Democratic Innovation in the School of Law
In March 2021, Queen Mary University of London’s School of Law reached the one-year mark of its transition to online learning in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the prospect of the pandemic continuing to restrict the ways in which teaching and learning could take place in the 2021-2022 academic year, a Students’ Jury on Pandemic Learning was convened to give students a meaningful role in the School’s continued management of legal education throughout the public health crisis.
The process drew inspiration from democratic innovations like Citizens’ Assemblies, Citizens’ Juries, and other “deliberative mini-publics” to invite informed, deliberative, and representative student views. Twelve students were selected through a democratic lottery (using stratified random selection) in order to ensure a Jury that was descriptively representative of the student population. The Jury heard from and engaged with a variety of stakeholders and experts, reflected on their own views, and, with the support of independent facilitators, deliberated with one another about the best interests of the School community. In the end, the Students’ Jury agreed upon thirteen recommendations that it put forward to the School of Law, provided insight into why it believed those recommendations to be important, and explained what supporting actions could be taken to realise them.
The linked report briefly elaborates on some of the Students’ Jury process and those who made it happen before outlining the Jury's recommendations in full.
View or download the Students' Jury on Pandemic Learning Final Report - March 2021 [PDF 624KB].
Read Dr Kennedy's reflections from the project.
Any questions about the Students' Jury process can be directed to Dr Jeffrey Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.