Nigel Balmer  

NIGEL BALMER

  Reader in Law and Social Statistics
BSc(Hons) 1998, PhD 2001

contact details:
Tel: +44 (0)7946 474 009
Email: nigel.balmer@ucl.ac.uk

Profile
Nigel Balmer is a Reader in Law and Social Statistics at UCL, joining in January 2010. He also works independently as a statistical and methodological consultant. Nigel is an expert in statistics and research methodology, and brings this expertise to bear on a broad range of projects in empirical legal studies, most notably the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey. He is also affiliated to the Centre for Empirical Legal Studies and Judicial Institute within the Faculty of Laws and is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He has worked as an advisor on legal need research programmes in Australia and has presented his work worldwide.

Research
Nigel’s research interests cover access to justice, statistics and research methodology, decision-making and risk, civil and criminal justice, issues around diversity and representation, social epidemiology, social policy and the public experience and understanding of the law. His research is multidisciplinary, spanning criminology, economics, epidemiology, political science, social policy, health and psychology. His survey work, in collaboration with Professor Pascoe Pleasence, has become central to the development of access to justice policy in England and Wales. He has also worked on large scale research projects on diversity and fairness in the jury system (for the Ministry of Justice), diversity in tribunals (for the Department for Constitutional Affairs) and judicial appointments (for the Commission for Judicial Appointments), and has conducted research for a broad range of clients, including Youth Access, Shelter, The Ministry of Justice, The Law Society, The Legal Services Board and The Government Equalities Office. He also publishes research in the field of sports science.

PhD Supervision
Nigel welcomes approaches from prospective doctoral students wishing to conduct empirical legal research, particularly relating to access to justice. 

Publications
Nigel’s recent publications include:

