Impact of the Institute of Judicial Administration

Since its inception the Institute of Judicial Administration has produced important research studies which had direct impact on legislation, policy and practice. 

Photo of the Royal Courts of Justice, London

The 1960s

1968: IJA established
Examined how far the principles of judicial administration are translated into everyday practice.

1968: First two directors of the IJA
Lord Borrie and Professor Ian Scott
Identified a number of possible areas for research: jury trials, the selection of the judiciary, arbitration procedures and family courts.

1969-1970: Pilot Study: The provision of legal services in the city of Birmingham
John Lambert and Richard White
Objective of study will be to assess the nature and extend of unmet need for legal services and to investigate the factors hindering use of the facilities at present available. A working paper outlining the projected research was widely circulated for comment in April 1969 and many favourable replied were received.

1969-1973: The Law of Contempt
Nigel Lowe
Aimed to draw up proposals for reform on the basis of this study.  The principle of the project was published by Butterworth on 13th March 1973. It was possible on proof stage to insert an extended note on the series of much publicised incidents arising out of disobedience to orders of the new National Industrial Relations Court that led to the House of Lords decision in Heaton Transport (St Helens) Ltd v Transport and General Workers Union. Further, the institute's evident to the Phillimore Committee on contempt was published in December 1971.

1969-1973: Membership of Administrative Tribunals
G.N. Hawker, E. Sumorok and W.E. Cavenagh
Wider findings of the study have been presented in articles accepted for publications in Public Administration and SSRC Newsletter.

1969-1971: Legal aid in criminal cases
Jeremy Varcoe
Study argued that the present system of legal aid in criminal proceeding would be satisfactory if fully operated by all courts (subject to changes recommended in the report) but the value of the contribution system is doubted

1969-1972: Police powers
Peter Moodie
Penguin Books published the results of this research

The 1970s

1970-1975: The provision of legal services in the city of Birmingham
Richard White, Jim Whettob, Lee Bridges, Brenda Sufrin
The first volume of results, entitled Legal Services in Birmingham, was published by the Institute in April/May 1975. The concluding chapter examined the implication of the research for the future provision of legal services. A second volume was published in 1975.

1970-1971: Bail
Undergraduate students, Professor Ian Scott

1970-1973: Arbitration
John Constable
Much interest in arbitration as an alternative method of settling disputes.

1970-1971: Appeals to Quarter Sessions in Criminal Cases
Professor Ian Scott
Article was referred to during the House of Lord's debates on the Courts Bill in December 1970.

1970-1972: Court Buildings
Malcolm Booth
A consultative memorandum on court design was circulated by Lord Chancellor's Office in October 1971. It represented the initial conclusions of a Joint Working Party set up by the Lord Chancellor's office, the Home Office, and the Department of the Environment.

1971-1972: The Crown Court
Professor Ian Scott
The resulting book was by Butterworth's in May 1972. It included an annotated text of the Courts Act 1971 as well as of the Crown Court Rules 1971, the various practice directions issued under the Act by the Lord Chancellor and by the Lord Chief Justice, and the addresses and telephone numbers of all Crown Courts and their offices.

1971-1973: Magistrates' Court
John Lambert

1972-1973: Justice and Journalism
Majories Jones, Neville Brown and W.E. Cavenagh

1972-1972: Pilot Study: County Courts and Small Claims
Neville Turner

1972: Family Courts
Neville Turner
Paper containing comment and recommendations was submitted to the Law Commission in April 1972

1972-1973: Role of Magistrates in the Crown Court
G.N. Hawker

1973-1974: Industrial Tribunals
G.N. Hawker and K.R. Whitsides
This work was published in the Modern Legal Studies series of Sweet and Maxwell Ltd

1973: The Active Functions of Judges in England

1973: The Accused's Right of Compensation for Detention Prior to Acquittal
Professor Ian Scott

1973: The Distribution of Criminal Business between the Crown Court and Magistrates' Court
Rt. Hon. Lord Justice James and a committee

1973-1975: The Impact of the Legal Advice and Assistance Act 1972
Richard White and Ian Johnson

1973: Legal Aid in Tribunals
Richard White
Paper submitted to Lord Chancellor's legal Aid Advisory Committee in September 1973

1973: Pilot Study: West Indian Defendants in the Magistrates Court
J Jarrett
Findings are being used in the study of legal services in Birmingham and in the development of proposals for further research

1973-1976: Structure Plan Examinations in Public
L.T. Bridges, J.D. Stewart, J. Dunlop, C. Viewlba and P.A. Eddison

1974-1978: Contested Trials in the Crown Court
Professor John Baldwin and Michael McConville
Some of the authors' predictions were used in a separate report, entitled Negotiated Justice, which dealt specifically with the cases of 150 defendants who pleaded guilty shortly before trail, often following some kind of informal plea negotiation. This was published by Martin Robertson in 1977

1974: The Compulsory Training in Magistrates
Professor John Baldwin
Results submitted to the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Training of Magistrates

1974: Membership of Boards of Visitors
It was hoped to publish a Report of this research later in 1975

1977: Negotiated Justice published
Professor John Baldwin and Michael McConville
Media controversy, heated parliamentary debate and an internal enquiry by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Lord Hunter.

Throughout the 1970s:

  • The outcome of jury trials, John Baldwin and Michael McConville
  • The exercise of prosecutorial discretion
  • The negotiation of guilty pleas
  • Police interrogation
  • Advance disclosure of prosecution evidence
  • Child witnesses
  • Delays in processing cases
  • The right to silence
  • The provision of legal advice in police stations
  • And the administration of legal services.

The 1980s

1980s-1990s: Two Royal Commissions were set up
Examined the workings of the criminal justice system and theirs reports led to the questionings of assumptions and the rethinking of fundamentals. Launched major research projects. Commissions widely referred to research conducted by IJA.

Late 1980s: ‘Researchers United’ Pressure Group formed
Attempted to combat any groups against the IJA.

The 1990s

Late 1990s: Two Reports on Civil Justice Reform
Professor Michael Zander acted a chairman
The Department for Constitutional Affairs acknowledged the point that had been demonstrated in a series of IJA studies that ineffective enforcement of courts judgments undermines the credibility and integrity of the civil justice system.

Late 1990s: Enforcement Reviews
Lord Woolf
The Department for Constitutional Affairs acknowledged the point that had been demonstrated in a series of IJA studies that ineffective enforcement of courts judgments undermines the credibility and integrity of the civil justice system.

The 2000s

2001: Criminal Court Review
Lord Justice Auld, Department for Constitutional Affairs
Extensive reference to research conducted by IJA.

Up to 2005: Civil Justice Quarterly
Edited by members of the IJA, lead by Professor Ian Scott.
IJA associated with the leading Civil Justice Journal in England.