Inside Crown Court


This qualitative study explored how the Crown Court is experienced and understood by court users (victims, witnesses and defendants); how they interact with the legal professionals; and the extent to which they regard court processes and outcomes as fair and legitimate. We interviewed 90 victims, witnesses and defendants, and 57 criminal justice practitioners working in and around the Crown Court, and we conducted 200 hours of observations of a variety of hearings in two Crown Courts. Our findings – focusing on the court process and performance, the ‘structured mayhem’, the ‘reluctant conformity’ of court users and the ‘them and us divide’ between the court users and legal professionals – are detailed in our book Inside Crown Court.

This project was completed in 2014.


Economic and Social Research Council

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