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Cerys Gibson

Research Student, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

I studied Law with French Law (BA) at the University of Nottingham and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) between 2009 and 2013. I went on to study an LLM in Criminal Justice (2013-2014) and an MA in Socio-Legal and Criminological Research Methods (2014-2016), both at the University of Nottingham.

In 2015, I took a break from my studies to carry out a paid internship at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Vienna, Austria. I worked in the Access to Justice sector in the Freedoms and Justice Department and was involved in a number of projects relating to access to justice, the transfer of prisoners between Member States and the right to translation and interpretation and information in criminal proceedings. These publications are now available on the FRA website.

I am currently a PhD research student at the School of Law, University of Nottingham. I am conducting an empirically informed, socio-legal analysis of the policy and practice of conditional cautioning of adult offenders in England and Wales. My supervisors are Professor John Jackson and Dr Candida Saunders and I am funded by the ESRC.

Expertise Summary

My area of interest is the pre-trial stage of criminal proceedings. I am particularly interested in the powers of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to divert cases from a full criminal trial through out-of-court disposals, specifically, conditional cautions or the proposed two-tier system currently trialed in England and Wales. I am also interested in the due process rights of detainees, including their right of access to a solicitor and right to interpretation and translation.

Research Summary

PhD Title: ' Conditional Cautioning in England & Wales: A Socio-legal Analysis of Policy and Practice '

Research Summary: Adult conditional cautions, introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 ss. 22-27, are one of six out-of-court disposals which can be administered by the police or prosecutors. Conditional cautions can be given for summary-only, triable either-way offences, and in exceptional circumstances, for indictable offences. They enable the decision-maker to impose conditions on the offender which can be for rehabilitative, reparative, or punitive purposes. For example, conditions can include victim awareness or substance abuse courses, paying compensation or apologising to the victim or the payment of fines.

This research first sets out the normative framework behind the introduction of conditional cautions with reference to relevant statutes, Codes of Practice and Guidance. The practice of administering conditional cautions is explored using a mixed methods approach.

The first stage of this research involves a quantitative overview of the number of conditional cautions administered in England and Wales, collected through publicly available data, and where needed, Freedom of Information requests. Where possible, information has been gathered on which criminal justice agency administered the conditional caution, the offence type, the conditions imposed and whether the conditions were fulfilled. This is followed by an in-depth qualitative study consisting of interviews and ethnographies with decision-makers to understand how conditional cautions are administered in practice and which factors affect the decision-making process.

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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