Measuring Justice: Defining Concepts, Developing Practice

Published: December 2020

This research was funded under a Scottish Government grant call for ‘experiences of justice’, and reviews concepts and measurement techniques for justice experiences.

The aims of this project were: to provide an introduction to key frames of justice for Scotland (especially procedural justice and person-centred support); to gather and analyse international literature on how justice is defined and measured; and to present and assess various mechanisms for measuring justice experiences most applicable to Scotland.

There are six key messages from the report findings;
1. A justice journey – the process by which an individual comes to feel a harm has been addressed and resolved – does not begin or end with a criminal justice process.
2. Criminal justice has a limited role to play in just societies.
3. More inclusive and diverse perspectives are needed in understanding how justice is experienced.
4. Processes of justice matter, but so do substantive outcomes.
5. People first, person-centred approaches hold promise, but also risks when transferred to criminal justice settings.
6. Measuring justice experiences also sets expectations of justice experiences.


Authors / Editors

Dr Trish McCulloch

University of Dundee

Prof Sarah Armstrong

University of Glasgow

Prof Beth Weaver

University of Strathclyde

Research Themes

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions