Courts and the judiciary constitute a key institution in Australia. The Judicial Research Project at Flinders University led by Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor Sharyn Roach Anleu and Emerita Professor Kathy Mack has used varied empirical research strategies, including interviews, surveys and observation studies to undertake wide-ranging research into the Australian judiciary.
The Project research is conducted and reported independently of the courts and government. Project findings provide new knowledge and valuable insights addressing important scholarly and public policy questions, especially the changing nature and organisation of judicial work, concerns about the meaning of judicial impartiality and neutrality, and tensions between judicial independence and accountability.
Key areas and issues which the Project is investigating include:
- Judicial performance and emotion
- Gender and judging
- Courts and social change
- Judicial workload allocation
- Judicial practice in court
- The background which Australian judges and magistrates bring to their judicial practice and decision-making
- The attitudes and experiences of the Australian judiciary, particularly their views about everyday work
The Project research findings are the basis for national and international publications and presentations to judicial and academic audiences and submissions to government, as well as for research reports provided directly to the judiciary and their courts or to organisations such as the Judicial Council of Australia.
This research is undertaken in collaboration with scholars from Australia and internationally.
We are always interested to hear from judges, magistrates and court staff in any jurisdiction, as well as other researchers, with questions, comments or suggestions about any aspect of the research.