Paths to justice - a past, present and future roadmap

This project brought together the worldwide knowledge and experience that has arisen through the conduct of large-scale surveys of the public’s experience of justice. A prime example being the 1997 Nuffield Foundation funded Paths to Justice survey.

  • Findings from Paths to Justice tradition surveys have been profoundly influential on legal aid, legal services and access to justice policy and thinking.
  • The surveys have collectively built up a substantial evidence base around the ‘client perspective’ of justiciable problem (problems which raise civil legal issues) experience, which continues to be built upon.
  • However, comparative analysis of justiciable problem experience across jurisdictions is hampered by many differences in survey design and implementation. Some of these are unavoidable – relating to language, system, cultural and budgetary differences. But others are more a product of individual discretion.
  • Survey designers should draw on the vast experience now existing in the field. It is also important that technical survey details are transparent, reports using survey data accessible and where possible, survey data made publicly available.