Prof Cyrus Tata Holds Two Day European Seminar on ‘Admitting Guilt’

CLCJ’s Prof Cyrus Tata is holding a two-day European Seminar on Admitting Guilt: Pleading, Presenting and Performing.

The event, which takes place on 22-23 June 2023, brings together leading academics from across Europe to present, share, discuss and debate research into admissions of guilt at various stages of the criminal justice process, including: pre-trial, trial, pre-sentencing, sentencing, conviction, serving the sentence, parole etc.

Prof Tata explained the idea behind the event:

Every country claims the presumption of innocence as a sacrosanct ideal.  On the other hand, all countries tend, in reality, to rely heavily upon encouraging (early) admissions of guilt. This reliance is typically said to be inevitable, and/or necessary to ensure the smooth running of the justice system.

So it is that many see a tension the values of due process and efficiency. This apparent tension has been the basis of prevailing debates and scholarship: where should the balance lie between due process and efficiency?

But in more recent years, new research is emerging. For example, how is the attitude of the person and the authenticity of their expression of responsibility assessed? How, and in what ways, do inequalities impact decisions to admit guilt? How are ‘cultural differences’ among defendants (and alleged victims) interpreted by professionals? How can the development of research into desistance from offending help us to understand the dynamics and meanings of admissions of guilt in the context of people’s lives both within and outside of the justice system?

Our seminar will tackle these and other questions by learning about the latest research from across Europe.

The two-day seminar is held under the auspices of the European Group on Sentencing & Penal Decision-Making – a network of over 130 academic researchers, policy officials and practitioners from over 26 European countries.

Cyrus Tata

Professor Cyrus Tata