Coronavirus and the criminal justice system

Thursday, 16 April 2020

In June we'll be holding three webinars on the implications of the coronavirus for the criminal justice system, in partnership with The Open University.

One of the most basic assumption regarding criminal justice is that it is conducted in ‘open’ and through face-to-face context in all but exceptional circumstances (for example, closed courts to protect children, video linked vulnerable witnesses giving evidence in court).

In keeping with UK government guidelines regarding social distancing, much of the work of the courts, the probation service, the youth offending service and other parts of the justice system reducing much of its face-to-face work and shifting to remote, and private working.

The planned symposium will be examining the short-, medium- and long-term implications of this current pivot towards digital justice. Among the questions we are likely to explore are:

  1. What does socially distanced justice look like in practice?
  2. How does the new importance given to expertise in the light of the coronavirus crisis shape changes towards social distancing and the pivot to online provision in the administration and adjudication of criminal justice?
  3. To what extent is policy and practice change to social distancing and digitally-based justice possible without diminution of the basic precepts of ‘justice’?
  4. To what extent might those with a progressive vision of social justice be able to harness some of these changes.

Coming out of the symposium, we'll be producing a video summary and a number of written outputs.

We'll be approaching potential participants in the coming weeks, but don't wait for our call.

If you are an academic, researcher, policy specialist or practitioner and are interested in knowing more about the planned symposium and/or would be interested in participating, please register you interest by clicking on the button below.