By Stephen Shute
This ebook experiences on study which investigates the perceptions of ethnic minorities referring to 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 examine, conducted by way of the Oxford Centre for Criminological study in organization with the college of Birmingham for the Lord Chancellor's division, concerned observations of situations and interviews with greater than 1000 humans (defendants, witnesses, barristers, solicitors, judges, magistrates and others), and interested in courts in Manchester, Birmingham and London. a good listening to? Ethnic minorities within the legal courts starts by way of exhibiting how generally held the idea has been that ethnic minorities are discriminated opposed to by way of the courts and by way of different organisations within the legal justice process. 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 e-book then appears to be like on the institutional surroundings within which the examine came about, the adventure of defendants and witnesses, their perspectives approximately how they have been taken care of via the legal courts, and the perspectives of others inquisitive about the court docket procedure. ultimate chapters within the publication handle 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 should be performed to extend the arrogance that individuals of ethnic minorities have within the equity of the legal courts.
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Extra info for A Fair Hearing?
This usually, as shown below (see pages 45–51 94 A further 12 black defendants said that their ‘unfair treatment’ in court ‘might have been/could have been/I’m not sure/maybe’ affected by the fact that they were from an ethnic minority: six wondered whether this explained their ‘unfair sentence’; three wondered about the attitude of the magistrate(s); and three wondered about the performance of their solicitor. If these had been included to make a category of ‘suspicion of racial influence’, the proportion would have risen from 10 to 15 per cent (33/214).
39 A Fair Hearing? and 130), implied a perceived bias ‘institutionalised’ in the system. Only six of the 35 (17 per cent), accounting for just four per cent of the 171 sentenced, specifically referred to the conduct of the judge, who was felt to have been hostile to them or ‘disrespectful’ or biased, either because of his facial expression or what he had said. 95 The only other racist complaints were directed at the jury. 96 Although none gave it as their main complaint, five black defendants, in response to a separate question, said that they did not like the treatment they had received at the hands of court staff.
Had appeared in the Crown Court67 and 416 defendants who had appeared in the magistrates’ courts68 at the three main sites, plus the pilot study: 778 in all. 70 In the time available it was not possible to interview as many witnesses, but we were able to obtain the consent of 150. 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’.
A Fair Hearing? by Stephen Shute