By Stephen Shute
This booklet experiences on learn which investigates the perceptions of ethnic minorities relating their therapy 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 remedy to were unfair, whether or not they believed any unfairness to were the results of ethnic bias, and no matter if this had affected their self assurance within the legal courts. The learn, performed 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 instances and interviews with greater than one thousand humans (defendants, witnesses, barristers, solicitors, judges, magistrates and others), and taken with courts in Manchester, Birmingham and London. a good listening to? Ethnic minorities within the legal courts starts off through displaying how generally held the assumption has been that ethnic minorities are discriminated opposed to through the courts and by means of different firms within the felony justice method. It discusses the criteria that contributed to this trust, together with the findings of the Macpherson record and the idea of 'institutional racism'. the most a part of the ebook then seems to be on the institutional surroundings within which the study happened, the adventure of defendants and witnesses, their perspectives approximately how they have been taken care of via the felony courts, and the perspectives of others thinking about the court docket technique. ultimate chapters within the e-book deal with the difficulty of sensitivity to ethnicity at the a part of judges, magistrates and attorneys. 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 contributors of ethnic minorities have within the equity of the legal courts.
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N:110 % N:171 % N:75 % N:356 Sentence unfair (of the 336 sentenced) 17 17/110 16 16 34 34/157 20 22 11 11/69 15 16 62 117 (57*) 62/336 19 ( ) Conduct/attitude of judge 6 6 12 7 2 3 20 Unhappy with jury (of the 48 jury trials) 1 1/7 1 14 7 7/30 4 23 3 3/11 4 27 11 11/48 Conduct of court staff 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0( ) Conduct of barrister or solicitor 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 1 (4*) Delays/procedure 7 6 3 2 2 3 12 3 (11*) 32 29 57 33 20 26 109 Total unfair treatment in court % 7 (18*) 3 (3*) 23 ( ) 31 ( ) *Percentage of total unfair treatment N:109.
Seven Asian defendants thought 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: three relating to sentence, one to the jury, one to delay and two to the quality of their legal representation. If these had been included to make a category of ‘suspicion of racial influence’, the proportion would have risen quite substantially from 12 to 21 per cent (16/75). 37 A Fair Hearing? 3 Perceptions of unfair treatment in the court due to racial bias: main issue raised in the Crown Court (percentages rounded) Crown Court: defendants interviewed Black What unfair?
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.
A Fair Hearing? by Stephen Shute