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Title: Magistrates, managerialism and marginalisation : neoliberalism and access to justice in East Kent
Author: Welsh, Lucy Charlotte
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 0124
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines access to justice in summary criminal proceedings by considering the ability of defendants to play an active and effective role in the proceedings. Summary proceedings are those which take place in magistrates’ courts, and are decided by lay magistrates or a district judge (magistrates’ courts) without a jury. The study uses ethnographic fieldwork to explore the structural/cultural intersection of public services by considering both the effects of structural changes in criminal proceedings in magistrates' courts and the agency of the courtroom workgroup. While the cultural practices of magistrates’ courts have always tended to exclude defendants from active participation in the process, I argue that the structural influences of neoliberalism, in terms of demands for ever more efficient practices and emphasis on individual responsibility as a function of citizenship, have exacerbated the inability of defendants to participate in the process of prosecution. I also observe that, for a number of reasons, the professional workgroup has tended to absorb and adapt to, rather than resist, the neoliberalisation of summary criminal justice. Thus, the combination of structural and cultural influences on magistrates’ court proceedings perpetuates the marginalisation of defendants. Further, in light of neoliberalism's preference for market based approaches to government, there is little political motivation to address the identified problems of access to justice.
Supervisor: Carr, Helen ; Hunter, Rosemary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: K Law ; KD England and Wales