Old Research: Jurisprudence (2007-2010)

Ever since I studied philosophy I was fascinated by judges – by their power, discretion and responsibility towards the society at large. I graduated from a BA in philosophy of law with a thesis on the internal and external constraints upon judicial discretion. I then graduated from an MA in legal and political theory with a dissertation which argued that jurisprudence and empirical judicial studies must collaborate into accurately depicting the role and duties of a judge in the 21th century. While genuinely interested in jurisprudence topics such as legal reasoning, the concept of law, judicial discretion, law and morality, I have suffered an ’empirical turn’ around 2009, being more and more influenced by legal Realism and by ‘descriptive jurisprudence’ rather than ‘normative jurisprudence’. This is why I have decided to ‘get my hands dirty’ and do some legal empirical research of my own. For all my past research please visit my Academia.edu webpage.

Recent Research: Judicial Studies (2011-2017)

I conducted an innovative socio-legal study on the attitudes and expectations of judges towards the judicial training they receive in criminal law, based on their level of expertise. The research was so far conducted in one European jurisdiction (470 respondents) and aims to be extended to other jurisdictions as well. This research was part of my doctorate in law at University College London, kindly supported by UCL Laws. The doctorate passed with only one correction and its practical value praised by examiners. If you would like to explore any research collaborations please drop me a line at research@dianarichards.co.uk

Research on EU Judicial Diversity (2015)

I assisted Prof Sally Wheeler and a larger research team from Queen’s University Belfast in researching professional diversity and gender equality across EU states. My bit looked at judicial diversity across all EU judiciaries, with a focus on specific regulations and policies encouraging gender diversity and female participation. I gathered and reviewed almost 400 documents. I presented some of the findings at the Judicial Appointments Commission Anniversary Conference taking place in Nov 2015 at Birmingham University.

Research on Judicial Conflict Resolution (2016)

I was hired as the UK Lead Researcher in the European Research Council (ERC)-funded international research project “Judicial Conflict Resolution” taking place in 3 world jurisdictions for 5 years. The project’s Principal Investigator is Prof Michal Alberstein from Bar-Ilan University. My role began in Oct 2015 and ended in Dec 2016. I was in charge with conducting preliminary desk research on judicial conflict resolution framework and practices in the UK, in all trial courts, in all areas of law (civil and criminal). I gathered, reviewed and reported on 470+ documents (legislation, caselaw, reforms, statistical information, academic research). I have reported my findings at the Law and Society Conference 2016 (New Orleans USA), the Biennial Meeting of the International WorkingGroup for the Legal Profession 2016 (Andorra), and as an invited speaker at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies 2017 (London, UK)

Research on ethical dilemmas of professionals in virtual environments (2015)

I assisted Dr Sylvie Delacroix (UCL Laws) and an interdisciplinary team from across UCL reuniting experts in neuroscience, law, medicine and computer science. The project aimed to build experiments in virtual environments (Oculus Rift technology) to test if legal and medical professionals react to morally problematic situations differently depending on their level of expertise. My task was to transcribe and code the video recordings of the experiments on medical professionals.