The England and Wales justice system is undergoing rapid change in an ambitious reform programme designed to transform processes in criminal, civil and family courts, and tribunals. The move to online determination of disputes and court closures represents a shift away from the model through which the principles of public justice have traditionally been advanced. These changes have implications for citizens, the judiciary, the legal profession, and court staff as they adapt to new mechanisms for delivering justice. The reforms also create important opportunities for generating robust data on court processes, and the individuals that use them and case outcomes. The wide- ranging nature of the reform programme represents a challenge to the existing community of justice system researchers and funders, with answers needing to be found on what new skills, methods and approaches are required to properly understand the impact of justice system reforms.

This international symposium, jointly convened by UCL Faculty of Laws, the Nuffield Foundation and The Legal Education Foundation brought together leading researchers, members of the judiciary, funders and practitioners to explore these issues and learn from existing best practice. The aim of the symposium was to develop a sense of the emerging priorities for research and a consensus on the level of commitment needed to build capacity to deliver this research agenda. This report provides an overview of the speakers’ presentations and Q&A sessions at the symposium. An outline of the headline messages from the symposium is provided at the end of this report.

The Future of Justice - Harnessing the Power of Empirical Research, 14-15 May 2018

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