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    Conceptualising participation: practitioner accounts

    Kirby, Amy (2020) Conceptualising participation: practitioner accounts. In: Jacobson, Jessica and Cooper, Penny (eds.) Participation in Courts and Tribunals: Concepts, Realities and Aspirations. Bristol, UK: Bristol University Press. ISBN 9781529211290.

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    This chapter presents the findings of 159 interviews with practitioners working in court and tribunal settings, including judges, lawyers, court staff, and representatives of support services. It focuses on practitioners’ accounts of what it means to participate as a lay court user and why this matters. The findings point to ten overlapping and interlinking conceptualisations of participation. Participation – be it in the criminal or family courts or tribunal hearings – was variously described as a matter of providing and eliciting information for the court; being informed; being legally represented; being protected; being managed; and being present. Its functions were spoken of in terms of the exercise of legal rights; enabling court decision-making; legitimacy of court processes and outcomes; and potential therapeutic benefits. The chapter also examines the barriers to participation, as described by practitioners, and highlights that the facilitation of participation is widely regarded as integral to the role of practitioner.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Crime & Justice Policy Research, Institute for
    Depositing User: Amy Kirby
    Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2020 15:16
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:00


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