• 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

1994 …2023

Research output per year

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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 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 developing (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' (to be published by Hart Bloomsbury- Onati International Series Law & Society Series).

My new book Sentencing as a Social Process: Re-thinking Research and Policy will be published in the Palgrave Socio-Legal Series in 2019.

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

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

Expertise & Capabilities

  • 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


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

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Research Output

Sentencing as a Social Process: Re-thinking Research and Policy

Tata, C., 23 Jan 2020, 1 ed. Cham, Switzerland. 190 p. (Socio-Legal Series)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Humanising punishment? Mitigation and "case-cleansing" prior to sentencing

    Tata, C., 1 Dec 2019, In : Oñati Socio-Legal Series. 9, 5, p. 659-683 25 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 12 Downloads (Pure)


    Fine tuning Uganda's sentencing guideline framework : lessons from sentencing guideline systems in selected common law jurisdictions

    Author: Kamuzze, J., 23 Mar 2015

    Supervisor: Hutton, N. (Supervisor) & Tata, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

    How was the military intervention in Afghanistan legally justified?

    Author: Mitchell, L., 11 Feb 2016

    Supervisor: O'Donnell, T. (Supervisor) & Tata, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

    Cyrus Tata (Interviewee)
    4 Dec 2019

    Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

    BBC Radio 4 'Today' Programme Interview - Sentencing & Prisons

    Cyrus Tata (Recipient)
    13 Nov 2019

    Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation


    Influence on judicial decision making and increased public understanding of sentencing practice through implementation of Sentencing Information System

    Cyrus Tata (Participant), Neil Hutton (Participant), Alan Paterson (Participant)

    Impact: Impact - for External PortalPolicy and legislation, Public understanding, information and debate, Professional practice, training and standards