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Publications

  • 'Prosecution in France' (with J. Hodgson), Oxford Handbooks Online, New York: Oxford University Press (2016)
    This essay examines the increasingly ambivalent role and status of the French prosecutor, the procureur. As a judicial officer (magistrat), she is required to act in and to uphold the public interest, but her hierarchical accountability to the executive and her role in the formation and implementation of local criminal justice policy threaten her independence, notably in the eyes of her fellow magistrats. The dominance of the executive, both politically and through the imposition of managerialist imperatives, is felt in the ever-expanding role of the procureur, especially in the local sphere. While the limited forms of legal and structural accountability in place leave the prosecutor with broad discretion, this is diminished through the drive to standardisation resulting from the delegation of work to fulfil the demands of dealing with greater numbers of cases more quickly, with fewer resources.
  • 'Understanding the French sentencing process' (with J. Hodgson), Crime and Justice - A Review of Research, The University of Chicago Press (2016)
    This paper looks at the practice as well as the theory of French sentencing and locates the sentencing process (for it is a process, not a single event) within the broader context of French inquisitorially rooted criminal procedure. It argues that the central part played by the prosecutor in criminal cases (including in case disposition through alternative sanctions), her role in recommending a sentence to the court and the court’s invariable decision to follow this suggestion, together with the unitary nature of the French judicial profession, means that despite the broad discretion afforded to the sentencing judge, there is a remarkable degree of consistency in the penalties imposed. It examines the range of penalties available and considers the most recent addition, the contrainte pénale, suggesting that this is unlikely to have a great impact without the investment of resources in the probation service and a change in the judicial culture which still favours simple sentencing options, including imprisonment, to the array of alternative options now in place.