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Lay Participation in Law

Our transnational collaborative team is dedicated to research on the phenomenon of lay participation in court systems and the fundamental sociolegal issues that it raises.

Close to two-thirds of countries around the world rely on their lay citizens to make legal decisions. In some countries, ordinary citizens with no legal training serve as jurors; in others, they participate in mixed courts of lay and law-trained judges to decide cases. Yet other countries enlist lay magistrates or justices of the peace to decide legal cases. Finally, some countries rely on lay courts such as tribal courts that operate outside the formal legal system. Our transnational group of scholars, lawyers, and others researches and writes about the phenomenon of lay legal decision-making in the courts.

Our collaborative research group includes members from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Spain, Wales, and the USA. We meet regularly and share information vital to the creation of jury systems, mixed tribunals, and other ways of citizen involvement in legal systems worldwide.

Our Collaborative Research Network, CRN4, Lay Participation in Legal Systems is organized under the auspices of the Law and Society Association by Valerie Hans, Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovich, and Mary Rose.

See also our International Research Collaborative, IRC42, Lay Participation in Law around the Globe, and is organized by Valerie P. Hans, Mar Jimeno Bulnes, Shari Seidman Diamond, Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovich, Nancy Marder, and Mary Rose.

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