UCL Judicial Institute



Find out about the people that make up the UCL Judicial Institute

Judicial Institute Directors

The Directors of the Judicial Institute have established strong working relationships with judges, policy makers and academic experts, enabling the institute to provide wide-ranging judicial studies 

Professor Cheryl Thomas KC
Cheryl Thomas

Cheryl Thomas is the UK's first professor of Judicial Studies, the country's leading expert on judges and juries, and a specialist in judicial decision-making and diversity.

She conducts the UK Judicial Attitude Survey (a longitudinal study of the working lives of judges) for the judiciaries of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

She teaches regularly for the Judicial College and is one of the editors of the Crown Court Compendium (providing guidance on jury directions in criminal cases).  She has served as a consultant on judicial affairs to the Judiciaries of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial College of England and Wales, the Scottish Judicial Institute, Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, and the Council of Europe among others.


Professor David Ormerod KC
David Ormerod

David Ormerod has expertise in all aspects of the criminal justice process. He is a practising barrister and Deputy High Court Judge.

He is the Editor in Chief of Blackstone's Criminal Practice and the Criminal Law Review and was consultant Editor for Halsbury's Laws 2020 on Criminal Law.

He teaches regularly for the Judicial College and is one of the editors of the Crown Court Compendium (providing guidance on jury directions in criminal cases). He has served as a consultant to the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office. He was formally the Criminal Law Commissioner for England and Wales.

Judicial Institute Manager
Maria Diaz

Maria Diaz is the Manager of the UCL Judicial Institute (JI) and is responsible for the overall running of the JI in close consultation with the JI Directors.

Maria joined the UCL Judicial Institute in 2013 following a 10-year career in the civil service, working in the courts and judiciary.

She joined the Lord Chancellors Department in 2003 working at the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) as a pre-trial clerk. In 2006 she joined the Court Service in the Listings and Jury Bailiffs department at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey). In 2008 she became a Court Clerk and then the Jury Manager of the Old Bailey, also serving on the Jury Manager’s Advisory Group (JMAG) for England and Wales.

Judicial Institute Senior Researcher
Sara Razai

Dr. Sara Razai is the JI Senior Researcher. She is also an expert in empirical research on the judiciary in the Middle East. Her research has fed into policy-making and she has provided different actors and stakeholders with policy recommendations and programmatic responses at national and international levels. 

Dr Razai is also the International Projects Lead at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) and Executive Director at the Paris-based Institut d'Études sur le Droit et la Justice dans les Sociétés Arabes.

UCL JI Judicial Training Fellows

Godfrey Cole

Godfrey Cole
Godfrey Cole was an academic from 1971-1992, mostly at the University of Westminster where he was Dean of the Law School and lectured on subjects including Housing Law, Law of Landlord and Tenant, Family Law and Social Security Law.

In 1992 he took up a full-time judicial appointment as a District Tribunal Judge and subsequently sat as a Deputy District Judge and in the Upper Tribunal. From 1999-2008 he was seconded to the Judicial Studies Board as Director of Training for Tribunals where he developed standards that now apply across UK Tribunals, as well as training courses for court and tribunals judges with management responsibilities.

He was the editor of the Tribunals journal until the end of 2009 and he has published frequently as an academic and as a judge.

Ms Yvette Genn

Yvette Genn
Yvette Genn is a barrister at Cloisters, specialising in employment law (with particular emphasis on discrimination and equal pay) and personal injury law. Yvette sits as a Recorder in Civil and Private Law Family matters on the Midlands Circuit and as a Deputy District Judge on the South Eastern Circuit.

She is also a former part-time judge in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal SEND). Yvette maintains a busy court-based practice and varied training commitments for professionals in her practice areas and the judiciary.

She was a member of the JSB's Equal Treatment Advisory Committee from 1999-2008 designing and delivering diversity training to judges and continues to provide training in diversity and judicial standards for judges in courts and tribunals.

She has also provided equalities training to a range of public bodies and since 2011 she has regularly contributed to the training of European judges in equality law at the Academy of European Law in Trier.

Mrs Mary Holmes 

Mary Holmes
Mary Holmes was Senior Training Adviser to the Judicial Studies Board (now the Judicial College, London) and Head of Tribunal Training between 2002 and 2007.

As Senior Training Adviser to the JSB, Mary gave advice and guidance to the Civil, Family and Equal Treatment Committees in respect of the induction and continuation training for judges and was closely involved in the development of the JSB tribunal mentoring, training standards, appraisal and evaluation frameworks and training handbooks.

In addition to design and delivery of judicial training for the JSB, Mary has also participated in the delivery of training for Sheriffs sitting in Mental Health Tribunals and members of the Additional Support Needs Tribunal in Scotland, Tribunal Chairmen and Members training in Guernsey, Training the Trainers for family law judges in Jordan and facilitated appraisal training for British Columbia’s Administrative Tribunal in Vancouver, Canada. 

She also worked with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Australia in developing proposals for the introduction of a competence framework, supported by appraisal and mentoring, to be used as the basis for the development of competence-based training.

Mary was previously an academic with an interest in civil liberties and social welfare law; she was formerly a tribunal member and currently sits as a Magistrate.  

Mrs Mary Kane

Mary Kane
Mary Kane was a matrimonial solicitor in private practice for 21 years until 1995 and a magistrate for 18 years in the West London PSD. She held a judicial post as Regional Chair of the London South, South and South West Region of the Mental Health Review Tribunal from 1998 to 2004.

She is a judge in the Health and Social Care chamber of the Tribunal Service, sitting in the Mental Health Tribunal (appointed 1989) and was a judge in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal from 2004 to 2012. She is a legal chair for the GMC, an active former member of the Parole Board (appointed 1996) and was a Deputy Traffic Commissioner from 2004 until 2016. She is also a family mediator.

She is an appraiser and mentor for the MHT and was an  appraiser for the Parole Board. She has worked as a trainer and facilitator for the Judicial College (formerly the Judicial Studies Board) and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the UCL Faculty of Laws and a trainer at the Judicial Institute at UCL in all areas of tribunal skills development, including diversity training and reason writing.

She was involved in the drafting and preparation of the JSB booklets, Tribunal Competences, Qualities and Abilities in Action, and Appraisal Standards and Appraisal Competences in Tribunals.

She has written articles in the Mental Health Tribunal Journal, Family Law and Oral Hearing guidance for the Parole Board on Prisoners with Mental Disorders and Equality and Protected Characteristics.

Mr Stuart Vernon

Stuart Vernon
Stuart Vernon has taken a leading role in writing and producing judicial training materials and has been involved with tribunal skills training for a number of years. He was involved in the development of the JSBs tribunal competence framework, and is currently developing bespoke training courses for tribunals and other institutions.

Stuart was until recently the Chief Adjudicator at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).He taught at the University of East London, where he researched and published in the fields of social work law and youth justice. Stuart sat as a magistrate in west London for 15 years and was also a lay member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.