Criminal Justice in the United States

The Centre for American Legal Studies has a long history of informing criminal justice policy and practice across the United States through teaching, research, and expert advice. 

Criminal Justice in the United States

Teaching includes a bespoke module - ‘American Criminal Procedure and Evidence’ – on the LL.B, and the co-ordination of a US Internship Programme – American Legal Practice – available as an option for LL.B and postgraduate students who meet relevant eligibility criteria.  In operation for over 25 years, American Legal Practice trains and facilitates students to apply to gain experience at a law organisation, with typical criminal law-focused hosts being innocence projects, public defender offices, private law firms, and death penalty representation units.

The cluster has a long-time interest in research focused on capital punishment, the American Innocence Movement, and decision-making by lawyers, judges, and jurors in the criminal legal proceedings. Harnessing their research expertise, members provide expert advice for Amicus Briefs submitted to federal and state courts in criminal proceedings; support the work of NGOs and charities; and developed partnerships across the US, including with Law Schools and The Law Library of Congress, and private lawyers. Research from the group has been cited across US courts, lawyering documentation, treatises, and scholarship.

Areas of activity

  • Capital punishment
  • Decision-making in criminal proceedings
  • Amicus Briefs

Staff working in this group

  • Dr Sarah Cooper
  • Dr Alice Storey
  • Professor Jon Yorke
  • Dr Ilaria Di Gioia

Research students

  • Amelia Shooter - 100 years of the National Research Council: Exploring Judicial Deference to Agency Science (PhD awarded 2020)
  • Rose Tempowski - Developing Neuroscience, Criminal liability for Juveniles, and Law-making
  • Sally Phillips - Judicial Responses to Challenges to Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • Thomas Nicklin – Compassionate Release for the Elderly