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I am best known for the textbook Darbyshire on the English Legal System 2020, my writing on juries, magistrates and criminal procedure and my book Sitting in Judgment - the working lives of judges. I retired from teaching at Kingston in 2018. I am an adjunct 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 socio-legal 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 many 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 (BBC2; BBC Radio 4) 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 three international collaborative research networks. I love hearing from research students, academics and judges throughout the world.
I taught English legal system for 40 years from 1978, along with criminal justice, legal method, constitutional and administrative law and criminal law. Since 1998, I have taught part-time and still teach ELS at the University of Notre Dame London Law Centre.
All has been designed to explore uncharted waters, or effect changes in law and practice, and/or to challenge thinking.
Judges' Working Lives 2002-2011
An internationally unique study of judges at every level of the English Legal System, from district judges to Supreme Court Justices. I was given unlimited access. I work shadowed 40 judges, in and out of the courtroom, observing and discussing their work. I interviewed a further 37, meeting hundreds more. I stayed in lodgings, on circuit. I observed and reported on appellate deliberations. This culminated in the 2011 book, Sitting in Judgment, which has sold in 34 countries and was serialised in The Guardian Online and republished in China, in 2018.
Judicial Management of Serious Criminal Cases
This was supported by Lord Chief Justice Thomas. I visited 12 Crown Courts and investigated case management, uncovering widespread disparities and departures from the Criminal Procedure Rules. Published in 2014, it was cited by Lord Justice Leveson in his 2015 Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings, resulting in changes in practice and in the Rules.
Meta-analysis of English language jury research 2001
This was commissioned by Lord Justice Auld for his Review of the Criminal Courts of England and Wales 2001. He adopted all recommendations. Some were enacted in the Criminal Justice Act 2003, or influenced practice or procedure. The Act achieved my aim of extending jury service to all citizens.
The lamp that shows that freedom lives - is it worth the candle? 1991
This widely known provocative, philosophical article was designed to challenge traditional and sentimental defences of the jury system.
Darbyshire on the English Legal System 2020
This textbook is full of original research and analysis and designed to stimulate critical thinking.
Additionally: plea bargaining, the UK Supreme Court, criminal procedure, magistrates, magistrates' clerks, jury issues
Darbyshire, Penny (2015) The UK Supreme Court - is there anything left to think about? European Journal of Current Legal Issues, 21(1), ISSN (online) 2059-0881
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 (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 (1991) The lamp that shows that freedom lives - is it worth the candle? Criminal Law Review, Oct, pp. 740-752. ISSN (print) 0011-135X
Darbyshire, Penny (2015) The UK Supreme Court - is there anything left to think about? In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) The UK Supreme Court yearbook: legal year 2014-2015. Cambridge, U.K. : Appellate Press Ltd. pp. 148-168. 6
Darbyshire, Penny (2009) The lamp that shows that freedom lives - is it worth the candle? In: Brooks, Thom, (ed.) The right to a fair trial. Aldershot, U.K. : Ashgate. pp. 251-264. (The international library of essays on rights) ISBN 9780754628088
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 (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
Darbyshire, Penny [Speaker] (2016) Sitting in judgment : the working lives of judges. In: Judicial Conflict Resolution Research Group (JCR) Collaborator Circles Seminar; 14 Nov 2016, Ramat Gan, Israel. (Unpublished)
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) Jury reform in England and Wales - unfinished business. In: Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting 2015: Law’s Promise and Law's Pathos in the Global North and Global South; 28-31 May 2015, Seattle, U.S.. (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) Jury reform in England and Wales - unfinished business. In: The Third International Conference on Empirical Studies of Judicial Systems: Citizen Participation Around the World; 5-6 Sep 2014, Taipei, Taiwan. (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 (2014) Sitting in judgment - the working lives of judges. In: Guest lecture; 3 Mar 2014, Birmingham, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Darbyshire, Penny (2012) Sitting in judgment: the working lives of judges (Hart, 2011): the story of the research project. In: 2012 International Conference on Law and Society: Joint Annual Meetings of the Law and Society Association (LSA) and the Research Committee on Sociology of Law (International Sociological Association): Sociolegal Conversations across a Sea of Islands; 5-8 Jun 2012, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.. (Unpublished)
Darbyshire, Penny (2012) Sitting in judgment: the working lives of judges (Hart, 2011): the story of the research project. In: Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference 2012; 3-5 Apr 2012, Leicester, U.K.. (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 (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
Darbyshire, Penny [Interviewee] (2018) Sitting in judgment - the working lives of judges. (Interview).
Darbyshire, Penny [Interviewee] (2018) What are the courts like after decades of judicial reform? (Interview).
I taught and researched at The University of California at Berkeley from January 1992 to August 1993. I am an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (London Law Centre), where I have taught since 1998, teaching every fall semester in London and delivering occasional guest lectures and research seminars on the main campus in Indiana. I have given guest lectures and guest research papers at the Universities of Tilburg (Netherlands), Goettingen (Germany), Bar-Ilan (Israel), Haifa (Israel), Academia Sinica, Taipei (Taiwan), Galway (Ireland) and Stamford (California). I have given a guest research seminar at a judges' training session in Jerusalem and guest lectures to Californian judges at Peterhouse College, Cambridge and to the Chinese Supreme Court justices and Shanghai Chief Prosecutor and prosecutors in London and Croydon. I have given several guest lectures to the Irish judiciary and Irish prosecutors in Waterford and Dublin (Ireland) and have appeared at a conference on criminal justice reform organised by the Irish Supreme Court in Dublin.
I have presented conference papers throughout the USA and in Mexico and at Renmin University of China, as can be seen from the Kingston University research repository.
My study of judges' working lives was supported and facilitated by Lord Chief Justice Judge, the senior judiciary, The Council of Circuit Judges, The Association of District Judges and the Chief Magistrate. Lord Judge read all drafts of the book. It was widely read by judges, lawyers and members of the Judicial Appointments Commission. I gave many papers at judges' training conferences in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Israel.
My work on Crown Court case management was cited by Lord Justice Leveson in his 2015 Review of Efficiency. I had reported on widespread departures from the Criminal Procedure Rules, which influenced his recommendations. He also adopted recommendations I made on judges' instructions to juries in my research on judges, now embodied in the Criminal Procedure Rules.
All 32 recommendations made to Auld LJ in the paper he commissioned on jury research were adopted by him in his 2001 Review and some became law in the Criminal Justice Act 2003. For instance, the categories of people who were excluded from jury service were drastically cut and the category of "excusable as of right" was abolished. Health workers, lawyers and judges became eligible for jury service. The 2004 Government press release announcing the implementation of the 2003 Act claimed that this had resulted in a significant widening of the pool of eligible jurors.
My PhD research on magistrates' legal advisers was supported by the Justices' Clerks' Society and published in the book The Magistrates' Clerk (1984). I gave papers at the Society conferences and at magistrates' and clerks' training sessions. My recommendations were adopted and changed practice in court and the training for advisers and bench chairs.
I served on the Law Commission working party on jury misconduct which resulted in the creation of four new criminal offences in 2015.