A unique overview of the main criminal justice institutions across the three UK jurisdictions of Scotland, Wales, and the combined jurisdiction of England and Wales.
- How are the main UK criminal justice institutions organised?
- How did they develop over time into their current form?
- How are they held to account?
- How can ordinary citizens challenge them and influence their work?
These are the main questions covered in Criminal justice systems in the UK.
Written by two of the most experienced observers of the UK justice systems, Criminal justice systems in the UK offers an accessible overview of the police, the prosecution authorities, the courts, and prisons across the UK.
an invaluable new resource which many people working in criminal justice across the UK will want to download and keep (Russell Webster)
No gold standard
Across the UK, there is no single, UK-wide criminal justice model; no ‘gold standard’ arrangement. Three criminal justice jurisdictions, with different histories, structures and operations, cover the United Kingdom: the combined jurisdiction of England and Wales, and the separate jurisdictions of Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
The diverse UK criminal justice arrangements, the result of distinctive histories, cultures and politics, offer a variety of operational and reform options.
Criminal justice systems in the UK takes the varieties of criminal justice across the UK as its starting point, drawing out similarities, and identifying contrasting arrangements across the UK's nations and regions.
Criminal justice systems are under constant scrutiny. Calls for improvement and change are never far away. This report outlines a number of key mechanisms currently available in the different jurisdictions of the United Kingdom to hold these institutions to account and to press for change and reform.
Criminal justice systems in the UK is divided into four main chapters, covering the police, prosecution, courts and prisons. Each chapter examines the main mechanisms for accountability and change:
- Citizen accountability
Each chapter examines how these four main mechanisms operate across the three UK jurisdictions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
About the authors
Richard Garside is the Director, and Dr Roger Grimshaw the Research Director, at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
Background to the report
Criminal justice systems in the UK came about as a result of a commission by the former Department for International Development, subsequently incorporated as the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, which provided funding and critical challenge. Further contributions to the authors' thinking were made by expert consultants who brought a range of perspectives to the topics: historical, sociological and international.