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Online domestic abuse resource launched as calls to domestic violence helplines soar during lockdown

The Open University’s Open Justice team has collaborated with charity Support Through Court (STC) to launch a free open online resource for learners, themed around domestic abuse.

Its timely launch coincides with the rapid rise in numbers of people in domestic abuse situations seeking help during the UK lockdown.

1st May 2020
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Open Justice response to Coronavirus

The Co-directors of Open Justice, Francine Ryan and Hugh McFaul, have made these videos to explain the work that Open Justice is doing, in response to, and as business as usual, during the Coronavirus pandemic.

24th April 2020
OU & Lancaster Uni students, tutors,  MP for Rossendale and Darwin, Jake Berry at  Rawtenstall Unitarian Church

New outreach programme provides free legal advice in the community

The Centre has joined forces with the MP for Rossendale and Darwin, Jake Berry; Rawtenstall Unitarian Church; and University of Lancaster Law School to offer legal advice to the community. There were successful sessions in January (pictured) and February, with a third one scheduled for Friday 20 March ( this was cancelled due to Covid-19 but we hope to reschedule asap). OU Law students were interviewed on their involvement for BBC Radio Lancashire.

20th March 2020
Hugh McFaul Open Justice Centre Director

Historic partnership with Josef is future-proofing our Law students

The Open Justice Centre is the first UK university to use legal automation platform Josef to educate Law students, as part of its Digital Justice project. In collaboration with Josef, final year OU Law students are spending 12 weeks designing and building a legal bot (software application) that addresses an area of legal need, such as domestic violence or divorce.

15th March 2020

Reward for helping students learn with the use of technology

The Open Justice Centre has been shortlisted for the inaugural Thomson Reuters ‘Teaching Law with Technology Prize’ which celebrates innovation and creativity in teaching law with technology.

10th March 2020
Francine Ryan Open Justice Centre Director

Francine’s shortlisted for Law Teacher of the Year accolade

Francine Ryan, Senior Lecturer in Law and Co-Director of the Open Justice Centre, has been nominated for a prestigious Law Teacher of the Year Award. Sponsored by Oxford University Press (OUP), the Award is designed to recognise exceptional teachers in the legal field and Francine is one of six shortlisted.

1st March 2020

Legal Eagles project receives some national exposure

The ‘Legal Eagles’ project, which ran in February and March this year after a successful pilot scheme in 2018, saw OU Law School students collaborate with prison learners from the Category B men’s private prison on Merseyside.

21st November 2019

Open Justice Prison Partnership shortlisted in pro bono awards

The Open Justice Centre’s project in conjunction with the St Giles Trust charity has been shortlisted in the Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership category at the annual LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards.

8th November 2019

Open Justice’s alumni and students will make a connection

The Open Justice Centre has launched an exciting new initiative for its alumni to help shape the development of future legal outreach projects.

A dozen alumni volunteers have been appointed to sit on the new Open Justice Student Ambassador Panel after being invited to express an interest in this voluntary two-year role. The Panel will have a direct input into the work of the Centre and will meet online three times a year.

1st November 2019

Open Justice Annual Report 2019 published

As the Open Justice Centre approaches its third anniversary, the 2019 Annual Report provides an opportunity to review the progress of the Centre since its inception in 2016.

The Centre’s development has benefitted greatly from the support of The Open University's Law and Business Schools, the Vice Chancellor’s Executive and from the generosity of external partners who have provided invaluable advice, guidance and encouragement.

1st October 2019
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