By Stephen Shute
This publication reviews on examine which investigates the perceptions of ethnic minorities bearing on their remedy within the legal courts. It examines the level to which ethnic minority defendants and witnesses in either the Crown courtroom and the magistrates' courts perceived their therapy to were unfair, whether or not they believed any unfairness to were the results of ethnic bias, and even if this had affected their self belief within the felony courts. The learn, performed through the Oxford Centre for Criminological learn in organization with the collage of Birmingham for the Lord Chancellor's division, concerned observations of situations and interviews with greater than one thousand humans (defendants, witnesses, barristers, solicitors, judges, magistrates and others), and concerned with courts in Manchester, Birmingham and London. a good listening to? Ethnic minorities within the felony courts starts by way of displaying how greatly held the idea has been that ethnic minorities are discriminated opposed to via the courts and by means of different organisations within the felony justice procedure. It discusses the standards that contributed to this trust, together with the findings of the Macpherson document and the concept of 'institutional racism'. the most a part of the publication then seems to be on the institutional surroundings during which the study came about, the adventure of defendants and witnesses, their perspectives approximately how they have been taken care of through the legal courts, and the perspectives of others all for the court docket method. ultimate chapters within the booklet deal with the problem of sensitivity to ethnicity at the a part of judges, magistrates and legal professionals. It exhibits that attitudes and practices are gave the impression to have replaced for the higher and examines what extra has to be performed to extend the arrogance that individuals of ethnic minorities have within the equity of the legal courts.
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Extra resources for A Fair Hearing?
It should be noted, however, that minority ethnic defendants were not alone in thinking that the courts often treated people inequitably, arbitrarily and with undue severity when it came to sentencing. 2 above) also mainly put it down to an unsympathetic judiciary or the vagaries of sentencing disparity produced by an arbitrary system. ‘I know loads of people who have done the same thing. I know a lad who got caught up with drink driving for the third time and just got a week for getting pissed out of his fucking head and driving.
These broke down as 93 in the Crown Court, 68 (73 per cent) of whom were from ethnic minorities; and 57 in the magistrates’ courts, 41 (72 per cent) of whom were from ethnic minorities. Altogether, 41 witnesses were white, 41 black, 64 Asian and 4 ‘other ethnicity’. Four out of five were witnesses for the prosecution. 67 There were 109 at Manchester Crown Square (30 per cent), 93 at Birmingham (26 per cent), 129 at Inner London (36 per cent), and 31 (9 per cent) at the ‘pilot’ Isleworth Crown Court.
78 The proportion of those interviewed who had received a custodial sentence varied between the different Crown Court centres: Manchester 89 per cent (93/105); Birmingham 66 per cent (57/87); Inner London 83 per cent (100/121); Isleworth 75 per cent (21/28). 247. 80 The proportionate use of custody was far higher in the London magistrates’ courts (26 per cent at Uxbridge, 34 per cent at Camberwell/Tower Bridge) than in Birmingham (11 per cent) and Manchester (10 per cent). 81 In fact, a higher proportion of the white defendants (23 per cent) we interviewed had been sent to prison compared with 18 per cent of black and 11 per cent of Asian defendants.
A Fair Hearing? by Stephen Shute