We conduct significant amounts of theoretically informed empirical work on the courts and associated justice processes. Notable studies include work by Professor Richard Lewis on the impact of insurance on the tort system ,how damages are paid and access to justice, Annette Morris on compensation culture and Dr Nicky Priaulx on torts and conception. Professor Luke Clements, Professor Phil Fennell and Dr Julie Doughty are engaged in work examining the operation of the Court of Protection. Rachel Cahill- O’Callaghan is undertaking her doctorate on the empirical analysis of the influence of personal values on legal judgements and was jointly awarded the 2012 Society of Legal Scholars Best Poster Prize for her presentation on 'Do Personal Values Tip the Scales of Justice?' and awarded the 2013 Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference Best Poster Prize for 'Personal Values: An important element in the diversity debate'.
In the criminal justice area, Dr Stewart Field has conducted a major comparative study Italian and British perspectives on youth justice. Cathy Cobley and Dr Bernadette Rainey conduct research on the investigation of child abuse and the treatment of sex offenders.
In the field of family law, Professor Gillian Douglas, Professor Nigel Lowe, Dr Julie Doughty and Dr Leanne Smith are engaged in both doctrinal and empirical work on inheritance, family law and religion, the family court structure, adoption, parentage and shared parenting. International Family Law Studies are directed by Professor Lowe, and include work on the harmonisation of family law, including through Professor Lowe’s membership of the Commission on European Family Law ongoing empirical research into international child abduction, and work for the Council of Europe on new harmonising provisions on parental status and responsibility.