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By Stephen Shute

This e-book studies on examine which investigates the perceptions of ethnic minorities bearing on their therapy within the felony courts. It examines the level to which ethnic minority defendants and witnesses in either the Crown courtroom and the magistrates' courts perceived their remedy to were unfair, whether or not they believed any unfairness to were the results of ethnic bias, and even if this had affected their self belief within the felony courts. The learn, conducted by way of the Oxford Centre for Criminological study in organization with the collage of Birmingham for the Lord Chancellor's division, concerned observations of circumstances and interviews with greater than 1000 humans (defendants, witnesses, barristers, solicitors, judges, magistrates and others), and curious about courts in Manchester, Birmingham and London. a good listening to? Ethnic minorities within the felony courts starts off by means of displaying how commonly held the assumption has been that ethnic minorities are discriminated opposed to by means of the courts and by means of different enterprises within the felony justice method. It discusses the criteria that contributed to this trust, together with the findings of the Macpherson file and the idea of 'institutional racism'. the most a part of the booklet then appears on the institutional atmosphere during which the learn happened, the adventure of defendants and witnesses, their perspectives approximately how they have been taken care of through the felony courts, and the perspectives of others enthusiastic about the courtroom approach. ultimate chapters within the booklet deal with the difficulty of sensitivity to ethnicity at the a part of judges, magistrates and attorneys. It indicates that attitudes and practices are appeared to have replaced for the higher and examines what extra should be performed to extend the arrogance that individuals of ethnic minorities have within the equity of the felony courts.

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All of these things might have led the person concerned to interpret his or her treatment in the current case as unfair. We therefore investigated the respondents’ more general attitudes and beliefs about the treatment of ethnic minorities by the criminal courts in order to see to what extent these were based on their personal experiences or on the experiences or say-so of others. Another way of looking at the question of unfair treatment was to ask whether the persons concerned (if they had previously appeared in a criminal court) believed that their treatment had been better, the same, or worse than before; and if better or worse, why.

Among ‘Pakistanis’ – who accounted for the largest group of interviewees – 8 per cent complained of racial bias. 91 A further six black defendants said that their ‘unfair treatment’ in court ‘might have been/could have been/I’m not sure/maybe’ affected by the fact that they were from an ethnic minority: five relating to sentence and one to the judge’s attitude/conduct. If these had been included to make a category of ‘suspicion of racial influence’, the proportion would have risen from 21 to 24 per cent (41/171).

83 We also attempted to gain an impression of how the situation was, so to speak, perceived by ‘the other side’: the magistrates and Crown Court judges who had both to preside, communicate and deliver judgment on white and ethnic minority defendants alike. In giving permission for us to approach judges, the Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales ruled that, as a matter of principle, judges could not discuss or comment on individual cases in which they were involved, even if those cases formed part of our research sample.

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