JOURNAL ARTICLES/BOOK CHAPTERS

  • Smith, M., Balmer, N.J., Miles, J., Denvir, C., Patel, A. (2013) In scope but out of reach? Examining differences between publically funded telephone and face-to-face family law advice in terms of stage reached and outcome achieved. 25 (3) Child and Family Law Quarterly.
  • Patel, A., Balmer, N.J., and Smith, M. (2013) Geographical barriers to education law advice: access, communications and public legal services in England and Wales. Geographical Journal. doi: 10.1111/geoj.12031
  • Balmer, N.J., Pleasence, P., and Denvir, C. (2013) ‘Knowledge as Power: Public Understanding of Legal Rights and Civil Justice Problem Resolution Strategy’ in J. Robins (ed) Waking up to PLE. Public Legal Education, Access to Justice and Closing the Justice Gap, London: Solicitors Journal.
  • Denvir, C, Balmer, N.J., and Pleasence, P (2013) When legal rights are not a reality: do individuals know their rights and how can we tell? Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 35(1), 139-160.
  • Denvir, C., Balmer, N.J., and Pleasence, P. (2012) Portal or Pot hole? Exploring how older people use the “information superhighway” for advice relating to problems with a legal dimension Ageing and Society. available on CJO2012. doi:10.1017/S0144686X12001213.
  • Miles, J., Balmer, N.J., and Smith, M. (2012) When exceptional is the rule: mental health, family problems and the reform of legal aid in England and Wales Child and Family Law Quarterly, 24(3), 320-332.
  • Patel, A., Balmer, N.J., and Pleasence, P. (2012) Debt and Disadvantage: The Experience of Unmanageable Debt and Financial Difficulty in England and Wales. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 36, 556-565.
  • Kemp, V., Balmer, N.J., and Pleasence, P. (2012) Whose time is it anyway? Factors associated with duration in police Criminal Law Review, 10, 735-751.
  • Balmer, N.J., Smith, M., Denvir, C., and Patel, A. (2012) Just a Phone Call Away: Is Telephone Advice Enough? Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 34(1), 63-85.
  • Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2012) Ignorance in Bliss: Modelling Knowledge of Rights in Marriage and Cohabitation. Law and Society Review, 46(2), 297-333.
  • Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2012) ‘Caught in the Middle: Income, Justiciable Problems and the Use of Lawyers’ in M. Trebilcock, A. Duggan, and L. Sossin (eds.). Middle Income Access to Justice, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Pleasence, P., and Balmer, N.J. (2012). On the Rocks: Recession-Related Life Problems and Relationship Stability. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 24(1),39-59.
  • Denvir, C., Balmer, N.J., and Buck, A. (2012) Informed Citizens? Knowledge of Rights and the Resolution of Civil Justice Problems. Journal of Social Policy, 41(3), 591-614.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., and Reimers, S. (2011) What Really Drives Advice Seeking Behaviour? Looking Beyond the Subject of Legal Disputes Onati Socio-Legal Series, 1(6).
  • Denvir, C., Balmer, N.J., and Pleasence, P (2011) Surfing the web – recreation or resource? Exploring the Internet as a rights advice portal for young people in the UK. 23(1) Interacting with Computers, pp. 96-104.
  • Kemp, V., Pleasence, P., and Balmer, N.J. (2011) Children, Young People and Requests for Police Station Advice: 25 years on from PACE. 11(1) Youth Justice, pp. 1-19.
  • Pleasence, P., Kemp, V., and Balmer, N.J. (2011) The Justice Lottery? Police Station Advice 25 Years on From PACE. 13 Criminal Law Review, pp. 3-18.
  • Balmer, N.J., Pleasence, P., and Buck, A. (2010) Psychiatric Morbidity and People’s Experience of and Response to Social Problems Involving Rights. 18(6) Health and Social Care in the Community, pp. 588-597.
  • Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2010) The Audacity of Justice: Recession, Redundancy, Rights and Legal Aid. 9(4) Social Policy & Society, pp. 475-488.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J. and Reimers, S. (2010) Horses for Courses? Advice Seeking and the Stratification of Legal Services, in The Future of Legal Services, Emerging Thinking, London: Legal Service Board
  • Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2009) Mental Health and the Experience of Social Problems Involving Rights: Findings from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, 16(1) Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, pp123-140.
  • Miles, J., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2009) The Experience of Relationship Breakdown and Civil Law Problems by People in Different Forms of Relationship, 21(1) Child and Family Law Quarterly, pp.47-64.
  • Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2009) Job Loss, Divorce and Family Disputes, 39 Family Law, pp.502-505.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer N.J. and Tam, T. (2009) Failure to Recall: Indications from the CSJS of the Relative Severity and Incidence of Civil Justice Problems, in Sandefur, R. (ed.) Access to Justice. Bingley: Emerald (Sociology of Crime Law and Deviance series)
