Research report explores public confidence in criminal justice system

Professor Claire Hamilton and Dr Lynsey Black
Professor Claire Hamilton
and Dr Lynsey Black

Research by two Maynooth University academics into how public confidence in the criminal justice system is measured and influenced in different countries has been published by the Department of Justice.

The report by Professor Claire Hamilton and Dr Lynsey Black was commissioned by the Department’s research and data analytics unit to support the development of more evidence-informed policy making.

It is the second in a series of pieces of research that have been commissioned by the unit, following an earlier report by Dr Deirdre Healy into victims’ interactions with the criminal justice system.

Writing in the introduction to the report, the Department’s secretary general Aidan O’Driscoll said: “As this research review states, it is clear that confidence in the criminal justice system is a complex and multidimensional concept.

“Professor Hamilton and Dr Black have provided us with an essential learning for our approach to improving confidence in the criminal justice system. They have highlighted two sets of issues for us: firstly issues around the administration of the justice system and secondly the need to focus on the fairness of the system.”

He added: “I commend the authors of this report for both the breadth and depth of material covered in their undertaking this work.

“There is much work for us to do to develop metrics of confidence and trust in our criminal justice system and I am certain that many of the methodologies referred to in this report will provide significant assistance to our efforts.

“Like our first report, while informing improved evidence-based policy decision making, this work should also be used as a catalyst for further research in the area.”

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