Ministry of justice research paper

Ministry of justice

Access to Justice: evidence of the experiences of minority groups based on ethnicity, identity and sexuality


This review is basically focused on the research paper done on justice and its unequal partiality in accessibility as it relates to minority groups based on ethnicity, identity and sexuality. The paper of interest is ‘ Access to Justice: evidence of the experiences of minority groups based on ethnicity, identity and sexuality, done by Paul Mason and Nathan Hughes, with Rachel Hek, Basia Spalek and Nicola Ward, Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham and Allan Norman, Celtic Knot, Birmingham. The paper is substantial and has over ninety pages. It was done and released on 06 May 2009. The report covers verifications on accessibility of justice to minority groups; blacks, gypsies and travelers, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and sexually marginalized groups like the homosexuals.


The figures of ethnically motivated crimes presented to police in the United Kingdom have greatly augmented from 2003 to 2007 (Mason, et. al, 2009). In general there was approximately about 39 per cent increase in the figures of racial offenses, though almost all forces documented much greater personal increases. In Merseyside, for instance, there was about 90 per cent rise in ethnically provoked crimes accounted for by police and in South Yorkshire the number rose from 242 to 1, 037, an increase of 330 per cent in 4 years (Mason, et. al, 2009). A current government citizenship review demonstrated an increase in insights of intensities of racial discrimination in Britain (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2007). Of those investigated, 56 per cent said they consider there is additional racial intolerance in Britain at the moment than there was five years ago. In addition, the Commission for Racial Equality (2005-2007) cautioned that isolation; socially, occupationally and economically, is mounting, and that radicalism, equally political and religious, is on the increase as citizens become more and more disenchanted and disengaged from one another.

In the paper, Access to Justice: A review of the existing evidence of the experiences of minority groups based on ethnicity, identity and sexuality’ the investigators (Mason, et. al, 2009) carried out an appraisal of research surveying the experiences marginal factions who interact with the criminal justice structure. Research established during the appraisal designated that racist persecution was noteworthy when bearing in mind minority racial societies and their incidents of crime (p 23). Results from the British Crime Survey (cited in Stonewall, 2007) proposed more than a third of attacks aimed against Asian and black citizens were believed to be racially aggravated by respondents. The Access to Justice researchers (Mason, et. al. 2007) had observed proof that instituted members of these groups were more probable to be fatalities of crime, and a considerable figure of these victims had experienced racially prejudiced offenses. The exposure of this emerged to be smaller than other forms of crime, showing yet more elevated intensities of oppression.

The Equalities Review Panel (2007) reverberated these conclusions, they projected that nearly all ethnic and spiritual abhorrent crime, and as much as of about 90% of homophobic hate offense set out unreported since victims are terrified or humiliated to report the crime. The report continued to advocate for criminal justice agencies establishing standard compilation machineries that permit complete and reliable scrutiny of hate crimes for diverse citizen groups at each phase of the criminal justice system.
The Access to Justice Review emphasized on a number of issues which seemed to provide explanations for the under reporting of such crimes. One aspect acknowledged in the research interrelated to how institutions sustaining victims were inclined to disregard or marginalize ethno-cultural dynamics. Chakraborti and Garland (2003) in their study outlined how a few of the respondents in their investigation reasoned that some organizations did not recognize there were disparities between the convictions and cultural practices of British Asian societies.

In addition, an appraisal by Garland et al. (2006) established that the assortment within marginal racial communities was a subject ubiquitous inside research literature. They emphasized it was imperative to take into account the definite backgrounds and understandings of particular communities, rather than depending on open racial categories. These broad categorizations could obscure major discrepancies among racial communities.


A clear theme in the instances above is that of the significance of giving self-assurance to the minority factions to look for support from the police, the courts and other associations. For misdemeanor and victim incidents, the police hold the front line in giving a direction to accessing justice. Where distrust in the police was seen, evidence showed this influenced directly the reporting of crime, principally when it was correlated to character, race, sexuality and customs.


To develop the access to justice for marginalized groups; Access to Justice provides these recommendations; Where legislation is ratified or modified its relevance in application ought to be directly scrutinized in order to guarantee its rendition into vanguard stipulation. This is predominantly vital if institutional racial discrimination and chauvinism, and discernments of this within minority population are to be dealt with. Another is that, Service suppliers, associations and organizations should center upon guidance on a continuous basis that concentrates on the requirements of minority groups.

Reference List

1. Department for Communities and Local Government 2007 Citizenship Survey
2. Commission for Racial Equality ‘ Monitoring and Enforcement Report 2005-2007’; b) Commission for Racial Equality Press Release; c) Commission for Racial Equality (2007) A lot done, a lot to do: Our vision for an integrated Britain. London: Commission for Racial Equality.
3. Mason, P., Hughes, N., Heck, R., Spalek, B. Ward, N., & Norman, A. (2009) Access to Justice: a review of existing evidence of the experiences of minority groups based on ethnicity, identity and sexuality. London: Ministry of Justice.
4. Bowling, B., & Phillips, C. (2003) Racist Victimization in England and Wales, in Hawkins, D. (Ed) Violent Crime: assessing race and ethnic differences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003: pp. 154-170.
5. Equalities Review Panel (2007) Fairness and Freedom: The final report of the Equalities Review. London: Cabinet Office.
6. Chakraborti, N., & Garland, J. (2003) Under-researched and overlooked: an exploration of the attitudes of rural minority ethnic communities towards crime, community safety and the criminal justice system. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 29(3): 563-572.
7. Garland, J., Spalek, B., & Chakraborti, N. (2006) Hearing Lost Voices: Issues in Researching Hidden Minority Ethnic Communities. British Journal of Criminology 46: 423-437.
8. Stonewall, Dick, S, 2008, Homophobic Hate Crime, the Gay British Crime Survey 2008.
9. Gervais, M. C. (2008) The Drivers of Black and Asian People’s Perceptions of Racial Discrimination by Public Services: A qualitative study. London: Communities and Local Government.
10. House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee (2007) Young Black People and the Criminal Justice System. vol 1, HC 181-I, London: The Stationery Office Limited