  • Buck, A., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2008) Do Citizens Know How to Deal with Legal Issues? 37(4) Journal of Social Policy, pp.661-681.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J. and Buck, A. (2008) The Health Cost of Civil Law Problems: Further Evidence of Links Between Civil Law Problems and Morbidity and the Consequential Use of Health Services, 5(2) Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, pp.351-374
  • Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2008) Understanding Advice Seeking Behaviour: Findings from New Zealand and England and Wales, 98(8) Academia Sinica Journal, pp.219-258.
  • Patel, A., Balmer, N.J. and Pleasence, P. (2008) Geography of Advice Seeking, 39(6) Geoforum, pp.2084-2096.
  • Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2007) Mental Health and the Experience of Housing Rights Problems, 2(1) People, Place and Policy, pp.4-16.
  • Kemp, V., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2007) The Problems of Everyday Life. London: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
  • Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2007) Changing Fortunes: Results from a Randomised Control Trial of the Offer of Debt Advice in England and Wales, 4(3) Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, pp.651-674.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Buck, A., Smith, M., and Patel, A. (2007) Mounting Problems: Further Evidence of the Social, Economic and Health Consequences of Civil Justice Problems, in Pleasence, P. et al. (eds.) Transforming Lives: Law and Social Process. Norwich: TSO.
  • Balmer, N.J., Pleasence, P., Buck, A., Walker, H. (2006) Worried Sick: The Experience of Debt Problems and their Relationship with Health, Illness and Disability, 5(1) Social Policy and Administration, pp.39-51.
  • O’Grady, A., Balmer, N.J., Carter, B., Pleasence, P., Buck, A. and Genn, H. (2005) Institutional Racism and Civil Justice, 28(4) Ethnic and Racial Studies, pp.620-638.
  • Kemp, V., Pleasence, P., and Balmer, N.J. (2005) Incentivising Disputes: The Role of Public Funding in Private Law Children Cases, 27(2) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, pp.125-141.
  • Buck, A., Balmer, N.J. and Pleasence, P. (2005) Social Exclusion and Civil Law, The Experience of Civil Justice Problems Among Vulnerable Groups, 39(3) Social Policy and Administration, pp.302-322.
  • Kemp, V., Pleasence, P., and Balmer, N.J. (2004) What Drives the Cost of Family Cases? 34 Family Law, pp.872-876.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., O’Grady, A., Genn, H. (2004) Civil Law Problems and Morbidity, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Volume 58: 552-557.
  • Pleasence, P, Balmer, N.J., Buck, A., O’Grady, A., and Genn, H. (2004) Multiple Justiciable Problems: Problem Clusters, Problem Order and Social and Demographic Indicators, 1 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, pp. 301-329.
  • Buck, A., Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., O’Grady, A and Genn, H. (2004) Lone Parents and Civil Law: Their Experience of Problems and Their Advice Seeking Behaviour, 38(3) Social Policy and Administration, pp.253-269.
  • O’Grady, A, Balmer, N.J., Pleasence, P., Buck, A. and Genn, H. (2004) Disability, Social Exclusion and the Consequential Experience of Justiciable Problems, 19(3) Disability and Society, pp.259-272.
  • Pleasence, P., Buck, A., Smith, M., Balmer, N.J, and Patel, A. (2004) Needs Assessment and the Community Legal Service in England and Wales, 11(3) International Journal of the Legal Profession, pp.213-232.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Genn, H., O’Grady, A., and Buck, A. (2003) The Experience of Clinical Negligence within the General Population, 9(6) Clinical Risk, pp.211-217.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Maclean, M., Buck, A., O'Grady, A., and Genn, H. (2003) Family Problems: Who Does What and When? 33 Family Law, pp.822-827.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Maclean, M., Buck, A., O'Grady, A., and Genn, H. (2003) Family Problems: What Happens and to Whom? 33 Family Law, pp.497-501.
  • Pleasence, P., Genn, H., Balmer, N.J., Buck, A, and O’Grady, A. (2003) Causes of Action: First Findings of the LSRC Periodic Survey, 30(1) Journal of Law and Society, pp.11-30.
BOOKS
  • Buck, A., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (eds.) (2009) Reaching Further: Innovation, Access and Quality in Legal Services, Norwich: TSO.
  • Pleasence, P., Buck, A. and Balmer, N.J. (eds.) (2007) Transforming Lives: Law and Social Process, Norwich: TSO.
  • Pleasence, P., Buck, A, Balmer, N.J., O’Grady, A., Genn, H., Smith, M. (2004) Causes of Action: Civil Law and Social Justice, First Edition, Norwich: TSO. Also published in Japanese.

