By Richard Kirkham and Naomi Creutzfeldt
The Administrative Justice stream at the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) conference has become one of the few forums in the academic sector within which research on administrative justice matters is showcased and debated on an annual basis. This year the conference was held at Lancaster University, and four sessions were devoted to the administrative justice stream with another four sessions on Social Security, one paper of which by Michael Adler has been published on the UKAJI website.
The Administrative Justice Sessions included papers on the tribunal system by:
- Grainne Mckeever, ‘Modelling legal participation: from tribunals to courts’; and
- Jackie Gulland, ‘ ‘She is not able to write and does not know what to do’: appellant knowledge and representation in early twentieth century appeals about national health insurance’.
Papers relating to the role of the courts in administrative justice by:
- John McGarry, ‘Genuiness as an Element of Sufficient Interest’;
- Harriet Samuels, ‘Public Interest Litigation and the Role of Civil Society’; and
- Maria Smirnova, ‘New Administrative Litigation Code of the Russian Federation: Empowering Citizens to Bring the State to Court’.
Papers on the ombudsman by:
- Naomi Creutzfeldt and Christian Gill, ‘The Ombudsman Watchers: Understanding the Critics of the Ombudsman System’;
- Stephen Daly, ‘Oversight of HMRC soft-law: lessons from the Ombudsman?’; and
- Richard Kirkham, ‘The impact of judicial review on the work of the ombudsman’.
Plus a series of additional papers which highlighted the wide terrain of the administrative system and the influence of administrative decision-making on public life.
- Richard Craven, ‘PFI procurement: a case study of public authority compliance’;
- Florence Anaedozie, ‘Combating Grand Corruption in Nigeria from the Lens of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015: Progression or Retrogression?’;
- Edward Kirton-Darling, ‘Death, Decision making and the Work Capability Assessment’; and
- Robyn Holder and Kathleen Daly, ‘Money: exploring the meaning of financial assistance for survivors of sexual victimisation’.
Finally, Maurice Sunkin from UKAJI updated the group on the progress being made at UKAJI in promoting research on administrative justice.
The administrative justice stream at the SLSA is an excellent opportunity to bring together current researchers in the field, share ideas and offer critical reflection on ongoing projects. In recent years, papers from the stream have also been published in the Ombudsman, Tribunals and Administrative Justice section of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law. Next year’s conference will be held at Newcastle University, 5–7 April 2017. We welcome submissions or proposals for topic specific sessions. The call for papers usually comes out in the autumn.