CLEAN Seminar - Anna Bindler


The next CLEAN seminar will take place on Monday 7 November at 4.30pm Italian time.

The presenter will be Anna Bindler (University of Cologne). The title of the paper is "Murphy’s Law or the Luck of the Irish? Disparate Treatment of the Irish in 19th Century Courts".



Using data on 100 years of 19th century criminal trials at London’s Old Bailey, we document the disparate treatment of Irish-named defendants and victims by English juries. We measure surname Irishness and Englishness using place of birth in the 1881 census. Irish-named defendants are 11% less likely to plea, 3% more likely to be convicted by the jury, and 16% less likely to receive a jury recommendation for mercy. These disparities are: (i) largest for violent crimes and defendants with more distinctive Irish surnames, (ii) robust to case characteristic controls and proxies for  signals associated with Irish surnames (social class, Irish county of origin, criminality), (iii) particularly visible for Irish defendants with English victims, and (iv) even spill-over onto English-named defendants with Irish co-defendants. Disparate treatment is first visible in the 1830s and grows and/or persists through the end of the century. In particular, the gap in jury conviction rates became larger during and after the Irish Potato Famine induced migration to London.  We do not find evidence, however, that the first bombing campaign of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (1868 and 1880s) exacerbated these disparities.


You may follow the event online via Zoom Meetings at the following link: - passcode: 015120