BSC HCN Virtual Discussion Group – Experiences with Juror Decision-Making Research: Resistance or Support to Existing and Potentially New Hate Crimes

Wednesday 17 April 2024, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm BST, online (UK)


Martha Babbs (University of Greenwich)

Juries can be considered the bastion of democracy, and more importantly an outlet for public attitudes. Juror research over the past 70 years has explored the best ways to garner the fairest legal outcomes, but also to investigate the process made by individuals, and groups, to make vital decisions in the courtroom.

Research into juror-decision making in hate crime cases is limited, but it is important to understand the types of attitudes around different types of hate crimes, both existing (race, sexual orientation, disability) and potentially new (misogyny/gender). Using a juror simulation paradigm, and using a database of participants from various countries, this research has looked at measuring how individuals apply guilt attributions (verdicts, sentencing, guilt likelihood), as well as what psychological and personality traits may predict or moderate these key decisions in hate crime cases. An experimental quantitative design is utilised.

A key aim of this research is to explore whether there is a resistance to hate crime labelling, or support for the way the law is designed in England and Wales. A secondary aim explores the possibility of a potentially new protected characteristic, gender (misogyny hate crime) in a courtroom context.

This presentation will discuss the steps I have taken so far to engage in juror-decision making research, the challenges that have been presented to me in my PhD journey and what the next final steps will be. Research questions, reviews of current literature surrounding jury decision-making in hate crime cases, and study results will be discussed.

About this discussion group:

This discussion group is part of the BSC Hate Crime Network, and has been designed to create a supportive space for PGRs and ECRs who are researching within the broad area of hate studies. PGRs could include students studying at MA and doctoral level, and ECRs includes those researchers who are within five years of receiving their doctorate. The group brings PGRs and ECRs together to share their research projects, discuss methodological issues, and consider best practices when researching sensitive topics.

The group will touch upon, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Working with and supporting victims
  • Managing the sensitivity of hate studies research
  • Ethical issues
  • Working with policy-makers and practitioners
  • Creative and inclusive research methods
  • Our responsibility as researchers
  • Working with perpetrators of hate crime


Find more information and book your free place here:

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