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Marking the launch of Observing Justice by Judith Townend and Lucy Welsh (Bristol University Press, 2023), this evening seminar will consider how under-scrutinised legal, social and technological developments have affected the transparency and accountability of the criminal justice process.  

Speakers from academic, civil society and legal organisations will share insights from their research and professional experiences, as they relate to key legal policy issues such as equality of access, remote and virtual courts, justice system data management, and the roles of public and media observers. 

Townend and Welsh’s socio-legal work, based on both evaluative and empirical studies, highlights the implications of recent changes for access to justice, offender rehabilitation, and public access to information; and argues that a framework for open justice should prioritise public legal education and justice system accountability. 
The event will also respond to the Government’s 2023 consultation on open justice: a report is expected to be published in early 2024. Though this book focuses on England and Wales, the topic has international relevance, with – for example – open justice and access to justice initiatives led by the OECD, World Justice Project and Open Government Partnership. 


Penelope Gibbs, Director, Transform Justice (panellist)

Judith Townend, Reader in Digital Society and Justice, University of Sussex (panellist

Lucy Welsh, Reader in Criminal Justice, University of Sussex (panellist)

Amy Kirby, Lecturer in Criminology, Birkbeck, University of London (panellist)

Lisa Flower, Associate Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Lund University (panellist)


Kate Leader, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law, Queen Mary University of London

Followed by a drinks reception.

All welcome - this event if free to attend but booking is required.