Equal access to the law

Associate Professor Catrina Denvir

Equal access to the law

How can we ensure access to justice for the culturally and linguistically diverse, people with a disability or ongoing medical or mental health conditions, and individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds?

As the recipient of the Monash Business School’s 2020 Dean’s Award for PRME Research Excellence, Associate Professor Catrina Denvir’s research focuses on answering this question by achieving new inclusive benchmarks for justice.

“Whether through lack of adequate knowledge regarding their rights and how to protect them, or a lack of access to legal services and legal representation, there are diverse groups for whom barriers to justice exist,” says Associate Professor Catrina Denvir.

She also researches the barriers that legal technology poses for clients.

By identifying the equality impact of new legal technologies, her recent consulting work for the Commonwealth Secretariat has helped shape the Commonwealth Committee of Law Ministers’ strategy for collaboration around legal technology adoption.

“I approach research from an interdisciplinary perspective, which allows me to further knowledge across a number of fields and produce real-world impact” says Associate Professor Denvir.

This is substantiated through her diverse list of peer-reviewed publications, which cut across generalist and specialised law journals, high impact-factor science, research methods, professionalism and social policy outlets, and leading book publishers.

Most recently she co-authored design guidance for The Legal Services Board’s Small Business Legal Needs Survey, designed to capture critical insight into the legal capability and legal needs of small business owners in England and Wales, including questions intended to capture the impact of Covid-19 and the UK’s exit from the European Union on Small Businesses.

Passionate about data-driven social science methods, including the use of machine learning to yield insights from alternative data, Associate Professor Denvir is a Principal Investigator within Monash SoDa Labs.