Centre for Empirical Legal Studies


UCL Laws: Centre for Empirical Legal Studies

DBE, QC (Hon), FBA, BA (1971), LLB (1985), LLD (1992)
Dean of Laws, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies

contact details:
phone: +44 (0)20 7679 1436 | internal: x21436
email: h.genn@ucl.ac.uk
Executive Assistant to the Dean: Kate Harvey
+44 (0)20 7679 1404 | internal: x21404

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Dame Hazel Genn is Dean of Laws, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and co-director of the UCL Judicial Institute in the Faculty of Laws at University College London, where she is also an Honorary Fellow. She previously held a Chair and was Head of the Department of Law at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. Before joining London University, she held full-time research posts at Oxford University Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (1974-1985) and the Cambridge Institute of Criminology (1972-74). In January 2006, she was appointed an Inaugural Commissioner of the new Judicial Appointments Commission established under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and was a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life 2003-7. In April 2009 she was appointed to the Secretary of State's Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity. She has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2000, a member of its Council 2001-2004 and is currently Chair of its Communications and Publications Committee. In 2005, she was awarded the US Law and Society International Prize for distinguished scholarship and she holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Keele, Edinburgh , Leicester, and Kingston . She worked with the Judicial Studies Board for 12 years, serving as a member of the Main Board and the Tribunals Committee, and contributing to the design and delivery of training for the judiciary at all levels. She served for eight years as Deputy Chair and then Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council's Research Grants Board. In 2008 she was elected Honorary Master of the Bench of Gray's Inn.

She is a leading authority on civil justice and has published widely in the field including:

  • Meeting Legal Needs? (1981);
  • Hard Bargaining: Out of Court Settlement in Personal Injury Actions (1987);
  • The Effectiveness of Representation at Tribunals (1989);
  • Tribunals and Informal Justice (1992);
  • Personal Injury Compensation: How Much is Enough? (1994);
  • Survey of Litigation Costs for the Woolf Inquiry into Access to Justice (1996);
  • Understanding Civil Justice (1997);
  • Mediation in Action (1999).
  • Tribunals for Diverse Users (2006).

She is author of companion volumes Paths to Justice: What People Do and Think About Going to Law (1999) and, with Alan Paterson, Paths to Justice Scotland: What Scottish People Do and Think About Going to Law (2001), which report the findings of two major national surveys into public use of and attitudes to the legal system.

She has published several reports for the Ministry of Justice evaluating court-linked ADR schemes:

  • Central London County Court Mediation Scheme: Evaluation Report (1998);
  • Court-Based ADR Initiatives for Non-Family Civil Disputes: The Commercial Court and the Court Appeal (2002);
  • Twisting Arms: Court Linked and Court Referred Mediation Under Judicial Pressure (2007).

She was one of the team leading the Nuffield Foundation's Inquiry on Empirical Legal Research and is one of the authors of the final report Law in the Real World: Improving our Understanding of How Law Works, published in November 2006.

Together with Professor Cheryl Thomas, Hazel Genn is currently leading a two-year path-breaking study of tribunal decision-making, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. 

In November/December 2008 she delivered the 2008 Hamlyn Lectures on the subject of civil justice.  The Hamlyn Lectures were published by Cambridge University Press in November 2009 entitled Judging Civil Justice .

Hazel Genn's work has focused on the experiences of ordinary people caught up in legal problems and the responsiveness of the justice system to the needs of citizens. Her work has had a major influence on policy-makers around the world and she is regularly invited to lecture and provide advice abroad. Consistent with her interest in public use of and experiences of the justice system, she recently led a Task Force on Public Legal Education (PLEAS). In recognition of her work on civil justice, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2000 and appointed DBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2006. In 2006 she was also appointed Queen's Counsel Honoris Causa.

Papers to download:

36th F A Mann Lecture, Lincoln's Inn, November 2012
Why the privatisation of civil justice is a rule of law issue


New Zealand Lecture Programme September 2009

Hamlyn Lectures Publication Details 2008
Judging Civil Justice

Report to the Judicial Executive Board - December 2008
The attractiveness of senior judical appointment to highly qualified practioners

Scottish Consumer Council Seminar on Civil Justice, January 19 2005
Solving Civil Justice Problems: What might be best?

This page last modified 17 March, 2014 by Laws Webmaster