Access to Justice Workshop - Reframing a Research Agenda

The purpose of the workshop is to provide a forum to stimulate a broad ranging discussion about issues around access to justice for civil law matters.

This workshop is co-organised by the Centre for Law and Social Justice, and CIRLE (Centre for Innovation and Research in Legal Education), School of Law, University of Leeds.

The last two decades have seen a progressive erosion of access to justice for civil law matters, culminating in the cuts implemented by LASPO and a dramatic reduction in other funding sources as a result of the government’s austerity programme.  These changes have taken place at a time of growing need for legal advice, as social inequalities increase and what were once rights have been transformed into conditional benefits, access to which frequently depends on negotiating complex regulations and procedures.  It seem likely that the turn away from public services; the demonization of the poor and vulnerable and the general attack on rights will be exacerbated by Brexit. 

The purpose of the workshop is to provide a forum to stimulate a broad ranging discussion about these issues by bringing together a range of speakers working across the civil justice field, including practitioners, representatives of NFP organisations and academics.  The primary focus is England and Wales, however, the transformation of what was traditionally understood as justice and access to justice, and the state role in providing this, is not unique to England and Wales, and an international perspective will therefore be supplied by speakers from Denmark and the Netherlands.

Our primary objectives are to identify key questions for research and policy, and to ensure that emerging research agendas are shaped by a robust understanding of the practitioner experiences.  This collaborative and international approach is seen as critical to future research work in this area.

Confirmed Speakers: Lord Colin Low (Chair of the Low Commission); Professor Alan Paterson OBE, (University of Strathclyde); Andrea Coomber (Justice); Julie Bishop (Director of the Law Centres Federation); Steve Hynes (Director of LAG); Professor Ole Hammerslev and Annette Olesen (University of Southern Denmark); Professor dr. M. Westerveld (University of Amsterdam); Jessica Mant (Leeds); Tatiana Tkacukova (Birmingham City University); Bregje Dijksterhuis (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences); Lisa Hilder (Affordable Justice)  Marie Burton (Middlesex University) and Sue Prince (University of Exeter)

Lunch will be provided and the event will be followed by a drinks reception from 18:15.

The event is free however places are limited and registration is required in advance.