Professor Pascoe Pleasence is Professor of Empirical Legal Studies and co-director of the Centre for Empirical Legal Studies in the UCL Faculty of Laws. Until recently he was Academic and Scientific Advisor at the Legal Services Commission, and continues to advise a range of governmental bodies in the United Kingdom and overseas. He is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a member of the International Group of Experts on the Measurement of Access to Justice, a member of the International Working Group on Civil Justice and Dispute Resolution, a member of the International Working Group on the Legal Profession, a member of the International Legal Aid Group, a former Head of the Legal Services Research Centre, London, and a former Government Social Research Head of Profession. His work has an international profile. He is in regular demand to speak about his research methods and findings in the United Kingdom and overseas.
Research Professor Pleasence is a leading expert in empirical legal research methodologies. His substantive areas of research interest span the civil and criminal justice fields, but he has a particular interest in the public's understanding and experience of law, access to justice and decision making. He was responsible for the design and implementation of the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey (and its successor, the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Panel Survey), a large scale nationally representative survey of the public's experience of civil justice issues. All of his projects adopt an inter-disciplinary approach, and involve collaboration with researchers in fields such as criminology, economics, epidemiology, political science and psychology. He has published widely in the field of empirical legal studies, both in English and Japanese, and his work has been cited by the House of Lords in Callery v. Gray  UKHL 28. His most influential work, a second edition of Causes of Action: Civil Law and Social Justice (2006: TSO), has been central to access to justice policy development in England and Wales, and is widely cited in relation to legal aid policy around the world.
Professor Pleasence's recent publications include:
Buck, A., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2009) Reaching Further: Innovation, Access and Quality in Legal Services, Norwich : TSO .
Pleasence, P. et al. (eds.) (2007) Transforming Lives: Law and Social Process , Norwich : TSO.
Pleasence, P. (2006) C auses of Action: Civil Law and Social Justice, Second Edition, Norwich : TSO.
Pleasence, P. et al. (2004) C auses of Action: Civil Law and Social Justice, First Edition, Norwich : TSO. Also published in Japanese.
Moorhead , R. and Pleasence, P. (2003) After Universalism: Re-Engineering Access to Justice, Oxford : Blackwell Publishing
Pleasence, P. et al. (2001) Local Legal Need , London : Legal Services Commission. Also published in Japanese.
Pleasence, P. (1998) Personal Injury Litigation in Practice , London : Legal Aid Board.
Pleasence, P. et al. (1996) Profiling Civil Litigation: The Case for Research, London : Legal Aid Board.
Book Chapters / Journal Articles
Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (forthcoming) On the Rocks: Recession-related Life Problems and Relationship Stability, Child and Family Law Quarterly.
Pleasence, P. et al. (2011) What Really Drives Advice Seeking Behaviour? Looking Beyond the Subject of Legal Disputes, 1(6) Onati Socio-Legal Series.
Kemp, V., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J. (2011) Children, Young People and Requests for Police Station Legal Advice: 25 years on from PACE, 11(1) Youth Justice, pp.28-46.
Pleasence, P. et al. (2011) The Justice Lottery? Police Station Advice 25 Years on From PACE, Criminal Law Review, pp.3-18.
Denvir, C., Balmer, N.J. and Pleasence, P. (2011) Surfing the web - recreation or resource? Exploring how young people in the UK use the Internet as an advice portal for problems with a legal dimension, 23(1) Interacting with Computers, pp.96-104.
Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N.J., (2010) The Audacity of Justice: Recession, Redundancy, Rights and Legal Aid, 9(4) Social Policy and Society, pp475-488.
Balmer, N.J. and Pleasence, P. (2010) Psychiatric Morbidity and the Experience of Problems Involving Rights, 18(6) Health and Social Care in the Community, pp.588-597.
Pleasence, P., Balmer, N.J. and Reimers, S. (2010) Horses for Courses? People’s Characterisation of Justiciable Problems and the Use of Lawyers, in Legal Services Board (ed.) The Future of Legal Services: Emerging Thinking, London: Legal Services 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. et al. (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) J ournal of Social Policy, pp.661-681.
Pleasence, P. et al. (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. et al (2008) Understanding Advice Seeking Behaviour: Findings from New Zealand and England and Wales , 98(8) Academica 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. (2008) Legal Advice and Assistance, in Cane, P. and Conaghan, J. (eds.) The New Oxford Companion to Law, Oxford : Oxford University Press.
Pleasence, P. (2008) Money Claims Online, in Cane, P. and Conaghan, J. (eds.) The New Oxford Companion to Law, Oxford : Oxford University Press.
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 .
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. (2007) Introduction: Law and Social Process, 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.
Kemp, V. and Pleasence, P.. (2005) Targeting Civil Legal Needs: Matching Services to Needs, 26(2) Obiter, pp.285-303.
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. et al. (2004) Civil Law Problems and Morbidity, 58(7) Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, pp.552-557.
Pleasence, P. et al. (2004) Multiple Justiciable Problems: Problem Clusters, Problem Order and Social and Demographic Indicators, 1(2) Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, pp.301-330.
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. et al. (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. et al. (2003) The Experience of Clinical Negligence within the General Population, 9(6) Clinical Risk , pp.211-217.
Pleasence, P. et al. (2003) Family Problems: Who Does What and When? 33 Family Law , pp.822-827.
Moorhead , R. and Pleasence, P. (2003) Access to Justice After Universalism, 30(1) Journal of Law and Society, pp.1-10 .
Pleasence, P. et al. (2003) Family Problems: What Happens and to Whom? 33 Family Law, pp.497-501.
Pleasence, P. et al. (2003) Causes of Action: First Findings of the LSRC Periodic Survey, 30(1) Journal of Law and Society, pp.11-30 .
Dingwall, R., Durkin, T. Pleasence, P., Felstiner, W.L.F. and Bowles, R. (2000) Firm Handling: The Litigation Strategies of Defence Lawyers in Personal Injury Cases, 20(1) Legal Studies, pp.1-17 .
Pleasence, P. (1999) The Hazards of Litigation: A Study of Legally Aided Personal Injury Claims, Journal of Personal Injury Litigation, pp.34-41.
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
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
Professor Pleasence is Convenor of 'Law in the Real World: An Introduction to Empirical Legal Studies', an LLM course that introduces empirical social science research methods and the product of empirical enquiry to graduate students.
Professor Pleasence leads empirical social science research methods training for research students in the Faculty of Laws.
Professor Pleasence welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students. His current students are Yu-Shan Chang (integrated legal services), Catrina Denvir (online legal services) and Ronan Kennedy (information feedback in environmental regulation).
Professor Pleasence is currently leading the ‘Paths to Justice: A Past, Present and Future Roadmap’ project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. This project will bring together the substantive and methodological lessons of ‘legal needs’ studies conducted around the world over the past two decades.