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Professor David Tait
Professor of Justice Research, Western Sydney University, and Co-ordinator of the Court of the Future Network

Professor David Tait is a scholar in criminology and sociology with current interests in justice environments, court technology, juries and sentencing. His previous work was in guardianship and mental health tribunals,



PhD in Social Administration, London School of Economics, University of London
MA (Hons) in Political Science, University of Canterbury
BA in History and Political Science, University of Canterbury.


David Tait is Professor of Justice Research at Western Sydney University. He is Co-ordinator (with Diane Jones) of the Court of the Future Network, a group of judges, court executives, architects, engineers and scholars with an interest in justice environments and how they might be transformed in the future. He is Professeur Associé at
 Telecom ParisTech, www.telecom-paristech.fr 
and Chercheur Associé
 at the Institut des Hautes études sur la Justice in Paris, www.ihej.org. He is an investigator in a multi-year study funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through the University of Montreal; the sub-project he leads investigates distributed and virtual courts, together with Professors Fred Lederer, Christian Licoppe and Meredith Rossner.

He has a special interest in justice processes, particularly how justice is performed and experienced in different cultural and national settings. This has led to research on juries, mental health and guardianship tribunals, restorative justice conferences, Koori (Indigenous) courts, court safety and remote witness communications. In this he collaborates with a range of academic fields including law, psychology, forensic science, architecture, media studies and management.

Previous ARC-funded research programs he has led include: :

  • Juries & Interactive Visual Evidence (JIVE)
  • Gateways to Justice: Improving video-mediated communications for justice participants
  • Fortress or Sanctuary? Enhancing court safety by managing people, places and processes
  • Juror Confidence
  • Justice spaces: security without prejudice in the wireless courtroom
    Interpreters in court: witness credibility with interpreted testimony.

Current research interests

Justice Environments

Court architecture and court planning, remote justice facilities, the use of technology in courts; investigation of questions such as: is the use of dock in criminal trials prejudicial, how does the use of technology affect access and fairness of judicial processes. how have security concerns changed the experience of going to court, and what will courts of the future look and feel like?

Justice rituals and representations

Spatial, symbolic and emotional settings of court and tribunal buildings and the justice rituals that take place in them; cultural differences between civil and common law systems, and between variants of the common law system in different countries and cultural contexts; jury trials and juvenile court processes.


Modelling reoffending rates, and measuring the impact of different sentences, including fines, prison and suspended sentences.

The jury process

Jury’s use of technology; juries and interactive evidence; jurors’ use of commonsense to evaluate evidence; design of jury spaces.


Scholarly books

  1. Carney, T., Tait, D., Perry, J., Beaupert, F. & Vernon. A. 2011, Australian Mental Health Tribunals: ‘Space’ for fairness, freedom, protection and treatment? Sydney: The Federation Press.
  2. Goodman-Delahunty, J., Brewer, N., Clough, J., Horan, J., Ogloff, J., Tait, D. & Pratley J. 2008. Practices, Policies and Procedures that Influence Juror Satisfaction in Australia: Report to the Criminology Research Council. July 2007, Research and Public Policy Series No. 87, Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology
  3. Carney, T., Tait, D., Touya, S., Ingvarson, M., Saunders, D., Wakefield, A. 2006. Managing Anorexia Nervosa: clinical, legal and social perspectives on involuntary treatment, New York: Nova Science.
  4. Carney, T. & Tait, D. 1997. The Adult Guardianship Experiment: Tribunals and Popular Justice, Sydney: Federation Press.
  5. Collins, J., Gibson K., Alcorso, C., Castles S., & Tait, D. 1995. A Shopful of Dreams: Ethnic Small Business and Restructuring in Australia, Sydney: Pluto Press.

Edited research books

  1. Tait, D & Goodman-Delahunty, J, 2016. Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror, London: Palgrave Macmillan

