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Research and Conferences

May 30-June 2, 2019

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC

Information on lay participation sessions and events that occurred, are here.

June 20-23, 2017

International Law and Society Conference, Mexico City, Mexico

Greetings! The International Law and Society Conference in Mexico City was a huge success, with a record number of participants in a world-class location. Our IRC organized a number of sessions showcasing the latest research from around the globe on lay participation in law. The first link below lists the IRC sessions. We have also posted links to materials from the individual presentations during the conference. See you in Toronto!

October 10, 2014

Juries and Lay Participation: American Perspectives and Global Trends, Chicago, IL

A jury conference at Chicago-Kent College of Law entitled "Juries and Lay Participation: American Perspectives and Global Trends," took place on Friday, October 10, 2014. For program agenda, click here and for conference poster, click here.

May 29-June 1, 2014

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN

Click here for panels and papers on Lay Participation presented at 2014 Law & Society Association annual meeting

May 30-June 2, 2013

Law and Society Association Conference, Boston, MA

Greetings! The 2013 Law & Society Association Conference in Boston, MA was a success. It was a pleasure to see those of you who were able to attend. As promised, we have posted below links to materials from the presentations during the conference.

March 22-March 23, 2013

East Asian Law and Society Conference, Shanghai, China

The panel, Lay Participation Systems and their Socio-Legal Implications in East Asia and the World, was presented at the East Asian Law and Society Conference in Shanghai, China, in March 2013. Panelists included several members of our CRN/IRC:

  1. Valerie Hans (Cornell Law School), Comparative Empirical Study of Lay Participation in Legal Decision Making
  2. Jisuk Woo & Jae-Hyup Lee (Seoul National University, Seoul National University), What's Happening in a Jury Room? Insights from a Shadow Jury Deliberation Study in Korea
  3. Hiroshi Fukurai (UC Santa Cruz) & William Qiu (UC Berkeley), Why is Uncle Sam Watching Your Dikasteria?
  4. Justin Levinson (University of Hawaii School of Law), New Jury Research: An Implicit Bias and Cultural Psychological Critique

October 4-5, 2012

2012 National Symposium on the American Jury System, Chicago, IL


June 4, 2012

International Law and Society Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii

Oct 7, 2006

Conference on Citizen Participation in East Asian Legal Systems

On September 22 and 23, 2006, the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture at Cornell Law School hosted researchers from around the world for a series of discussions on the introduction of lay decision makers into the legal systems of Japan, Korea, and other countries in East Asia. Speaking from a variety of transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives, presenters exchanged views on the impact of these developments on public justice and the research possibilities they present for legal scholars.

Cornell Law School professor and jury scholar Valerie Hans, who organized the conference, described the event as an opportunity to “build a research agenda.” Her aim for the conference was to identify key theoretical issues and empirical questions about the global phenomenon of citizen participation in legal decision making. To that end, the conference was organized into three panels. The first panel focused the sociological and theoretical context of citizen participation in law in Asia.

Speakers discussed the continuing evolution of the relationship between the people and the courts in Thailand, China, and Central Asia as the region undergoes sweeping technological and political transformation. On Japan, the topics of discussion ranged from concrete issues, such as the impact of proposed changes in the country’s Prosecutorial Review Commissions, to more abstract matters like the potential for the new lay judge system to modify Japan’s cultural hierarchy of language.

The second panel examined the process of legal reform and the role that historical, cultural, and legal factors play in shaping the nature of citizen participation. CLS assistant professor Bernadette Meyler analyzed the evolution of the English jury, offering a historical perspective on proposed legal changes in East Asian legal systems. Conference attendees also heard the insights of individuals who have been working to develop the new Japanese and Korean systems.

The final panel focused on strategies for empirical research. Panelists exchanged research techniques for all levels of the legal process, from public education regarding basic legal terminology to the patterns of deliberations within the black box of the jury. Particular emphasis was placed on how to use methods such as surveys and mock trial exercises to uncover a common set of issues central to the nature of citizen participation.

Also discussed were ways to apply transnational analysis to learn how to structure legal systems to render effective justice in different cultural contexts and political systems. The conference was successful on multiple levels. In addition to gaining perspective on the diversity of functions that juries and mixed tribunals play in the region, participants were able to craft issues and questions about the expansion of the citizen’s role, informed by comparative legal studies. Many of the conference attendees plan to meet again to continue discussions and collaboration.

Upcoming Clarke Program events are described at

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