Professor Penny Darbyshire


I am best known for the textbook Darbyshire on the English Legal System 2020 here, my writing on juries and my book Sitting in Judgment - the working lives of judges here.  I retired from teaching at Kingston in 2018. I am a professor at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, London Law Centre. I worked at Kingston from 1978. I did my law degree, MA in criminology and PhD in sociolegal studies, in 1971-1978, publishing my first empirical research as an undergraduate. I was a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge in 2005 and a visiting scholar, then lecturer, at the University of California at Berkeley from January 1992 to August 1993. I have been a guest speaker at universities and public venues such as The Hay Literary Festival and to judges, magistrates, lawyers, law teachers and students throughout the world since I was a PhD student. I have presented hundreds of conference research papers. Media appearances include UK newspapers: The Times, The Guardian Online and The Independent, TV and radio in the UK and Ireland, plus interviews and workshop and panel discussions available on the internet.  My work has had an impact on law and practice and on academic and public debate. I am in two international collaborative research networks. I love hearing from research students, academics and judges throughout the world.

Academic responsibilities

Professor Emerita


  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • PhD, Institute of Judicial Administration, University of Birmingham
  • MA, University of Keele
  • BA (Hons), CNAA, Kingston Polytechnic

Teaching and learning

I taught criminal justice, criminal law, ELS, basic EU law and constitutional and administrative law.  


JUDGES: I had fun conducting the world's first in-depth study of judges' working lives 2002-10, work shadowing 40 judges and interviewing 77, from district judges to UK Supreme Court Justices,  I had unlimited access to information. I sat on the bench with the judges and travelled on circuit. I am one of only two people in the world permitted to observe appellate deliberations. See SITTING IN JUDGMENT (2011) a book which has sold in 33 countries, and many papers and articles. 

2014: a study of judicial case management of Crown Court cases.

JURIES: I published a 2001 meta-analysis of English-language research. I recommended that jury ineligibility and excuses as of right should be abolished. This became law in 2003, widening jury eligibility. My best known article is a 1991 comment, "The Lamp that shows that freedom lives - is it worth the candle?"

Also magistrates and criminal procedure.


Number of items: 29.


Penny, Darbyshire (2014) Judicial case management in ten Crown courts. Criminal Law Review, 2014(1), pp. 30-50. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (2013) The working lives of judges in England and Wales. Rechtstreeks(2), pp. 16-37. ISSN (print) 1573-5222

Darbyshire, Penny (2008) Letter: exposing the myths of jury service. Criminal Law Review(11), pp. 888-891. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (2006) Transparency in getting the accused to plead guilty early. The Cambridge Law Journal, 65(1), pp. 48-51. ISSN (print) 0008-1973

Darbyshire, Penny (2001) What can we learn from published jury research? Findings from the Criminal Courts Review 2001. Criminal Law Review, Dec, pp. 970-979. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (2001) A refreshing change from the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice. Criminal Justice Matters, 46(1), pp. 14-15. ISSN (print) 0962-7251

Darbyshire, Penny (2000) The mischief of plea bargaining and sentencing rewards. Criminal Law Review, Nov, pp. 895-910. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (1999) A comment on the powers of magistrates' clerks. Criminal Law Review, May, pp. 377-386. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (1997) For the new Lord Chancellor - some causes for concern about magistrates. Criminal Law Review, Dec, pp. 861-874. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (1997) Strengthening the argument in favour of the defendant's right to elect. Criminal Law Review, Dec, pp. 911-914. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (1997) An essay on the importance and neglect of the magistracy. Criminal Law Review, Sep, pp. 627-643. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (1997) The Law Commission Consultation Paper on previous misconduct: Part 3: Previous misconduct and magistrates' courts - some tales from the real world. Criminal Law Review, Feb, pp. 105-115. ISSN (print) 0011-135X

Darbyshire, Penny (1990) Notes of a lawyer juror. New Law Journal, 140(6471), pp. 1264-1267. ISSN (print) 0306-6479

Book Section

Darbyshire, Penny (2008) Criminal procedure in England and Wales. In: Vogler, Richard and Huber, Barbara, (eds.) Criminal procedure in Europe. Berlin, Germany : Max-Planck Institute. pp. 39-169. (Schriftenreihe des Max-Planck-Instituts für Ausländisches und Internationales Strafrecht; 112) ISBN 9783861138655

Darbyshire, Penny (2002) Magistrates. In: McConville, Mike and Wilson, Geoffrey, (eds.) The handbook of the criminal justice process. Oxford : Oxford University Press. pp. 285-309. ISBN 0199253951

Darbyshire, Penny (2000) Raising concerns about magistrates' clerks. In: Doran, Sean and Jackson, John, (eds.) The judicial role in criminal proceedings. Oxford : Hart Publishing. pp. 183-194. ISBN 9781841130453

Conference or Workshop Item

Darbyshire, Penny (2016) Observational study of youth courts: the planning stage. In: Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting 2016: At the Delta: Belonging, Place and Visions of Law and Social Change; 02-05 Jun 2016, New Orleans, U.S.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2015) 'British justice is the finest in the world' - an examination of Anglo-American boasting. In: Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Annual Conference 2015: Law’s Subjects: Subject to Law; 1-4 Sep 2015, York, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2015) Civil case management: can lessons be learned from Wales and England? In: Case Management; 27-28 Apr 2015, Edinburgh, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2014) Judicial criminal case management in ten English Crown Courts. In: Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting 2014: Law and Inequalities: Global and Local; 29 May-01 Jun 2014, Minneapolis, U.S.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2011) Judging in the criminal courts in this age of austerity. In: Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Annual Conference 2011: Law in politics, politics in law; 05 - 08 Sep 2011, Cambridge, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2008) Judging in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). In: Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Annual Conference 2008: The Impact of Legal Scholarship; 15 - 18 Sep 2008, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2008) Brenda and the Law Lords. In: Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference 2008; 18-20 Mar 2008, Manchester, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2008) Judging in the Court of Appeal. In: Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference 2008; 18-20 Mar 2008, Manchester, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2008) Tales from the world of judges. In: Wolfson Philosophical Society: College Research Colloquium; 28 Feb 2008, Cambridge, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2007) The 'family' of family judges: a guide for the complete stranger. In: Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference 2007; 3-5 Apr 2007, Canterbury, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Darbyshire, Penny (2007) Criminal business: cameos of district judges in the Magistrates' Court. In: Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference 2007; 03 - 05 Apr 2007, Canterbury, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Darbyshire, Penny, Maughan, Andy and Stewart, Angus (2002) What can the English Legal System learn from jury research published up to 2001? (Other) Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, U.K. : Kingston Business School/Kingston Law School, Kingston University. 90 p. (Occasional Paper Series 49) ISBN 1872058337

Moving Image/Broadcast

Darbyshire, Penelope [Interviewee] (2018) What are the courts like after decades of judicial reform? (Interview).

This list was generated on Fri Nov 27 06:33:10 2020 GMT.