Scholarly book chapters

  1. Tait, D., 2016, ‘Understanding terrorism trials’ , in Tait D & Goodman Delahunty Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 1-10.
  2. *Tait, D, 2016, ‘The Sydney bomber study: introducing the mock jurors’, in Tait D & Goodman Delahunty, Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 161-172.
  3. Tait, D & Goodman-Delahunty, J. 2016. ‘Images of interactive visual environments: do they affect verdict?’in Tait D & Goodman Delahunty, Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 173-192.
  4. Goodman-Delahunty, J & Tait, D, 2016. ‘CSI effects on jury reasoning and verdicts’, in Tait D & Goodman Delahunty Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror, pp 217-234.
  5. Tait, D & Goodman-Delahunty, J. 2016. ‘The effect of jury deliberation on jury verdicts’, in Tait D & Goodman Delahunty, Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror, pp 235-248.
  6. Tait, D & Rossner, M, ‘Making sense of the evidence: jury deliberation and common sense’, in Tait D & Goodman Delahunty, Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror, pp 249-272.
  7. Tait, D., 2013, ‘Court environments as legal forums, workplaces and symbols of justice’, in Fleming, D. (ed.), Australian Courts: Serving Democracy and its Publics, Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, pp 17-38.
  8. Goodman-Delahunty, J., Rossner, M. & Tait, D. 2010. ‘Simulation and dissimulation in jury research: credibility in a live mock trial’. In Lorna Bartels and Kelly Richards (eds.), Qualitative Criminology: Stories from the Field. Sydney: Federation Press pp.34-44
  9. Carney, T., Ingvarson, M., & Tait, D. 2008, ‘Constructing ‘control’ over anorexia nervosa’, in Bennet, B., Carney, T. & Karpin, I. (eds.), The Brave New World of Health. Sydney: Federation Press pp.182-194.
  10. Goodman-Delahunty, J. & Tait, D. 2006, ‘Lay Participation in legal decision making in Australia and New Zealand: Jury trials and administrative tribunals’ in Understanding the World Juries through Psychological research, Kaplan, M. & Ana, M. Martin Rodriguez, New York, pp.47-70.
  11. Carney, T., Ingvarson, M. & Tait, D. 2006, ‘Experiences of ‘control’ in anorexia nervosa treatment: delayed coercion, shadow of law or disseminated power and control?’ in Swain, P. (ed.) Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa: New Research. New York, Nova Science, pp.41-61.
  12. Chapman, B., Freiberg, A., Quiggin, J. & Tait, D. 2006, ‘Criminal reparations: using the tax system to collect fines’, in Chapman, B. (ed.) Government Managing Risk Income Contingent Loans for Social and Economic Progress, New York: Routledge, pp.221-247.

