Professor Richard Young

Professor Richard Young

Birmingham Law School
Professor of Law and Policy

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 7603
+44 (0)121 414 3585
Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Richard Young specialises in empirical research, especially into criminal justice. He is co-author of a leading textbook on that subject, now in its 4th edition, and has co-authored two monographs, Judging Social Security and Child Support in Action. He has also co-edited three collections of essays, Access to Criminal Justice, New Visions of Crime Victims, and Regulating Policing. His teaching interests lie in the fields of criminal law and justice, and socio-legal studies.


  • LLB , Birmingham
  • PhD, Birmingham


Richard spent the first 14 years of his legal life at Birmingham, taking a first class Honours degree in law in 1985 and a PhD in 1989, before holding the posts successively of Research Fellow, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. In 1997 he moved to the University of Oxford as Fellow in Law at Pembroke College and Lecturer in Criminology at the Centre for Criminological Research. He later became Assistant Director of the Centre and Reader in Criminal Justice. In 2006, he moved to a chair in Law and Policy Research at the University of Bristol, before returning to the University of Birmingham as Professor of Law and Policy in 2013. He has also been Visiting Professor at the University of South Carolina (1996) and at the University of Missouri at Kansas City (1999).

His research projects have been funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Home Office, the Legal Services Commission, the Northern Ireland Court Service, and the Legal Aid Board. Having spent seven years studying restorative justice, his most recent empirical projects have concerned legal aid decision-making. At Bristol Richard supervised several doctoral students examining different aspects of criminal justice, and he is keen to continue in the same vein at Birmingham. Currently he is lead supervisor on a PhD project examining the Independent Custody Visitors' Scheme. Richard is on the editorial board of two journals: the International Review of Victimology, and Law & Policy.


Postgraduate supervision

Professor Young is particularly interested in supervising doctoral studies of policing, but will gladly consider proposals into any aspect of civil or criminal justice.


Professor Young’s main research interest lies in understanding the way the criminal justice system operates.  To that end he has conducted empirical studies of:

  • Mediation and reparation schemes
  • Restorative Justice
  • The Police Complaints System
  • Police Cautioning
  • Legal aid decision-making in the magistrates’ courts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland

In recent work he has been exploring issues relating to courtroom workgroups, and to police accountability.

Other activities

  • Deputy Research Director (Funding): 2013-
  • Law School Executive Group: 2013-


Selected Recent Publications:


  • Sanders, A., Young, R. & Burton, M. (2010) Criminal Justice, 4th edn, Oxford University Press.
  • Cape, E. & Young, R. (2008) Regulating Policing: The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, past, present and future, Hart Publishing.


  • Young, R. (2013) ‘Exploring the Boundaries of the Criminal Courtroom Workgroup’, Common Law World Review, vol 42(3), pp. 203-239.
  • Young, R. (2012) ‘Managing the List in the Lower Criminal Courts: Judgecraft or Crafty Judges?’. Common Law World Review, vol 41(1), pp. 29 – 58.


  • Sanders, A. & Young, R. (2012) ‘From Suspect to Trial’. in: M. Maguire, R. Morgan & R. Reiner (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 5th edn, Oxford University Press, pp 953-989.
  • Young, R. (2010) ‘Ethnic Profiling and Summary Justice - An Ominous Silence’, in: K. Sveinsson (ed.) Ethnic Profiling: The Use of 'Race' in UK Law Enforcement, Runnymede Trust, pp. 43 – 49.
  • Sanders, A. & Young, R. (2008) ‘Police Powers’ in: T. Newburn (ed.) Handbook of Policing, Willan, pp. 281 – 312.
  • Young, R. (2008) ‘Street Policing after PACE: The Drift to Summary Justice’. in: E. Cape & R. Young (eds.) Regulating Policing, Hart Publishing, pp. 149 - 189