UCL FACULTY OF LAWS
Centre for Empirical Legal Studies

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Research Projects

The Centre for Empirical Legal Studies is a major centre for interdisciplinary empirical research relating to law. Research projects currently being undertaken by members of the Centre for Empirical Legal Studies include:

  • A Study Of The Democratic Therapeutic Community At HMP Send – (Elaine Genders)
    This study sets out to understand the social organisation of the therapeutic community at HMP Send and how it functions.
    Click here for details
  • Nuffield Inquiry on Empirical Legal Research (Implementation) – (Professor Dame Hazel Genn)
    The report of the Nuffield Inquiry on Empirical Legal Research was published in November 2006. This new stage of the project is directed towards implementation of the Inquiry findings.
    Click here for details


  • Australian National Legal Needs Survey – (Professor Pascoe Pleasence)
    Analysis of data from a large scale survey of the Australian public’s experience of civil justice problems, to provide strategic information for access to justice policy development in Australia.

  • Jury Decision-Making Research Programme – (Professor Cheryl Thomas)
    Juries decide the most serious criminal cases in this country yet little is know about how they reach their verdicts.  This research programme uses an innovative approach to understanding jury decision-making, combining analysis of actual jury verdicts with case simulation and post-trial surveys with real jurors.
    Click here for details


  • Tribunal Decision-Making Research Programme - (Professor Dame Hazel Genn and Professor Cheryl Thomas)
    Tribunals play a vital role in the administrative justice system, resolving over 1 million disputes a year between individuals and the state, yet little is known about what influences tribunal decision-making. To coincide with the establishment of the new Tribunals Service, the Empirical Legal Studies Centre is developing a programme of research on tribunal decision-making. 
    Click here for details

  • Judicial Appointments and Training Research Programme (Professor Cheryl Thomas)
    Both the judicial appointment process and judicial training programmes can have a fundamental impact on the performance and public perception of the judiciary.  This research programme explores the increasing pressures on judiciaries in both common and civil law countries to appoint and train judges to meet the changing needs of justice.
    Click here for details

  • Paths to Justice: A Past, Present and Future Roadmap (Professor Pascoe Pleasence, Dr. Nigel Balmer)
    A review of the methodologies used in the Paths to Justice tradition survey work around the world and investigation into the influence and impact of these surveys on legal acess to justice and legal policy and practice. Please click on the underlined text for information regarding the Paths to Justice Project.

  • The Authority and Legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights – (Dr. Basak Çali) Three year ESRC-funded project examining how the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights perceived by domestic law-makers and judges, why lawyers take cases to the court and why states implement the court’s judgments.
    Click here for details

Recently concluded studies include:

Details of Professor Pascoe Pleasence and Dr Nigel Balmer’s current research within the Legal Services Research Centre can be found by clicking here.