International Research Collaboratives

Lay Participation in Law Around the Globe


Valerie P. Hans, Mar Jimeno Bulnes, Shari Seidman Diamond, Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovich, Nancy Marder, Mary Rose

This IRC analyzes the transnational social, political, economic, and legal factors that facilitate, impede, or shape lay participation in law to explore: (1) the adoption of lay participation systems; (2) the decline of lay participation; (3) the reform of lay participation; and (4) the preservation of lay participation.  Our IRC’s potential to engage in a systematic comparison of different systems of lay participation around the globe will allow us as researchers to put each system’s strengths and weaknesses in a comparative context. We aim to examine how a country’s historical, legal and contextual factors shape the existence and forms of lay participation. What are the strengths and drawbacks of different forms of lay participation as practiced in different countries? Does lay participation fulfill its multiple functions?  We plan to compare and contrast the push and pull of lay participation versus professional expertise across European countries. In addition, European experiences with longstanding systems of lay participation in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom will offer valuable contrasts to the new systems of lay participation that have been introduced in Argentina, Japan, and South Korea.


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