COMMISSIONED RESEARCH REPORTS

  • Pleasence, P., and Balmer, N.J. (2013) In Need of Advice? Findings of a Small Business Legal Need Benchmarking Survey. Cambridge: PPSR, Legal Services Board
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J. and Moorhead, R. (2012) A Time of Change: Solicitors’ Firms in England and Wales. London: Law Society, Legal Services Board and The Ministry of Justice.
  • Balmer, N.J. and Pleasence, P. (2012) The Legal Problems and Mental Health Needs of Young Advice Service Users: The Case for Advice. London: Youth Access.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Blackburn, R., and Wainwright, T. (2012) A Framework for Benchmarking Small Business Consumers’ need and use of Legal Services. London: Legal Services Board.
  • Pleasence, P., and Balmer, N.J. (2011) Discrimination in England and Wales. Cambridge: PPSR.
  • Pleasence, P., and Balmer, N.J. (2011) Housing Problems in England and Wales: A Report to Shelter. Cambridge: PPSR.
  • Balmer, N.J., Buck, A., Patel, A., Denvir, P., and Pleasence, P. (2010) Knowledge, capability and the experience of rights problems. London: PLENET.
  • Balmer, N.J., Patel, A., Denvir, C., and Pleasence, P. (2010) Unmanageable Debt and Financial Difficulty in the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey. London: Money Advice Trust.
  • Balmer, N.J., and Patel, A. (2009). The Experience of Money and Debt Problems in Rural Areas. London: LSRC.
  • Thomas, C with Balmer, N. (2007). Diversity and fairness in the jury system. Ministry of Justice Research Series 2/07. Crown Copyright.
  • Buck, A., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2007) Education Implications from the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey, Annexe to the PLEAS Task Force Report, London: PLEAS Task Force
  • Balmer, N.J., Tam, T. and Pleasence, P. (2007) Young People and Civil Justice: Findings from the 2004 English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey, London: Youth Access.
  • Thomas, C. with Balmer, N. and Lane, A. (2006)Diversity and the Appointment of Deputy District Judges, London: Commission for Judicial Appointments.
  • Genn, H., Lever, B., Gray, L. with Balmer, N and National Centre for Social Research (2006). Tribunals for Diverse Users. DCA Research Series 1/06. Crown Copyright.

RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., and Sandefur, R.L. (2013) Paths to Justice – A Past, Present and Future Roadmap. London: Nuffield Foundation
  • Balmer (2013) Civil Justice in England and Wales: Report of Wave 2 of the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Panel Survey Report. London: Legal Services Commission
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Patel, A. Cleary, A., Huskinson, T. and Cotton, T (2011) Civil Justice in England and Wales: Report of Wave 1 of the English and Welsh Civil and Social Panel Survey. Legal Services Commission and Ipsos-Mori.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Patel, A., and Denvir, C. (2010). Civil Justice in England and Wales: Report of the 2006-2009 English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey. London: Legal Services Research Centre.
  • Buck, A., Smith, M., Sidaway, J., and Balmer, N.J. (2010). Community Legal Advice Centres: A Survey of Clients in Reception Areas. London: Legal Services Research Centre.
  • Pleasence, P., and Balmer, N.J. (2009). The Consequences of Rights Problems that Characterise Recession. London: Legal Services Research Centre.
  • Kemp, V. and Balmer, N.J. (2008). Criminal Defence Services: Users’ Perspectives. London: Legal Services Research Centre.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Tam, T., Buck, A., Smith, M., and Patel, A. (2008). Civil Justice in England and Wales: Report of the 2007 English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey. London: Legal Services Commission.
  • Tam, T., Christian, J., and Balmer, N.J. (2008) Justice for All? A Study of Those Living on the Brink of Homelessness, Roof, June 2008.
  • Kemp, V., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2007) Crime, Social Exclusion and the Civil Society, London: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Briefing 5/2007
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., and Tam, T. (2007) Civil Justice in England and Wales: Report of the 2006 English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey, London: Legal Services Commission, LSRC Research Paper No. 19.
  • Pleasence, P., Buck, A., Balmer, N.J., and Williams, K. (2007). A Helping Hand: The Impact of Debt Advice on People’s Lives. London: Legal Services Commission.
  • Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., and Buck, A. (2007) Health Professionals as Rights Advisers: Rights Advice and Primary Healthcare Services. London: Legal Services Research Centre.
  • Genn, H., Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J., Buck, A. and O'Grady, A. (2004) Understanding Advice Seeking Behaviour: Further Findings from the LSRC Survey of Justiciable Problems, London: Legal Services Research Centre.

