Project website links

As a resource, this page provides links to other organisations’ and projects’ websites, including research websites, that are relevant to our work at UKAJI. If you would like to suggest links to be included, please contact us.

Human Rights, Big Data & Technology Project

Based at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex, the Project and its multidisciplinary team of researchers analyse both the opportunities for and challenges to human rights enjoyment and protection posed by ICT and big data. The project is funded by the ESRC. The aims of the Project are to:

  • Map and analyse the challenges and opportunities of the use of big data and associated technology from a human rights perspective;
  • Consider whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of technology in the era of big data; and,
  • Develop good practice guidelines on technology, big data and human rights and propose remedies and regulatory responses from a rights-based perspective.

A Place at the Table – Children and young people’s participation in SEND dispute resolution

This knowledge exchange project explores the role of young people in decision-making and dispute resolution about their SEND support and provision. It is funded by the ESRC’s IAA Fund and Garden Court Chambers, with in-kind support from KIDS. It is being carried out between Nov 2017 and July 2018 by Margaret Doyle, Senior Research Fellow with the UK Administrative Justice Institute (UKAJI), with oversight from Professor Maurice Sunkin, Principal Investigator of UKAJI and with assistance from Jane Parsons, all at the University of Essex School of Law.

Family justice research observatory

Addressing the need for improvements in the use of evidence in the family justice system in England and Wales, this scoping project aims to explore the feasibility of establishing a new ‘observatory’ to collate research evidence on family justice. It is funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Trusting the middle-man – Impact and legitimacy of ombudsmen in Europe

The aim of this project (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council from October 2013 to September 2016) is to seek to compare levels of engagement and trust in ombudsman systems in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. This research will improve understanding of how the ombudsman process is perceived by its users and positioned within society. The research objective will be achieved by collecting qualitative and quantitative data in a cross country and cross sector comparison. Project reports on individual ombudsmen in the countries studied are available here.

Welfare conditionality

This research explores two aspects of conditional welfare – where people’s access to welfare is restricted or stopped – for example, by benefit sanctions – and the experience of welfare support – for example, help to find work. how effective conditionality is in changing the behaviour of those receiving welfare benefits and services, and whether there are particular circumstances in which the use of conditionality may or may not be justified. Generally with these kinds of sanctions and support, governments aim to get people to change their behaviour. The research includes interviews with 480 people living in Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Peterborough and Sheffield, and the same people will be interviewed twice more over time, to see what longer-term effects the sanctions and support are having. The project started in 2013 and will finish in 2018 and is funded by the Economic and social Research Council. The project website includes a blog and publications.

The use of informal resolution approaches by ombudsmen in the UK: a mapping study

The aim of this study, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, was to identify and map the various informal IRbO_logoresolution approaches used by ombudsmen schemes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The report is intended to serve as a descriptive tool as well as a foundation for future in-depth research to further understanding of how this aspect of the administrative justice system operates and of what is (and should be) considered as best practice in ombudsman work. The initial mapping study is available here. The website also includes a blog, and further work is being carried out on informal resolution in specific sectors.

Access to Justice in an Age of Austerity

The ESRC Seminar Series 2011-2013 on ‘Access to justice in an age of austerity: time for proportionate responses’ (led by Professor Ellie Palmer and Dr Tom Cornford at the School of Law, University of Essex) was a series of five themed seminars examining fundamental questions about ‘access to justice’ – whether and the extent to which citizens who believe they have suffered a legal wrong are able to gain appropriate redress.

Mediation in Judicial Review: A Practical Handbook for Lawyers

This practical handbook explores the role of mediation in judicial review, including how it works, what the considerations are, and actual case studies of mediated JR cases. Research by the Public Law Project (PLP) and the University of Essex on the permission stage in judicial review concluded that most judicial review claims are settled and that most settlements satisfy the claims made in the judicial review. While some cases that settle as a result of bilateral negotiations could arguably result in a better outcome for one or both parties were they mediated instead, mediation is an unlikely option where more familiar and straightforward routes to disposal are available to lawyers.

Mediation in judicial review would, therefore, be likely to be considered in cases in which both parties have an interest in reaching a settlement but are unable to do so because negotiations have become ‘stuck’. Indeed, PLP’s parallel empirical research on mediation and judicial review established that mediation can be a useful process where negotiations are impossible, difficult or have broken
down. In several of the case studies presented in this handbook, mediation enabled underlying issues in a dispute to be teased out, and all the successful mediations resulted in outcomes that gave claimants more than they could have achieved had they been successful at court.

Future projects

UKAJI_logo_2016UKAJI wants to work with researchers to facilitate new projects. Please contact us to discuss how we can assist. We are particularly interested in the following dimensions of administrative justice:

  • the nature of the system, including achieving better understanding of the implications of tensions between coherence and fragmentation in the delivery of administrative justice;
  • the place of the system in the context of developments in the provision, availability and funding of advice;
  • the working and efficiency of the system, including issues relating to the availability of information to achieve better understanding of how and why matters flow through the system.
  • The equity of the system, relating to the disadvantage that some social groups may encounter in accessing the system, and the possible reasons for that disadvantage.



  1. Pingback: What is administrative justice? UKAJI’s website has the answers | UKAJI - May 31, 2018

  2. Pingback: Welcome to 2018 from UKAJI! | UKAJI - January 22, 2018

  3. Pingback: Using UKAJI’s website as a research resource | UKAJI - March 31, 2017

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