The McDonaldization of justice and the disappearance of fair trial? University of Warwick, 19-21 May, 2022

Warwick’s School of Law and Criminal Justice Centre are delighted to be hosting The McDonaldization of justice and the disappearance of fair trial? the 11th Conference in the series ‘The future of adversarial and inquisitorial systems.’  Led by Professor Jackie Hodgson at Warwick together with Solange Mouthaan, these conferences are a collaboration between the Universities of Basel, Bologna, North Carolina, Warwick and Duke University.

With several conference panels drawing on Hodgson’s The Metamorphosis of Criminal Justice (2020, OUP), the conference asks whether preoccupations with managerialism, cost-saving, preventive justice and the avoidance of trial are supplanting the values of adversarial and inquisitorially rooted systems of criminal justice?  The result is what has been described by Ritzer as a kind of McDonaldisation of criminal justice.

Most recently, the global pandemic has prevented in-person court hearings, resulting in trial delays, extended periods of detention for defendants, and spurring on the growth in virtual court hearings.  Virtual courts are seen as attractive and efficient in the processing of cases without requiring staff and witnesses to be in the same physical space, but the impact of adopting this more widely – along with other aspects of digital justice – requires careful scrutiny.

Thursday 19th May is devoted to presentations from Early Career Researchers and attendance is free, but participants must register via email first to secure a place.

The main conference is on Friday 20 May and the morning of Saturday 21 May.  All are welcome but you must register via email and there is a small charge for attendance (£35 Friday, including lunch; £25 Saturday). You are also welcome to join the conference dinner on the evening of Friday 20th May at a cost of £35.