Research Output
Compromise, Partnership, Control: Community Justice Authorities In Scotland
  Community Justice Authorities (CJAs) were heralded on their inception as modernising Scotland’s community justice system and resolving longstanding tensions between central and local government over community justice control, by encouraging partnership working and providing oversight at a regional level. However, they were largely unsuccessful and were quietly abolished barely a decade later.

Using data from two projects, we analyse the policy ‘narrative’ (Kaplan, 1993) of CJAs in relation to features of a changing political context – particularly the (re-)establishment of Scotland’s national government, its shifting relationship with local government, and policy convergence and divergence with England and Wales. CJAs’ origins in local/national compromise created constitutional flaws which constrained their operation and ultimately sealed their fate, but they nonetheless began to develop distinct identities and contributions which have been largely overlooked. The case of CJAs illustrates how evolving local and national political contexts shape the development of justice institutions.

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  • Date:

    29 November 2018

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  • Library of Congress:

    HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    364 Criminology

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded; Economic and Social Research Council; University of Edinburgh School of Law PhD Scholarship


Buchan, J., & Morrison, K. (2020). Compromise, Partnership, Control: Community Justice Authorities In Scotland. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 20(2), 131-149.



Community Justice Authorities; Scotland; community penalties; partnership; local government; devolution

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