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Joint Enterprise Project

Dr Susie Hulley (Univ of Cambridge) and Dr Tara Young (Univ of Kent)  are academics conducting research into friendship, violence and legal consciousness. The study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the overall goal is to make a theoretical and empirical contribution to the debate on the legal response to serious group violence involving young people (particularly ‘joint enterprise’), to inform policy makers, criminal justice practitioners and young people.

The study has four principle aims. The first is to provide an analysis of young people’s social relations and how these influence and shape their involvement in serious group violence. The second aim is to document young people’s legal consciousness – that is their perceptions and experiences of the law as it relates to serious violence generally and joint enterprise specifically. The third aim is to provide an analysis of criminal justice practitioners’ interpretations of young people’s social relations and the extent to which these influence practice in cases of serious group violence, and the final aim is to document criminal justice practitioners’ legal consciousness related to ‘joint enterprise’ including the impact of recent changes to the law on practice. 

We are keen to interview barristers with recent experience of joint enterprise cases involving young defendants charged with murder or other serious violence. 

Interviews are expected to be carried out during November and December this year. Potential interviewees will be given a detailed information sheet outlining the study and the terms of the research (related to anonymity and confidentiality, for example). Participants will not be identifiable in the research (each interviewee is given a unique code and a pseudonym and any identifiable features are removed from the interview transcript).

The semi-structured interviews will last about one hour and will be scheduled to take place in a private office at the participants workplace (or another venue if requested) to minimise disruption to the working day. We will not be asking interviewees to disclose information about previous or existing legal cases. Rather, they will be asked to consider ‘general’ processes, ‘common’ themes within their work and ‘typical’ experiences. 

If you can assist with this study please contact either [email protected] (Dr Hulley) or [email protected] (Dr Young).

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