UCL  IRIS
Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/post_award/post_award_contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
 More search options
Dr Nigel Balmer
Faculty of Laws
Bidborough House
London
WC1H 9BT
Appointment
  • Reader in Law and Social Statistics
  • Faculty of Laws
  • UCL SLASH
Biography

Nigel is Reader in Law and Social Statistics at UCL. He is also Head of Data, Design and Analysis at PPL and an independent researcher and consultant. He is a leading expert in empirical legal studies, with particular expertise in statistical analysis and empirical research methodology. He is also co-director of the Centre for Empirical Legal Studies at UCL. He works across a broad range of projects (spanning civil and criminal justice) though he has specific interest in the application of social science and modern quantitative methods to explore how the general public understand and interact with the law. All of his research is multidisciplinary and collaborative, with a specific focus on methodological innovation and rigour. His work adapts methods from a broad range of disciplines, including psychology, epidemiology, education, health, mathematics and statistics. 

 

Nigel's work is methodologically innovative and he has been the first to introduce a number of methods into legal research; including multilevel modelling, discrete time event history analysis and most recently modern psychometrics (for legal capability scale development). He has published over 100 academic papers, reports, book chapters and books, including research in leading journals in law, social policy, epidemiology, geography and health. Much of his research is designed for a policy audience and his survey work (in collaboration with Professor Pascoe Pleasence) has become central to the development of access to justice policy in England and Wales. It also has international significance, supporting global access to justice initiatives and progress under the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 16. Nigel also works with a number of organisations in other jurisdictions, in particularly in Australia with colleagues at the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales. 

Research Summary

Nigel's research interests include exploring the role of law in everyday life, public understanding of the law/legal rights, the experience of and response to legal issues, the interaction between legal and health problems, design of legal services, legal aid and access to justice, empirical research methodology and statistics. He has also conducted research in sports science/sports psychology and will happily tell you how far/high people can jump and give you a (possibly accurate) medal table forecast for the next Olympics. 

 

Some of his recent research projects include work on public understanding and interaction with the law (for The Legal Education Foundation), how people respond to legal problems (for the Legal Services Board), how legal and health problems interact (for Youth Access) and what happens to clients when solicitor’s firms are closed down (for the Solicitors Regulation Authority). His current projects include legal capability scale development (which will include the first comprehensive use of modern psychometrics in a legal setting), cross-European quantitative study of insolvency proceedings and the development of global guidance for access to justice measurement. 

Teaching Summary

Much of Nigel's teaching at aims to introduce students to empirical legal research and social science research methods (as painlessly as possible!). He also has a specific interest in teaching related to the impact of advice, legal aid, design of legal services and public understanding of the law. Previous teaching has included the ‘Law in the Real World’ LLM module which introduces students to key social science research designs and methods, before discussing key empirical studies and the interaction between research and policy. Current teaching includes the undergraduate ‘Law and Social Inquiry course’, which develops the idea of exploring law from a social science perspective, and encourages students to conduct their own empirical research projects. This aims to allow students to engage with and seek to answers to key empirical questions for the future of law, legal practice and justice institutions.

 

He also integrates empirical research and a social science approach into non-empirical based courses. This includes empirical sessions as part of the undergraduate BASc ‘Law in Action’ and LLB ‘Access to Justice’ programmes.

 

He also contributes to the PhD programme, conducting seminars on empirical research methods. Since joining UCL, he has supervised eight PhD students where empirical research formed a component of their studies. 

 

Appointments
MAY-2015 Head of Data, Design and Analysis   PPL, United Kingdom
01-JAN-2010 Reader in Law and Social Statistics Faculty of Laws University College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2001 – 01-MAR-2013 Principal Researcher Legal Services Research Centre Legal Services Commission, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2001 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Psychology/Sports Science Liverpool John Moores University
1998 BSc Bachelor of Science – Psychology with Mathematics University of Stirling
Please report any queries concerning the data shown on this page to https://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/helpdesk/helpdesk_web_form.php
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by