Universiteit Leiden

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What can the lens of socio-legal studies add to the understanding of the everyday encounters with the administrative justice system?

  • Dr. Naomi Creutzfeldt
Tuesday 25 April 2017
Old Observatory
Sterrenwachtlaan 11
2311 GW Leiden
C 1.04

This lecture will explore some of the advantages and challenges of doing a large comparative socio-legal research project. Between 2013-2016 Dr. Creutzfeldt worked on the ESRC FRL project: ‘Trusting the middle-man: impact and legitimacy of ombudsmen in Europe’. Situated in the administrative justice system, the ombudsman is a pathway to resolve disputes between citizens and the state. The research objective was to seek to compare levels of engagement and trust in ombudsmen in France, Germany and the UK. Dr. Creutzfeldt’s approach to doing this was to marry up different theories (procedural justice and legal consciousness) and to employ a mixed methods research strategy that used comparative strengths of qualitative and quantitative approaches. Based on this experience, in her lecture, she will critically analyze how the combination of theory and method enabled her to explore the complexities and nuances of people’s expectations when dealing with institutions of the informal justice system.

Before joining Westminster, as a lecturer in law, Dr. Creutzfeldt worked at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (University of Oxford) for six years. Dr. Creutzfeldt’s research activities take her across Europe, engaging with ombudsmen, talking at academic conferences and planning knowledge-exchange workshops. Her interests in ombudsmen, as pathways of informal dispute resolution, have a broader scope, addressing questions of access to justice and consumer protection.  Concurrent with her work with the ombudsman community, dr. Creutzfeldt has just completed two explorative projects that look at consumers’ use of the Internet to achieve their goals: One project concerns citizens’ online activism (the use of the internet and social media to complain) in collaboration with Chris Gill form Queen Margaret University Edinburgh; the other concerns consumer projection in emerging economies. Dr. Creutzfeldt is a member of the Law and Society Association (USA), the Socio-Legal Studies Association (UK) and an individual associate member of the Ombudsman Association. She is also a member of the executive committee of the SLSA, a Fellow of Wolfson College (Oxford), a  ADR group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator, and  a member of the ESRC Peer Review College. 

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