategic points in the process lends some legitimacy, but the practices of law reflect little of the safeguards and values so celebrated in the rhetoric of both adversarial and inquisitorial-type systems. Processes are being ‘simplified’ – not in ways that make the process clear and easy to navigate – but through the removal of fundamental safeguards deemed too costly and time-consuming such as juries, judicial investigation, or any form of trial or contestation of charges. Added to this are new types of evidence, gathered in as yet unregulated ways, the nature and provenance of which require careful scrutiny if they are to form the basis of prosecution and conviction.

Several conference panels will be devoted to discussion of these themes drawing on Hodgson’s The Metamorphosis of Criminal Justice (2020, OUP). In this work, through a comparative analysis of the potentially radical and fundamental changes taking place across two contrasting jurisdictions (England and Wales, and France), she explores the ways that criminal justice traditions continue to be shaped in different ways by broader policy and political concerns, and the ways in which different systems adapt, change and distort when faced with (sometimes conflicting) pressures domestically and externally. This comparative lens also illuminates the ways that, in England and Wales and in France, different procedural values may serve to structure or limit reform, and so work to facilitate or resist change.

Thursday 19th May is devoted to presentations from Early Career Researchers. View the programme.
Attendance is free, but participants must register via email first to secure a place.

The main conference takes place on Friday 20th and the morning of Saturday 21st May. View the programmeLink opens in a new window.
All are welcome but you must register via email and there is a small charge for attendance (£35 Friday, including lunch; £25 Saturday). You are also welcome to join the conference dinner on the evening of Friday 20th May at a cost of £35.

More details including conference programmes and registration details can be found here.

CJC Member Jackie Hodgson Publishes Chapter in Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process

CJC member Professor Jackie Hodgson has published a book chapter with Dr Grace (Yu) Mou titled 'Empirical Approaches to Criminal Procedure'. The chapter appears in The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process edited by Darryl K. Brown, Jenia Iontcheva Turner, and Bettina Weisser.

Jackie Hodgson Appointed Academic Expert to JUSTICE's 'What is a Trial?' Working Party

CJC Member Professor Jackie Hodgson is to join JUSTICE's 'What is a Trial' Working Party chaired by Sir Nicholas Blake QC, alongside other distinguished legal and academic experts from across the country. Building upon the work of previous JUSTICE inquiries and considering research into lay court users' experience of going to court, the Working Party will consider the extent to which the trial - in criminal, civil and administrative cases - may operate to exclude witnesses, jurors, and the public. It will evaluate the extent to which adversarial approaches, questioning, and culture, alienate court users and whether evidential, procedural and cultural practices are outmoded. In view of the introduction of special measures and HMCTS' Reform Programme, the Working Party will also explore whether technical innovations to the criminal trial help or hinder lay court users in participating effectively in the trial and communicating with professional court users.
Jackie brings her expertise in comparative criminal justice and detailed knowledge of adversarial and inquisitorial trial processes to the Working Party. Jackie is also Ph.D. Supervisor to Natalie Kyneswood, who is Rapporteur for the Working Party and whose thesis focuses on whether pre-recorded evidence is achieving best evidence and fairer trials in practice.
The Working Party commenced in February 2018 and is due to report at the end of the year. It will take evidence from its members, lay court users and those working in the court system and aims to provide positive and appropriate recommendations to the legal profession and policymakers to promote fairer trials and the effective involvement of all lay court users in trials in England and Wales.
For more information about the Working Party, follow this link:
Mon 19 Mar 2018, 15:42 | Tags: JUSTICE, Jackie Hodgson, Jacqueline Hodgson, Natalie Kyneswood

JUSTICE publishes 'Innovations in personally-delivered advice: surveying the landscape'

JUSTICE has published a new short report assessing some changes in face-to-face civil legal advice since LASPO 2012. The report briefly surveyed three areas: 1) Bringing advice to users, 2) Expanding university law clinics, 3) Alternative business models that can help to make advice more affordable /accessible. The aim of the report is to point out some developments in this field, and assess whether these innovative practices are effective, efficient and ethical. The main finding of the report is that there is a real need for long-term, large-scale research into “what works”.

Thu 22 Feb 2018, 00:48 | Tags: JUSTICE, Jacqueline Hodgson

CJC Members publish new article in ‘Law & Human Behavior’

CJC Members Divya Sukumar, Dr. Kimberley Wade, and Professor Jacqueline Hodgson have co-authored a paper titled Truth-tellers stand the test of time and contradict evidence less than liars, even months after a crime in Law and Human Behavior. This paper looks at the impact of the phased disclosure of evidence to truth-tellers and liars, over time. This 'law-psychology' collaboration, with Ms. Sukumar’s doctoral research at its heart, has produced new and exciting insights, drawing on both disciplines, as well as a number of inter-disciplinary publications which in the past have been published in Criminal Law Review, Psychology Public Policy and Law, and the International Journal of Evidence and Proof.