Cyrus Tata, Dr


Personal Statement

I am Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at Strathclyde University Law School, where I'm 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 I've 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, I'm currently giving public lectures on sustainable ways of reducing the use of imprisonment.

I'm the 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).

I have also served as adviser to governments in several countries, for example recently to the senior judiciary and court service of the Irish Republic, and am currently assisting Northern Ireland’s Review of Sentencing Policy.

Currently, I'm working, (with partners in Sweden, Italy and the USA), on an EU-funded research study into Emotions in the criminal process.

In 2017 I was invited and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Expertise & Capabilities

  • 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


    Research areas

  • sentencing; legal aid; discretionary decision-making; plea bargaining; criminal process; penal process; pre sentence reports; social work reports
  1. Just Emotions? The need for emotionally-intelligent justice policy

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article

  2. Sentencing and plea bargaining: guilty pleas versus trial verdicts

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  3. How can prison sentencing be reduced?

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

View all »


  1. Reducing the Use of Imprisonment in Sentencing & Penal Decision-Making

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganiser of major conference

  2. Reducing the Use of Imprisonment in Sentencing & Penal Decision-Making

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganiser of major conference

View all »


  1. Influence on judicial decision making and increased public understanding of sentencing practice through implementation of Sentencing Information System

    Impact: Impact - for External PortalPolicy and legislation, Public understanding, information and debate, Professional practice, training and standards

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Cyrus Tata

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