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 currently working, (with partners in Sweden, Italy and the USA), on an EU-funded research study into Emotions in the criminal process. In 2017 he 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


Sentencing as a Social Process : Re-thinking Research and Policy
Tata Cyrus
Socio-Legal Series Socio-Legal Series (2020)
Humanising punishment? Mitigation and "case-cleansing" prior to sentencing
Tata Cyrus
Oñati Socio-Legal Series Vol 9, pp. 659-683 (2019)
Public Perceptions of Sentencing : National Survey Report
Black Carolyn, Warren Rachel, Ormston Rachel, Tata Cyrus
Sentencing & penal policy : ending prison as the default
Tata Cyrus
To plead? or not to plead? 'Guilty' is the question. Re-thinking plea decision-making in anglo-american countries
Gormley Jay, Tata Cyrus
Handbook on Sentencing Policies and Practices in the 21st Century (2019) (2019)
Selling 'alternatives to prison' to judicial consumers : why the market logic fails
Tata Cyrus

More publications

Professional activities

Sentencing and the Use of Short Prison Sentences: Reform in Scotland and in England & Wales (video recording)
Keynote speaker
Short Prison Sentencing Reform
Keynote/plenary speaker
Sentencing Reform - Invited Speaker
Keynote speaker
BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
BBC Radio 4 'Today' Programme Interview - Sentencing & Prisons
BBC Radio 4 Interview about Community Justice

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)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2023
Communicating Sentencing: an Exploratory Study
Tata, Cyrus (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2020

More projects