How do ordinary people experience and make sense of the informal justice system? Drawing on original data with British and German users of Ombudsmen- an important institution of informal justice, Naomi Creutzfeldt offers a nuanced comparative answer to this question. In so doing, she takes current debates on procedural justice and legal consciousness forward. This book explores consciousness around 'alternatives' to formal legality and asks how situated assumptions about law and fairness guide people's understandings of the informal justice system. Creutzfeldt shows that the everyday relationship that people have with the informal justice system is shaped by their experiences and expectations of the formal legal system and its agents. This book is an innovative theoretical and empirical statement about the future prospects for informal justice in Europe.
Naomi Creutzfeldt is Senior Lecturer in the Law Department at the Univeristy of Westminster, UK. Before then, she worked at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (University of Oxford) for six years. She is currently focusing on my ESRC FRL project 'trusting the middle-man: impact and legitimacy of ombudsmen', which she will conclude in September 2016. Her research activities take her across Europe, engaging with ombudsmen, talking at academic conferences and planning knowledge-exchange workshops. Her interests in ombudsmen, as pathways of informal dispute resolution, have a broader scope, addressing questions of access to justice and consumer protection. Concurrent with my work with the ombudsman community, she has just completed two explorative projects that look at consumers' use of the Internet to achieve their goals: One project concerns citizens' online activism (the use of the internet and social media to complain) in collaboration with Chris Gill form Queen Margaret University Edinburgh; the other concerns consumer projection in emerging economies. She is a member of the Law and Society Association (USA), the Socio-Legal Studies Association (UK) and an individual associate member of the Ombudsman Association. She is also a member of the executive committee of the SLSA, and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford.
PART ONE: SETTING THE SCENE.- Chapter 1. Ombudsmen and informal justice.- Chapter 2. Europe's Informal justice systems.- Chapter 3. Models of ombudsmen.- Chapter 4. Procedural justice and legal consciousness: questions of theory and practise.- PART TWO: EMPIRICAL DISCOVERIES.- Chapter 5. Expectations and perceptions of Ombudsmen in cross-national comparison.- Chapter 6. Everyday assumptions about ombudsmen.- PART THREE: THE FUTURE OF INFORMAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS.- Chapter 7. A European informal justice system?.- Chapter 8. Growing informal justice (from the inside-out).- Chapter 9. Paths for theory and research.