Professor Cyrus Tata


Personal statement

Professor Cyrus Tata, PhD, FRSA is Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at Strathclyde University Law School, where he is 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 he has 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, he is currently giving a series of public lectures on sustainable ways of reducing the use of imprisonment. He is also 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). He has also served as adviser to governments in several countries, for example recently to the senior judiciary and court service of the Irish Republic, and is currently assisting Northern Ireland’s Review of Sentencing Policy. He is also currently working, (with partners in Sweden, Italy and the USA), on an EU-funded research study into Emotions in the criminal process. He is also co-author of several studies into public views about and knowledge of sentencing. The research includes the experiences of victim/survivor experiences in sexual offence cases, and those of bereaved families in cases of death by driving offences. In 2017 he was invited and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Prof Tata's new book 'Sentencing: A Social Process - Rethinking Research & Policy' was published in 2020 to wide international acclaim.


Has expertise in:

    • Sentencing Processes

    • Penal Policy and Penal Decision-Making

    • Pre Sentence Processes

    • Plea Decision Making ('Not Guilty' and 'Guilty' Pleas)
    • 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


Public Perceptions of Sentencing Sexual Offences in Scotland : Qualitative Research Exploring Sexual Offences
Biggs Hannah, Reid Susan, Attygalle Kaushi, Vosnaki Konstantina, McPherson Rachel, Tata Cyrus
Sexual Offences Involving Sexual Assault
McPherson Rachel, Gormley Jay, Burgess Nicholas, Tata Cyrus
Sexual Offences Involving Rape
McPherson Rachel, Burgess Nicholas, Gormley Jay, Tata Cyrus
Public Perceptions of Sentencing : Qualitative Research Exploring Causing Death by Driving Offences
Reid Susan, Biggs Hannah, Attygalle Kaushi, Vosnaki Konstantina, McPherson Rachel, Tata Cyrus
Sentence Discounting : Sentencing and Plea Decision-Making
Gormley Jay, McPherson Rachel, Tata Cyrus
Remorse and sentencing in a world of plea bargaining
Gormley Jay, Tata Cyrus
Remorse and Criminal Justice (2020) (2020)

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Professional activities

Association of Political Science France - Annual Congress
Keynote/plenary speaker
National Science Centre, Poland (Publisher)
Peer reviewer
Ending the Revolving Prison Door
Invited speaker
International Advisory Board, Centre for Law & Society, University of Cardiff (External organisation)
Economic and Research Council (Publisher)
Peer reviewer
Judging Judges, Judging Sentencing: Studying Judicial Work as a Social Process
Keynote speaker

More professional activities


Invited to Private Meeting with Cabinet Secretary for Justice to discuss penal policy
Tata, Cyrus (Principal Investigator)
20-Jan-2019 - 20-Jan-2019
Academic Member of High-Level Advisory Group for Justice, Care Inspectorate
Tata, Cyrus (Principal Investigator)
Criminal Justice Social Work and Community Justice
30-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2020
JUSTEMOTIONS The construction of objectivity - An international perspective on the emotive-cognitive process of judicial decision-making
Tata, Cyrus (Principal Investigator)
JUSTEMOTIONS The construction of objectivity - An international perspective on the emotive-cognitive process of judicial decision-making
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2023
Communicating Sentencing: an Exploratory Study
Tata, Cyrus (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2020
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.
01-Jan-2013 - 30-Jan-2015

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