Professor Cyrus Tata


Personal statement

I am Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at Strathclyde University Law School, where I'm Director of the Centre for Law, Crime and Justice, and programme director of the LLM / MSc in Criminal Justice & Penal Change.

For over twenty-five years I've conducted and published research into various aspects of criminal justice in Scotland and abroad, including: the impact of legal aid reforms, plea decision-making and plea negotiation, lawyer-client relations, the role of pre-sentence reports, mitigation and individualisation, sentencing, executive release decision-making, and the use of information technology (including, for example, the introduction of a Sentencing Information System for the High Court).

Regularly invited to speak to policy and practice audiences at home and around the world, for example, I'm currently giving public lectures on sustainable ways of reducing the use of imprisonment.

I'm the founder and Chair of the European Group on Sentencing and Penal Decision-Making (a network of academic, policy and practice members in over 25 countries).

I have also served as adviser to governments in several countries, for example recently to the senior judiciary and court service of the Irish Republic, and am currently assisting Northern Ireland’s Review of Sentencing Policy.

Currently, I'm working, (with partners in Sweden, Italy and the USA), on an EU-funded research study into Emotions in the criminal process.

In 2017 I was invited and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


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


Reducing prison sentencing through pre-sentence reports? : why the quasi-market logic of 'selling alternatives to custody' fails
Tata Cyrus
The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice (formerly The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice) (2018)
Ritual individualisation : creative genius at sentencing, mitigation and conviction
Tata Cyrus
Journal of Law and Society Vol 46 (2018)
To plead or not to plead? 'Guilty' is the question : re-thinking plea decision-making in anglo-american countries
Tata Cyrus, Gormley Jay
Sentencing Policies and Practices in the 21st Century (2018) (2018)
Causing Death by Driving Offences : Literature Review
McPherson Rachel, Tata Cyrus
Just Emotions? The need for emotionally-intelligent justice policy
Tata Cyrus, Jamieson Fiona
5 (2017)
How can prison sentencing be reduced?
Tata Cyrus
4 (2016)

more publications

Professional activities

Ritual Individualisation and Emotion Work at Sentencing and Conviction - Invited Speaker
Co-Chair/Creator: Remorse & Responsibility in the Constructions of The ‘Ideal’ Defendant
Parole Board for Scotland: 50th Anniversary Conference
Review of Sentencing Policy in N Ireland (Event)
Reducing the Use of Imprisonment in Sentencing & Penal Decision-Making
The Future of Community Justice in Scotland

more professional activities


Communicating Sentencing: an Exploratory Study
Tata, Cyrus (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Jun-2018 - 28-Feb-2019
JUSTEMOTIONS The construction of objectivity - An international perspective on the emotive-cognitive process of judicial decision-making
Tata, Cyrus (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Sep-2018 - 31-Aug-2023
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)
Street crime and fear of street crime have significant adverse impacts on individual lives, the use and regeneration of urban areas, the ability to attract businesses and investment, the price of property, and the ability of citizens to live full and creative lives. Previous studies have examined the relationships between a range of social, economic and situational factors and levels and predictability of crime using a range of techniques. However the impact of altering these factors (where they can be influenced), and how such measures might be combined with other potential crime reduction measures are not fully understood. This research aims to achieve new insights into the pattern of crime in cities using big data analytics to analyse the relationships between multiple datasets and levels of crime, and use genetic algorithms to derive innovative optimised strategies that result in lower levels of street crime alongside balancing other objectives - such as lower service costs (eg from improved design of street lighting, and policing patterns), lower carbon emissions, and improved public confidence and acceptance. These strategies will be tested through using the city as a living lab, drawing on Glasgow's Technology Strategy Board (TSB) City Demonstrator role.
Period 01-Jun-2013 - 30-May-2015

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