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Prof Cheryl Thomas
305 Bentham House
Director, UCL Judicial Institute and UCL Jury Project
UCL Faculty of Laws
London
WC1H 0EG
Appointment
  • Professor of Judicial Studies
  • Faculty of Laws
  • UCL SLASH
Biography

Cheryl Thomas is Professor of Judicial Studies in the UCL Faculty of Laws.  This is the first chair in judicial studies in the United Kingdom.  She is also Director of the UCL Jury Project and Co-Director of the UCL Judicial Institute.  Professor Thomas has served as a specialist consultant on judicial affairs to a wide range of official bodies including the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Chancellor's Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity, Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, Judicial Studies Board, Law Commission, Commission for Judicial Appointments, Council of Europe and European Commission.  In 2012 she was elected Honorary Master of the Bench of Inner Temple.  In 2017 she was also appointed Queen's Counsel Honoris Causa.  She is also a documentary maker and has produced programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Discovery and PSB.  Professor Thomas holds a D.Phil. and M.Phil. from Oxford University and BA from Syracuse University. 

Research Summary

Professor Cheryl Thomas has conducted ground-breaking research in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions on juries, judicial decision-making, the role of diversity in the justice system, and the appointment and training of judges.  Professor Thomas is the country's leading expert on juries and has pioneered the study of jury decision-making in the criminal courts this country, using an innovative approach that combines case simulation with real jurors at Crown Courts, large-scale analysis of actual jury verdicts and post-verdict interviews with jurors. Her groundbreaking studies, Diversity and Fairness in the Jury System (2007) and Are Juries Fair? (2010) tackled sensitive and controversial issues about the representative nature of juries and jury decision-making for the first time in this country. She has also led path breaking research on the professional judiciary, including instituting the longitudinal UK Judicial Attitude Survey on behalf of the judiciaries of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the UK Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Database Project and an empirical study of tribunal decision-making.  Her current jury research examines the impact of the digital courtroom on jury trials, the impact of special measures for vulnerable witnesses, how to prevent juror internet use during trial and how to improve jury deliberations.

Teaching Summary

Professor Thomas  offers the only LLM course in this country on understanding what judges actual do when they decide cases and the crucial role judges and courts play in democracies 

Graduate taught courses:

LLM: Judges, Courts and Judicial Decision-Making (LAWSG132)

MSc Forensic Science: Law and Expert Evidence 

Undergraduate taught courses:

BASc:  Law in Action (LAWS1014)

PhD Supervision: Yael Levy Ariel, Diana Richards, Eleanore Hickman, Sara Razai, Terry McGuinness, Paul Troop


Academic Background
1989 DPhil Doctor of Philosophy – Politics with Law University of Oxford
1984 M.Phil Master of Philosophy – Politics University of Oxford
1980 BA Bachelor of Arts – Political Science Syracuse University
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