Refereed journal articles

  1. Rossner, M, Tait, D, McKimmie B & Sarre, R (2017, forthcoming), The dock on trial: courtroom design and the presumption of innocence, Journal of Law and Society
  2. *Rossner, M, Tait, D & Delahunty J. (2014) Students vs. jurors: Responding to remote witnesses via enhanced video technology, Laws, 3:3, 618-635.
  3. Tait, D. & Carney, T. 2013, ‘Transforming governance and technology in civil and administrative justice’, Journal of Judicial Administration, 22:3, 117-129.
  4. Tait, D 2013, Managing a royal sex abuse scandal: How three religious traditions deal with the David and Bathsheba story, Griffith Law Review 22:1, 180-204
  5. Tait, D. 2011, ‘Deliberating about terrorism: Prejudice and jury verdicts in a mock terrorism trial’, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 44(3): 387-403.
  6. Tait, D. 2011, ‘Glass Cages in the Dock?: Presenting the Defendant to the Jury’, Chicago-Kent Law Review, 86(2): 467-495.
  7. Rossner, M. & Tait, D. 2011, ‘Contested emotions: adversarial rituals in non-adversarial justice procedures.’ Monash University Law Review. 37:1, pp.241-258.
  8. Carney, T., Tait, D. 2011, ‘Mental Health Tribunals-Rights, Protection, or Treatment? Lessons from the ARC Linkage Grant Study?’ Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 19(2): 137-159.
  9. Tait, D. 2009, ‘Democratic Spaces in a Citadel of Authority’, Architecture Australia 98(5):45-46.
  10. Mow, K.E. & Tait, D. 2008, ‘Research Capacity Building: Does History Really Matter?’ International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Science 2(5): 215-222.
  11. Carney, T., Tait, D., Beaupert, F. & Perry J. 2008, ‘Advocacy and Participation in Mental Health Cases: Realisable rights or pipe dream? Law in Context, 26(2): 125-147.
  12. Carney, T., Tait, D., Beaupert, F. & Topp, V. 2008, ‘Property management orders in the mental health context: protection or empowerment’, UNSW Law Journal, 31(3): 795-824.
  13. Carney, T., Tait, D. & Beaupert, F. 2008, ‘Pushing the boundaries: realising rights through mental health processes’, Sydney Law Review 30(2):329-356.
  14. Carney, T., Tait, D., Richardson, A. & Touyz, S., 2008, ‘Why (and when) clinicians compel treatment of anorexia nervosa patients’, European Eating Disorders Review, 16(3):199-206.
  15. Tait, D. 2007, Rethinking the Role of the Image in Justice: Visual Evidence and Science in the Trial Process, Law, Probability and Risk, vol.6, No. 1-4, pp 311-318.
  16. Horan, J., Tait, D. 2007, Do Juries adequately represent the community? A case study of civil juries in Victoria, Journal of Judicial Administration, Vol 16, No. 3, pp. 179-199.
  17. Carney, T., Tait, D., Chappell, D., Beaupert, F. 2006, Mental Health Tribunals: ‘TJ’ Implications of Weighing Fairness, Freedom, Protection and Treatment, Journal of Judicial Administration, Vol 17, No. 1 pp 46-59.
  18. Carney, T., Wakefield, A., Tait, D., Touyz, S. 2006 Reflections on coercion in the treatment of severe anorexia nervosa, Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, Vol 43 No. 3 pp 159-165.
  19. *Goodman-Delahunty, J., Tait, D. 2006, DNA and the changing Face of Justice, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol 38 No. 2 pp 97-106.
  20. Tait, D., Carney, T., Wakefield, Ingvarson, M., Touyz, S. 2005, Coercion in the treatment of anorexia nervosa: Clinical, ethical and legal implications, Medicine and Law, Vol 24, No. 1, pp 21-40.
  21. Chapman, B., Frieberg, A., Quiggan, J., Tait, D. 2004, Using the tax system to collect fines, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol 63 No 3 pp 20-32.
  22. Carney, T., Saunders, D., Tait, D., Touyz, S., Invargson, M. 2004, Therapeutic Pathways in Treatment of Severe Anorexia Nervosa, Contemporary Issues in Law Vol 7 pp 100-118.
  23. Carney, T., Tait, D., Saunders, D., Touyz, S. & Beumont, P. 2003, ‘Institutional Options in Management of Coercion in Anorexia Treatment: The Antipodean Experiment’, International Journal Law and Psychiatry, 26(vi): pp 647-75.
  24. Carney, T., Saunders, D., Tait, D., Touyz, S., Wakefield, A. & Beumont, P. 2003, ‘Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Anorexia: A Synergy?’ Law in Context – Special Issue: Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 20(2): pp 54-73.
  25. Carney, T., Saunders, D., Tait, D., Touyz, S., Ingvarson, M. 2004, ‘Therapeutic Pathways in Treatment of Severe Anorexia Nervosa’, Contemporary Issues in Law, 7(1): pp 100-118.
  26. *Tait, D. 2003, ‘The Ritual Environment of the Mental Health Tribunal Hearing: Inquiries and Reflections’, Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 10(1): pp 91-6.
  27. *Tait, D. 2001, ‘ Popular sovereignty and the justice process: towards a comparative methodology for observing courtroom rituals’, Contemporary Justice Review , 4:2, pp. 201-218.
  28. Tait, D. 2001, ‘ Pardons in Perspective: the Role of Forgiveness in Criminal Justice’, Federal Sentencing Reporter, 13(3-4): pp 134-8.
  29. Schwartz, M., DeKeseredy, W., Tait, D. & Alvi, S. 2001, ‘Male Peer Support and a Feminist Routine Activities Theory: Understanding Sexual Assault on the College Campus’, Justice Quarterly 18(3): pp 623-49.
  30. Tait, D. & De Young, R. 2000, ‘Displaying the Law: a Cross-disciplinary Learning Experiment Using the Internet and Multimedia Technology’, International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 14(2): pp191-204.
  31. Tait, D. 1999, ‘Boundaries and Barriers: The Social Production of Space in Magistrates’ Courts and Guardianship Tribunals’, Journal of Social Change and Critical Inquiry, 1.
  32. Carney, T. & Tait, D.1999, ‘Sterilisation: Tribunal Experiments in Popular Justice?’, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 22: pp 177-97.
  33. Tait, D. 1998, ‘Judges and Jukeboxes: A Critique of Sentencing Information Systems’ International Journal of Law and Information Technology, 6(2): pp 67-189.
  34. Tait, D. 1995. ‘The invisible sanction: the use of suspended sentences in Victoria’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 28:2, July, pp 143-162.
  35. Carney T & Tait D. 1995. ‘Too much access: the case of guardianship tribunals in Australia’, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 30, November , pp 445-461.
  36. Tait D. 1994. ‘Metaphor wars in evaluation research: reviewing Guardianship Boards in two states’, Journal of Law and Society, 21:2, June, pp 238-252.
  37. Carney, T., Tait, D. & Deane K. 1994. ‘Legal regulation of sterilisation: the role of guardianship tribunals in NSW and Victoria’, Australian Journal of Family Law, July, pp 41-165.
  38. Carney, T. & Tait, D. 1991. ‘Guardianship Dilemmas in Care of the Aged’, Sydney Law Review, 13: pp 61-84.
  39. Tait, D. & Polk, K. 1990. ‘Changing youth labour markets and youth life styles’, Youth Studies, 9:1, February, pp 17-23,
  40. Castles, S, Collins, J., Gibson K., Tait D. & Alcorso, C. 1989. ‘Understanding Ethnic Small Business: a case study of Marrickville’, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 24:2, pp183-198,
  41. Polk K & Tait D. 1988. ‘The Use of Imprisonment by Magistrates’ Courts’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 21:1, pp 31-44
  42. Tait, D & Gibson K. 1987. ‘Economic and ethnic restructuring: an analysis of migrant labour in Sydney’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 8:1, pp 1-25.
  43. Tait, D. 1985. ‘Respectability, property and fertility: the development of official statistics about families in Australia’, Labour History, 49, November, 83-96.

Refereed conference papers

  1. Beaupert, F., Carney, T., Tait, D. 2008, Mental Health Tribunals: Balancing Fairness, Freedom, Protection and Right to Treatment? Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 28th Annual Congress.
  2. Beaupert, F., Carney, T., Tait, D. 2006, Aspects of mental health tribunal processes that may impact on their therapeutic potential, Third International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

Other research outputs

  1. Jones, D. & Tait, D.(eds) 2011, European and International Courts: Executive Research Tour Reflections, March – April 2008, DVD
  2. Tait, D, 2015 Fortress or Sanctuary: enhancing court safety by managing people, places and processes, report on study funded by ARC Linkage Project