Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Archive for October 2011

Empirical research in Law: Interview with Deputy Director of the Nuffield Foundation

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If we want to know exactly what goes on in the English Legal system, there has to be high quality empirical research that gathers the information which can tell us. In this podcast, I talk to Sharon Witherspoon, Deputy Director of the Nuffield Foundation, about the investment the Foundation has made over very many years in research on law and legal process.

Although the Foundation was established to fund scientific research, the trustees decided early on that this should include social science research. Sharon Witherspoon discusses how the Foundation first engaged in research on law, and also refers to more recent examples. She makes clear how good research can influence the development of the law and legal policy.

For further information about the Nuffield Foundation, go to
For a direct link to their work on law, go to

To hear my interview with Sharon Witherspoon go to

Written by lwtmp

October 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

Civil Mediation: launch of on-line directory

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From 1 October 2011, the National Mediation Helpline has been replaced by a new on-line directory of accredited mediators, who provide mediation services for people in dispute on a civil law matter. Mediation is provided for a fixed fee, which varies according to the amount of money in dispute. The fees are set out on the first page of the website. It makes the process of finding a mediator very easy and is clearly designed to encourage use of mediation in the dispute resolution process.

For details see

Written by lwtmp

October 1, 2011 at 9:11 am

Posted in Chapter 10, Chapter 8