Since our inception, TLEF has been committed to the role that evidence can play in advancing our vision. A commitment to collecting and learning from robust evidence is key to understanding the context in which we work and to designing effective interventions and structures.
Over the period 2015-2020 we invested in projects and initiatives to strengthen the evidence base of what works in helping people to understand and use the law to secure their rights, protections and fair treatment you can read about some of our work here. Through our work in this space, we learned more about the areas of development necessary to build a robust evidence base.
Under our current 2020-25 strategy, we are working with grant partners to develop their skills and to commission others to enable them to learn more from their work, and to help us to identify effective approaches.
Also under this objective, from 2017-2023, the Foundation developed an initiative called The Justice Lab UK . This followed an expert review that identified the need for better use of data and research in the justice system. The initiative was created and led by Dr Natalie Byrom and played a significant role in helping to develop a digital strategy for HM Courts & Tribunal Service, a publicly accessible repository of court judgements at the National Archives and a permanent Data Governance Panel in the Ministry of Justice. From 2021-2023, the Lab was joined by Tracey Gyateng as Community Data Principal who led work to support organisations in the not for profit access to justice sector to develop data leadership and data capability, including in collaboration with colleagues in the Foundation.
From July 2023, the Foundation will be considering how best to take forward the mission underpinning the Lab as an integrated part of the Foundation’s wider grant making. The Justice Lab as a vehicle has ceased but the resources and reports it produced are still accessible and available online here: Justice Lab resources page
The Foundation’s work on the importance of learning and evidence in the justice system will be reviewed and developed further as part the development of our new strategy, to be launched in 2024/25.
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