Transforming Summary Justice: Modernisation in the Lower Criminal Courts

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Sweeping changes are being introduced into the lower-tier magistrates’ courts in England and Wales in efforts to modernise the system and speed up case processing. They concentrate on delivering prompt justice within a modern, efficient and technologically advanced system. But these transformations are fundamentally changing the way justice is delivered. This book analyses criminal court streamlining processes and argues that there are areas where due process protections are being undermined.

Transforming Summary Justice

reports empirical research carried out with lay magistrates and criminal justice professionals. Views and experiences drawn from magistrates are valuable because of the central role they perform in lower court justice. Further, magistrates provide a wider understanding of the context in which the lower criminal courts operate and enable a critical appraisal of this unique style of ‘lay justice’.

This book is directed at students of criminology, criminal justice and socio-legal studies, who will find the debates stimulating and useful to engage with in contemporary analyses of criminal court justice. It will also be of interest to justice and legal professionals who are seeing swingeing alterations to the field in which they work. The book will have appeal in other common-law jurisdictions, where similar modifications to lower court justice are occurring, and also across Europe, where lay involvement in legal decision-making is being debated and becoming accepted practice.

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About the author

Jennifer Ward is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology of the School of Law at Middlesex University, London.

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Additional Information

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Published on
Nov 10, 2016
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Social Science / Criminology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction

Named on Amazon's Best Books of the Year 2015--Michael Botticelli, U.S. Drug Czar (Politico) Favorite Book of the Year--Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize Economics (Bloomberg/WSJ) Best Books of 2015--Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky (WSJ) Books of the's 10 Best Books of 2015--Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best Books of 2015 --Buzzfeed's 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015--The Daily Beast's Best Big Idea Books of 2015--Seattle Times' Best Books of 2015--Boston Globe's Best Books of 2015--St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Best Books of 2015--The Guardian's The Best Book We Read All Year--Audible's Best Books of 2015--Texas Observer's Five Books We Loved in 2015--Chicago Public Library's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

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