Today, I am delighted to publish on behalf of UKAJI the first step in establishing a public database of research related to administrative justice in the United Kingdom. Currently, the database contains around two hundred documents, ranging from books and journal articles, to governmental and third sector reports and House of Commons Library briefings. This tentative start at an administrative justice research database has been a joint effort initially conceived and developed under the umbrella of UKAJI by Margaret Doyle and Varda Bondy, and continued by me over the summer.
Wherever possible, beyond merely naming the relevant resource, I have included a pdf version of the document in the database so as not to fall prey to future dead internet links. Happily, for the vast majority of resources I have been able to include a pdf version. For those which were unavailable, I have either contacted the author in the hope of a generous response or, for governmental documents (particularly reports by the Major administration in the 1990s which were difficult to locate online), I will actively consider the usefulness of an FoI request.
For ease of use, for each resource I have identified what the document is (e.g. a book, a report), its author(s), key words identifying its broad themes (e.g. ombuds, judicial review), and a hopefully helpful summary of its contents and argument. As a non-exhaustive summary of some critical keywords for initial exploration of the database, please see below:
- System design: structure; principles; designers; issues affecting design; human rights and equalities; quality assurance
- Process and stages of decision-making: rule making; initial decision-making; internal review; appeal; outcomes; learning from feedback; complaint handling; funding models; filtering; early dispute resolution; case management; user views and experiences
- Redress mechanisms: judicial review; tribunals; ombuds; mediation and ADR; courts; inquiries; judiciary
- Access to justice: funding and legal aid; advice provision; information provision; advocacy; self-represented litigants; costs
- Organisational issues: psychology of decision-making; staff training; leadership; use of IT
- Sectoral identifier: children and young people; prisons; homelessness; housing; community and social care; consumers; education; employment; environmental and planning; freedom of information; family; health; immigration and asylum; mental health; parking; pensions; policing; regulation; social security and welfare benefits; taxation
- Jurisdiction: United Kingdom; England; Northern Ireland; Wales; Scotland; international
- Research type: statistics; big data; research methods; literature review
It is perhaps in the nature of this project that it will never be finished but, nevertheless, with wide engagement and continuity of updating, it will be possible to build a resource that is a genuinely useful reference point for practitioners and researchers in administrative justice. Readers who have any suggestions concerning research documents to include in the database or who have access to pdf versions of documents currently unavailable in the database are encouraged to contact Lee Marsons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The database can be accessed here:
The database is currently formatted as a public Dropbox link after some consideration over a Google Sheets format, but we found that it was not possible to insert original documents into a Google spreadsheet without first uploading it to Google Drive (which can change the document in some respects, particularly with images and graphics). Consequently, any technical advice on possibilities for formatting and hosting the database would also be warmly and gratefully received.
About the author:
Lee Marsons is a PhD student and GTA at Essex Law School researching the expression and regulation of emotions in UK Supreme Court judgments and hearings.