MANUSCRIPTS/REPORTS UNDER REVIEW

  • Pleasence, P., Balmer., Reimers, S., and Sandefur, R.L. (Under review) Apples and oranges: an international comparison of the public’s experience of justiciable problems and the methodological issues affecting comparative study
  • Cleary, A., and Balmer, N.J. (Under review) Fit for purpose? The impact of ‘keeping in touch’ mailings on response to a longitudinal survey.

RESEARCH - SPORT & EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY

  • Myers, T, Balmer, N.J., Nevill, A.M., and Al-Nakeeb, Y. (2013) A comparison of technique selection of elite Thai and UK Muay Thai fighters: An analysis and simulation. 3(4) Advances in Physical Education, pp. 175-186.
  • Nevill, A.M., Balmer, N.J., and Winter, E.M. (2012) Congratulations to Team GB, but why should we be so surprised? Olympic medal count can be predicted using logit regression models that include ‘home advantage’ (editorial). 46(14), British Journal of Sports Medicine, pp. 958-959.
  • Myers, T.D., and Balmer, N.J. (2012). The impact of crowd noise on officiating in Muay Thai: achieving external validity in an experimental setting. 3 Frontiers in Movement Science and Sport Psychology, 346.
  • Balmer, N.J., Pleasence, P., and Nevill, A.M. (2012). Evolution and Revolution: Gauging the Impact of Technological and Technical Innovation on Olympic Performance. 30(11) Journal of Sports Sciences, pp. 1075-1083.
  • Nevill, A.M., Balmer, N.J., and Winter, E.M. (2009). Why Great Britain’s success in Beijing could have been anticipated and why it should continue beyond 2012. 43 British Journal of Sports Medicine, pp. 1108-1110.
  • Balmer, N.J., Nevill, A.M., Lane, A.M., Ward, P., Williams, A.M. and Fairclough, S. (2007). Influence of crowd noise on soccer refereeing consistency in soccer. 30(2) Journal of Sport Behavior, pp.130-145.
  • Lane, A.M., Nevill, A.M., Ahmad, N.S., and Balmer, N. (2006). ‘Soccer referee decision-making: shall I blow the whistle?’ 5 Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, pp.243-253.
  • Myers, T.D., Balmer, N.J., Nevill, A.M., and Al-Nakeeb, Y. (2006). Evidence of nationalistic bias in Muay Thai. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, CSSI, 21-27.
  • Balmer, N.J., Nevill, A.M. and Lane, A.M. (2005). Do judges enhance home advantage in European championship boxing? 23 Journal of Sports Sciences, pp.409-416.
  • Nevill, A., Balmer, N., and Wolfson, S. (2005). The extent and causes of home advantage: Some recent insights. 23 Journal of Sports Sciences, pp.335-336.
  • Balmer, N.J., Nevill, A.M., and Williams, A.M. (2003). Modelling Home Advantage in the Summer Olympic Games. 21 Journal of Sports Sciences, pp.469-478.
  • Nevill, A.M., Balmer, N., and Williams, A.M. (2002). The influence of crowd noise and experience upon refereeing decisions in football. 3(4) Psychology of Sport and Exercise, pp.261-272.
  • Balmer, N.J., Nevill, A.M., and Williams, A.M. (2001). Home advantage in the Winter Olympics (1908-1998). 19 Journal of Sports Sciences, pp.1-11.
  • Balmer, N., and Grant, A. (2000). Analysis of European youth football: does success predict subsequent world ranking? 3 Insight, The Football Association Coaches Journal, pp.37-38.
  • Balmer, N., and Franks, A. (2000). Normative values for 5 and 15 metre sprint times in young elite footballers. 4 Insight, The Football Association Coaches Journal, pp.24-25.
  • Nevill, A., Balmer, N., and Williams, M. (1999). Crowd influence on decisions in association football. 353 The Lancet , p1416.

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