Prof Cyrus Tata


Personal statement

My work centres on the relationships between law, discretionary decision-making and justice. The use of discretion is both essential and problematic to the principles of the Rule of Law. My work explores these issues – both in principle and through empirical observation. Most of my empirical work has been conducted in the context of criminal legal processes and criminal justice.

As well as contributing to academic knowledge, my work aims to inform policy and practice, and indeed broader public discourse. For example, I have addressed and advised legislatures, judiciaries, governments and non-governmental bodies around the world, and assist the media.

I teach undergraduates as well as postgraduates on the Master’s in Criminal Justice and Penal Change. I also supervise several doctoral students.


Has expertise in:

    • 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 and plea bargaining : guilty pleas versus trial verdicts
Tata Cyrus, Gormley Jay M.
Oxford Handbooks OnlineOxford Handbooks Online, (2016)
How can prison sentencing be reduced?
Tata Cyrus
Scottish Justice Matters Vol 4, (2016)
Sentencing and release from prison : the end of ‘automatic early release’?
Tata Cyrus
Scottish Justice Matters, (2016)
Sentencing and penal policy in the new Scotland : consultation on extending the presumption against short custodial sentences
Tata Cyrus
Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice, (2015)
A way forward on sentencing, rehabilitation and imprisonment
Tata Cyrus
Holyrood, (2015)
Sentencing and the allure of imprisonment : why rehabilitation should not be a ground for custodial sentencing
Tata Cyrus
Scottish Justice Matters, (2015)

more publications

Professional activities

Restorative Practices: Foundational Skills - Intensive CPD Course
Smarter Sentencing & Penal Policy: What Could and Should 'the New Scotland' Do?
Reducing the Use of Imprisonment in Sentencing & Penal Decision-Making
The Guilt of Innocence
Press Coverage: SNP drive to reduce huge prison population unlikely to make real inroads, warns expert
Press Coverage: Overhaul in Short Sentences 'will not cut jail population'

more professional activities


Using big data analytics and genetic algorithms to predict street crime
Bellingham, Richard (Principal Investigator) Andonovic, Ivan (Co-investigator) Fedorov, Maxim (Co-investigator) Quigley, John (Co-investigator) Rogerson, Robert (Co-investigator) Tata, Cyrus (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jun-2013 - 30-May-2015

more projects