How can we make sense of the recent legislative and political developments in the practice of Magistrates courts? And how do these impact on decision-making and best practices in the Magistrates courts? Established scholars in the field of criminological research will explore these issues over a two-day ‘Seminar for Magistrates’ to be held on 9 & 10 January 2015 at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford.

The seminar will offer a forum for discussion and learning on several topics, including restorative justice, youth justice, the influence of race and gender, crime rates and crime control, as well as sentencing. Speakers will draw on legal cases, theoretical and empirical research in discussing ways to enhance the legitimacy of the courts. Authoritative accounts of the current academic thinking will be shared in plenary sessions and participants will be encouraged to engage in critical reflection and discussion on these findings, and their impact on their own work, in smaller breakout sessions.

The seminar is tailored to meet the needs of Magistrates and inform their daily work. As such, it builds on the Centre for Criminology’s extensive experience in professional criminal justice seminars for the police. Testimonials from participants of previous seminars organised for the Thames Valley Police include:

  • ‘The strength of the event was exposing officers to the broader academic thinking and debates in the area of crime and policing. This was particularly effective because of the significant amount of time given for questions and discussion, and the excellent facilitation of those sections by the presenters. I would very much hope to see more events of this nature in the future.’
  • ‘Both the lectures and reading material have informed my thinking and decision making concerning current work.’
  • ‘I found them to be very thought provoking. I also feel that it is important for practitioners to debate academic research/theory to aid both personal and professional development.’


The full programme can be downloaded here.

Find out more about our speakers.

For queries related to the ‘Seminar for Magistrates’ please contact Chris Brace at the Magistrate Association or Julia Viebach  at the Centre for Criminology.