Data Sources for Administrative Justice research

Supported by:

University of Essex logo UK Administrative Justice Logo Nuffield Foundation logo

One of the main priorities of the work of the UK Administrative Justice Institute’s work has been to identify and develop strategies to tackle capacity constraints within administrative justice research in the UK. Integral to this has been improving the knowledge and availability of information on administrative justice to researchers and other stakeholders. As part of that area of activity, this preliminary scoping study aims to identify data sources relevant to administrative justice.

The report includes a snapshot of data sources available and how it is collected, stored and made available, with some recommendations of how these sources might fulfil researchers’ data analysis and linkage needs. It focuses on data sources on social security and some welfare benefits and administrative decisions around them, including sanctions and appeals as well as complaints from in the UK, mostly available from central government departments in England, N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This does not aim to be a comprehensive overview of the UK benefits system or the UK tribunals system – there are plenty of comprehensive resources available (some of which are referenced in this report) that readers can refer to for this purpose. Rather, the report aims to present some pointers for administrative data already recorded by government departments that could be used as secondary data solely or in addition to primary data collected by researchers.

We also hope that the report will function as a reference resource for researchers in the field of administrative justice to help identify where to look for relevant data and what elements to take under consideration when using such data for research.


Acknowledgements and Executive Summary

1. Introduction

Read more about this report, how the report can help you as a researcher, more about the methodology that was followed, and finally the report structure

2. The UK Benefits System: background

A (very!) brief introduction into the UK social security and welfare benefits. We continue by having a closer look at related data on ESA Benefit Decisions and PIP Benefit Decisions.

We also list other data sources and provide some examples of research with tribunals data.

3. Next Steps

Finally we summarise our observations up to now and make recommendations to researchers on where to go from here.

A list of references is also provided.

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