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Centre for Empirical Legal Studies

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The Centre for Empirical Legal Studies comprises 5 members within the Faculty of Laws

Dr Nigel Balmer (Co-director)

Nigel Balmer is Reader in Law and Social Statistics within the Faculty of Laws. He is an expert in social science and statistical methods, and has considerable experience of their application in an empirical legal context. He has a particular interest in access to justice, law and health and decision making.

Dr Elaine Genders

Elaine Genders is a Reader in Criminology in the Faculty of Laws. Her interests include the sociologyof prisons, violent crime, the interface between criminology and law, and race, sex and criminal justice. She has been a special advisor to the Home Office on therapeutic prison regimes, as well as a cold reviewer (part of the auditing of the Audit Commission procedure) of two Audit Commission Reports on the Government’s performance in relation to imprisonment.

Professor Dame Hazel Genn 

Dame Hazel Genn is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, an Honorary Fellow of UCL and one of the world’s foremost empirical legal scholars. With a background in both sociology and law, she is an authority on civil justice processes, from both ‘bottom up’ and ‘top down’ perspectives. She was the Law and Society Association Scholar of Distinction in 2005.

Professor Cheryl Thomas

Professor Cheryl Thomas has conducted ground-breaking research in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions on juries, judicial decision-making, the role of diversity in the justice system, and the appointment and training of judges. Professor Thomas is the country’s leading expert on juries and has pioneered the study of jury decision-making in the criminal courts this country, using an innovative approach that combines case simulation with real jurors at Crown Courts, large-scale analysis of actual jury verdicts and post-verdict interviews with jurors.

Professor Pascoe Pleasence (Co-director)

Pascoe Pleasence is Professor of Empirical Legal Studies at UCL, and a former advisor to the Legal Services Commission of England and Wales. He is a leading expert on empirical legal research methodologies and has a particular interest in the legal profession, the public experience of law and access to justice.