• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

•Sentencing Processes

•Penal Policy and Penal Decision-Making

•Pre Sentence Processes

•Executive Release from prison

•Criminal Process including plea decision-making, legal aid, prosecution and defence work

•Access to Justice

•Law, Discretion and Justice

•The Use of Information and Communications Technology in Decision-Making

Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at Strathclyde University Law School, where I'm Director of the Centre for Law, Crime and Justice, and programme director of the LLM / MSc in Criminal Justice & Penal Change.

I've conducted and published research into criminal justice in Scotland and abroad, including: the impact of legal aid reforms, plea decision-making ('not guilty' versus 'guilty' pleas) and plea negotiation, lawyer-client relations, penal policy and public attitudes, the role of pre-sentence reports, mitigation and individualisation, sentencing, executive release decision-making, and the use of information technology (including, for example, the introduction of a Sentencing Information System for the High Court).

Regularly invited to speak to policy and practice audiences at home and around the world, for example, I'm currently giving public lectures on sustainable ways of reducing the use of imprisonment.

A regular contributor to Parliamentary and other official inquiries into justice, I have also served as an Adviser to governments in several countries, for example recently the senior judiciary and court service of the Republic of Ireland.  I am currently academic Adviser to the Review of Sentencing Policy in N, Ireland.

I'm also founder and Chair of the European Group on Sentencing and Penal Decision-Making (a network of academic, policy and practice members in over 25 countries).

Currently, I am working on five externally-funded research projects.

I am leading an exploratory study of Senteincing & Communication, which observes the sentencing hearing and explores the perspectives of the judicial sentencer, defence lawyer and sentenced person so as to shed light on effective practices and systemic or other barriers to successful communications.

I'm leading a review of the law, jurisprudence, public attitudes and international evidence relating to Sentencing Discounting in respect of Guilty Pleas (with Jay Gormley and Dr Rachel McPherson) commissioned by the Scottish Sentencing Council.

I'm working, (with partners in Sweden, Italy and the USA), on an EU-funded research study into cognition and emotions in the criminal process entitled 'Just Emotions'.

Purusing my long-standing interests in penal policy, I am conducting quantitative research (with Ipsos) into public knowledge about and attitudes to sentencing in general. In a separate qualitative study (with ScotCen) I'm examining Public Knowledge of and Attitudes to Sentencing, including in cases of Sexual Offence and Causing Death by Driving Offences. I'm also conducting a review (with R McPherson et al) for the Scottish Sentencing Council about the state of international knowledge about sentencing in sexual offence (including rape) cases.

Extending my work into mitigation and individualisation in the criminal-penal process, I am completing (with Prof Stewart Field, Cardiff) a comparative book project which reconceptualises the presentation and interpretation of remorse and responsibility and the expectations in different countries of 'the ideal defendant'. Criminal Justice & The Ideal Defendant in the Making of Remorse & Responsibility will be published by Hart Bloomsbury- Onati International Series Law & Society Series in May 2023).

My recent book Sentencing as a Social Process: Re-thinking Research and Policy will be published in the Palgrave Socio-Legal Series in 2020. It was recently nominated for the UK Socio-Legal Studies Book Prize.

In 2017 I was invited and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Currently Director of Post-Graduate Research (with Dr Saskia Vermeylen).

See also my Google Scholar Page: https://bit.ly/2TUjQ02

Expertise & Capabilities

  • Sentencing Processes

  • Penal Policy and Penal Decision-Making

  • Pre Sentence Processes

  • Plea Decision Making ('Not Guilty' and 'Guilty' Pleas)
  • Executive Release from prison

  • Criminal Process including plea decision-making, legal aid, prosecution and defence work

  • Access to Justice

  • Law, Discretion and Justice

  • The Use of Information and Communications Technology in Decision-Making

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • sentencing; legal aid; discretionary decision-making; plea bargaining; criminal process; penal process; pre sentence reports; social work reports


Dive into the research topics where Cyrus Tata is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or
  • Crime as a Process

    Cyrus Tata (Keynote/plenary speaker)

    Oct 2024

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesKey-note speaker and plenary lectures at conferences

  • Sentencing & Imprisonment

    Cyrus Tata (Keynote/plenary speaker)

    Feb 2024

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesKey-note speaker and plenary lectures at conferences