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Impact Workshop (13): The Impact of Legal Research

Date & Time:

September 15, 2016 (Thu) | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.


Small Moot Court, Room 723, 7/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus


Professor Paul Roberts
Professor of Criminal Jurisprudence, School of Law
University of Nottingham

This workshop is jointly organised by the Faculty of Law and the Knowledge Exchange Office.



The "impact" of legal research in the UK was formally assessed for the first time as part of the redesigned Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, which replaced the old Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) based only on “outputs” (publications) and institutional environment. Professor Paul Roberts is REF Coordinator for the School of Law at the University of Nottingham and co-author of one of the School's six Impact Case Studies submitted to REF 2014. In this presentation and discussion, Professor Roberts reflects on experiences to-date with the UK’s “impact agenda” and draws attention to research opportunities and methodological (and other) challenges for legal scholarship heralded by the new emphasis on "impact".

About the Speaker:

Paul Roberts is Professor of Criminal Jurisprudence in the University of Nottingham School of Law, and an Adjunct Professor in Law at UNSW, Sydney, and in the Institute for Evidence Law and Forensic Science, CUPL, Beijing. His teaching and research focus on criminal evidence and procedure, incorporating philosophical, socio-legal, international and comparative perspectives and with a strong accent on methodology and interdisciplinarity. His extensive publications include: Roberts and Zuckerman, Criminal Evidence (OUP, 2/e 2010); Hunter, Roberts, Young and Dixon (eds), The Integrity of Criminal Process (Hart, 2016); Roberts (ed), Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Trial Procedure (Ashgate, 2014); Roberts (ed), Expert Evidence and Scientific Proof in Criminal Trials (Ashgate, 2014); Roberts and Hunter (eds), Criminal Evidence and Human Rights (Hart, 2012); and Roberts and Redmayne (eds), Innovations in Evidence and Proof (Hart, 2007). Roberts has been visiting professor or invited lecturer at CUPL, Beijing; IIUM Malaysia; the University of Warsaw; the Jagiellonian University in Krakow; the University of Gottingen; Oxford University; University College London; and the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg), RSA. He has served as a consultant to the English and Scottish Law Commissions, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Forensic Science Regulator, and is a council member of the International Association of Evidence Science. He was the REF Coordinator of his School for the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Background on the Workshops:

Impact is a key element of the University's knowledge exchange (KE) strategy. It is also important to note that in the Panel-Specific Assessment Criteria for  the UGC RAE 2014, all the Panels included under the "Esteem" measure some elements relating to KE/technology transfer. This suggests that the next Hong Kong RAE will likely require evidence of impact and the UK experience indicates that now is the time to start collecting evidence of such impacts.

The Knowledge Exchange Office is organising workshops to be conducted by researchers who have hands-on experience in preparing impact statements and impact case studies the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 or  research councils overseas. The workshops will be of interest not only to colleagues who want to maximise the impact of their research, but also to those who coordinate research developments and research assessment in Faculties.

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