UCL Faculty of Laws


Diana Richards

Diana Richards
Key information

  • PhD title: Judicial Training in Sentencing: A Comparative Study
  • BA Legal Philosophy (2009), MA Legal and Political Theory (2010), LLM Constitutional Law (2011)
  • PhD Candidate in Judicial Studies, Justice Policy Officer, Ministry of Justice
  • diana.richards@ucl.ac.uk

Diana Richards joined the UCL Laws faculty in 2012, working under the supervision of Professor Cheryl Thomas and Dr Nigel Balmer. Ever since she studied philosophy she was fascinated by judges – by their power, discretion and responsibility towards the society at large.

Her doctoral work focuses on the attitudes and expectations judges have towards the formal judicial training they receive in criminal law, as well as their attitudes towards sentencing practice, based on their level of judicial and legal experience.

She surveyed 510 Romanian judges and prosecutors from all levels of court, in an innovative large-scale study which uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

As part of the project, she also analysed judicial training practices across 10 jurisdictions, and current sentencing frameworks around the world. Her research is deeply interdisciplinary, drawing from legal, sociological, psychological and learning theory research.

Outside her doctoral research, Diana has worked on a variety of research projects focused on justice reform and the judiciary - such as court-related ADR and encouragement of settlement, gender diversity in the judiciary, expert decision-making. Her list of publications and talks can be found at http://www.dianarichards.co.uk/publications-and-talks/

She is currently working as a policy-maker at the UK Ministry of Justice, specialised on legal advice/support, public legal education, support for litigants in person and encouragement of ADR (as part of the Access to Justice Directorate). She is passionate about judicial behaviour, justice reform and online justice.

Research Supervisors

Areas of Expertise

Empirical Legal Studies, Judicial Studies, Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Research Interests

Judges, Judicial Decision Making, Justice Reform, Legal Education, Online Justice, Sentencing, Virtual Environments

UCL Associations/Academic & Professional Memberships

Professional Experience

  • 2017 : Ministry of Justice