• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Willing to speak to media

1994 …2023
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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.


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'.

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

Fingerprint 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.

  • 35 Similar Profiles
justice Social Sciences
legal aid Social Sciences
imprisonment Social Sciences
correctional institution Social Sciences
penalty Social Sciences
decision making Social Sciences
lawyer Social Sciences
reform Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2013 2023

Research Output 1994 2019

'Ritual individualisation': creative genius at sentencing, mitigation and conviction

Tata, C., 31 Mar 2019, In : Journal of Law and Society. 46, 1, p. 112-140 29 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
religious behavior
human being

Selling 'alternatives to prison' to judicial consumers: why the market logic fails

Tata, C., 31 Mar 2019, Probation Quarterly, 11, p. 42-45 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access
correctional institution
government reform


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

Author: Kamuzze, J., 1 Oct 2014

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

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

How was the military intervention in Afghanistan legally justified?

Author: Mitchell, L., 1 Jan 2014

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

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Activities 2003 2019

BBC Radio 4 Documentary Interview - Community Justice & Penal Policy

Cyrus Tata (Recipient)
11 Aug 201911 Oct 2019

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

Cultures of Sentencing & Penal Decision-Making: A European Conference

Cyrus Tata (Chair)
30 May 201931 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganiser of major conference


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