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Researchers from Ulster University's School of Law will be presenting the findings of their research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, identifying the ways in which legal participation can be understood and supported for litigants in person in the family justice system.

The conference will be opened by the Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Dame Siobhan Keegan OBE.


10.00am - 10.30am

Welcome and registration

10:30am - 12.45pm

  • Presentations and panel discussions on human-centred design to develop empathy and supports for litigants in person followed by a Q & A panel
  • Human-Centred Design as a research method (speaker: Prof Gráinne McKeever, Ulster University)
  • Participant reflections on human-centred design (speakers: members of the Design Group for the Family Court Info website for Northern Ireland)
  • How human-centred design has informed legal reform in Ireland (speaker: Emer Darcy, Courts Service Ireland)
  • The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals modernisation programme (speaker: TBC)

12.45pm -1.30pm


1.30pm - 4pm

Presentations and panel discussions will follow on defining the descriptors of legal participation:

  • Q methods for legal research (speakers: Prof Gráinne McKeever, Dr John McCord, Dr Lucy Royal-Dawson)
  • Panel reflections on findings and recommendations (speakers TBC include members of the judiciary, Law Society, Bar Council, Department of Justice, litigant in person and Court Service Ireland)
  • Q & A panel
  • Final reflections on the litigant in person research in Northern Ireland, 2016-2023, and next steps for research and policy

Event info

This event has ended

Wednesday 13 December

10am to 4pm