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UK Administrative Justice Institute

Researchers: Professor Maurice Sunkin, QC | Professor Andrew Le Sueur ...

Project overview

The UK Administrative Justice Institute (UKAJI) is a collaborative project designed to kick start the expansion of empirical research into administrative justice issues.

The UKAJI will operate for an initial term of three years from October 2014. It aims to address the lack of empirical research evidence on different administrative justice mechanisms by:

  • Linking the policy, practice and research communities through an online forum, and a series of seminars and workshops. UKAJI will also develop a searchable database of researchers active in the field.
  • Developing a coordinated research agenda, by undertaking an updated review of the UK and international literature, and creating opportunities to engage researchers from disciplines which have not traditionally been interested in administrative justice issues.
  • Identifying and tackling capacity constraints, by improving access to data and information, and encouraging early career researchers into the field.  
Why administrative justice? 

Public bodies make millions of decisions each year that directly affect the rights and interests of individuals. These can relate to matters as wide-ranging as family incomes, jobs, welfare benefits, health care, housing, and education. Individuals have the right to seek redress if they believe the wrong decision has been made. For example they may be able to ask the public body to consider the matter again, complain to an ombudsman, appeal to a tribunal, or challenge the decision in judicial review proceedings. These avenues of redress are intended to ensure administrative justice. 

The ‘administrative justice system’ encompasses the procedure, law, and mechanisms for resolving disputes between individuals and public bodies. This ‘system’ deals with more cases than the criminal and civil justice systems combined. In 2010 there were around 63,000 civil trials and 200,000 criminal trials in England and Wales. In the same year there were over 650,000 hearings before tribunals, in addition to innumerable internal and ombudsman complaints. 

Latest on this project


  • Professor Maurice Sunkin, QC
    University of Essex
  • Professor Andrew Le Sueur
    Essex University School of Law
  • Varda Bondy
    De Montfort University

  • Imogen Parker
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.