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Liz Curran

Dr Liz Curran

Associate Professor

Nottingham Law School

Staff Group(s)
Nottingham Law School staff


Liz's research, evaluation, practice and academic work leads to policy change, funding for community agencies & developments in good practice. Her work fosters organisational, collective, and individual reflective practice using evidence-based changes in practice to produce positive outcomes in service delivery. She teaches practical legal skills to prepare students for the realities and challenges ahead with a history of positive students’ feedback for her teaching approaches.

As 'Assoc. Prof. Clinical Legal Education & School Research Impact Lead' Nottingham Law School (NLS), Nottingham Trent University (NTU) & Hon. Associate Professor, Australian National University (2020-2026). is building the capability of NLS in impactful research that makes a difference in the world aligned to the NTU strategic direction. She is currently commissioned to undertake the following Research Impact Evaluations:

  • NLS Legal (UK)
  • Bagaraybang bagaraybang mayinygalang (BBM): Empowering & Alleviating: A Health Justice Partnership on social, health & emotional well-being (Australia).

Informed by her 2021 book 'Better Law for a Better World' (Routledge UK) which examines evidence -based innovations & practical ways to improve justice, Liz has world expertise in multi-disciplinary practice and legal empowerment. She is working alongside third sector agencies forging respectful & participatory collaborations and partnerships to support the third sector and different professions in responding to the challenges of austerity and increasing marginalisation. She does this by using evidence-based research, practice, and reflection to ensure responsiveness and necessary changes in practice to deliver access to justice. She is using her expertise to enable improved service reach, creativity, innovation, and much needed funding to improve access to justice in the UK alongside policy reforms and legal empowerment strategies

NTU Roles:

Research Impact Lead; Human Ethics Committee Business, Law & Social Sciences; Research Impact Strategic Oversight Workstream; Legal Impact Lead and Champions Network, Clinical Legal Education Organisation UK (Policy Network); Member, Centre for Legal Education & Centre for Justice, and Human Rights.

Expertise: access to justice, impact evaluation and measurement, strategic planning and governance advice, effective practice advice, professional development, research capability, clinical legal education & ethics & community development. Her research themes are health & wellbeing, exclusion, marginalisation, inequality and human rights and safety and security of citizens.
Dr Curran's Background IP is copyright & use requires a limited license agreement a is used by many third sector agencies.

Dr Liz Curran makes a difference in areas including measuring impact, access to justice & good practice. She has been a pioneer of improving legal empowerment and multidisciplinary practice and improvements to access to justice for people experiencing disadvantage. Her positively reviewed book, Better Law for a Better World: New approaches to law practice & education is a widely used text in academics, policy makers, charities, law firms and the judiciary.

Most recent NTU publication July 2022, 'Going deeper' - the Invisible Hurdles stage III research evaluation final report and chapter ‘Delaying Justice

Policy and law reform: suggestions leading to documented changes implemented by government, statutory offices & judicial services. Regular media commentator and invited member government & statutory advisories.

Successful Grants Track Record (some multiple & not exhaustive): Arts & Humanities Research Council UK (NTU); Hammersmith Fulham Law Centre & Law Centres Network UK; Victoria Law Foundation; Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner x 6 times, Banyule City Council; Victoria Legal Aid Commission; Reichstein Foundation; Victorian Women’s Trust: Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation; Australian Attorney General’s Department; Upper Murray Family Care, Advocacy & Rights Centre Ltd , Bendigo.

Career overview

Pioneering Work on Health Justice Partnerships

Pioneering work building an evidence base and best practice on Health Justice Partnerships since 2001 emerging from her work in a community health and justice setting for 10 years. There was 1 HJP in Australia in 2001 when she started her research, and this has now increased 109 in July 2021. Many use her ground- breaking research as scaffolding and she has advised on many start-ups not only in Australia but in Ontario, Canada, Denmark, and the United Kingdom with Dr Curran’s workshops on the evidence base and ‘how to’ ‘start-up’ training.
International researcher with publications in international peer reviewed articles, a book; ran a human rights NGO; team leader, humanitarian agency in advocacy branch, and worked in policy as well as legal practice, education, health & research.

Principal, Curran Consulting: Enhancing Justice & Human Rights (July 2011-6 June 2022).

Commissioned Work: Research Evaluation of the ‘Women’s Crisis Navigator Project’ for the Hammersmith- Fulham Law Centre, (December 2020 – September 2021); Evaluation Advisor, Law for Life UK, Grants Assessor Legal Services Board and Commissioner Victoria; Research Evaluator ‘Invisible Hurdles Project’ for the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service Stage 3 (September 2021- September 2022);

July 2011 – 28 February 2020 Associate Professor, ANU School of Legal Practice, Australian National University (now Honorary until 2026) (27 in QS Global World Rankings 2022 ranked number 1 in Australia)

Research Routinely conducts professional development for legal practitioners including Law for Life (UK) Nottingham Law Centre, the Legal Services Board and Commissioner of Victoria, law firms (including junior, middle level, senior practitioners & Director/Partnership level).

Past University Research Positions (non-exhaustive)

  • Associate Director of the Centre for the Profession Education and Regulation in Law; ANU Law & Social Justice Advisory Committee; Editorial Board of the Legal Practice Manual (January 2015 – December 2017)
  • Community Service Appointments
  • ‘Expert Adviser’ Law Council of Australia, ‘Access to Justice’ Project (2017 – August 2018) through the Dean, ANU College of Law.
  • Seconded on behalf of ANU to the Consumer Action Law Centre (to which my practising certificate attaches) ‘In-house adviser’ since May 2018.
  • Grant assessor for the Victorian Legal Service Board and Commissioners (LSB) (since 2011).
  • Mentor - Adaptive Leadership Training for lawyers of the Federation of Community Legal Centres; Past co-convener and member of the Human Rights Working Group.
  • Past Co-chair Justice for Asylum Seekers

Other University appointments

  • Visiting Scholar at University of London (City, Law School) and Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University in 2016 as part of the ANU Overseas Study Program.
  • Advisor for the Portsmouth University, Law, and Nursing Schools’ Evaluation into their pilot Inter-Disciplinary Clinic.
  • ‘Expert Advisor’ for the University of South Australia, Inter-disciplinary Student Health Justice Clinic (April 2017 – 2020).
  • Member Law Clinical Groups (Australia through UNSW platform)
  • Supervision and Examiner Masters &PhDs
  • Peer Reviewer (not exhaustive)

UNSW Law Journal; International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, Australian Journal of Clinical Education; Health Education Journal; Commonwealth Legal Education Journal

Research areas

Access to justice, civil legal aid, ethics, clinical and legal education; research impact evaluation; legal empowerment; multi-disciplinary practice (including Health Justice Partnerships as a pioneering practitioner & researcher in the area).

External activity

Board Member Nottingham Law Centre; Volunteer Nottingham Lace Theatre; Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy; Legal Admissions Board Victoria (Committee member Practical legal training); Editorial Board of the Evaluation Journal of Australasia; Solicitor Practising Certificate in the Supreme Court of Victoria; Hon. Associate Professor, Australian National University (2020-2023); (since 2011); Grant assessor, Nuffield Foundation UK 2021 and Reviewer, Book Proposals for Routledge UK Palgrave MacMillan since 2018.

‘Expert adviser’ on the Law Council of Australia’s ‘Justice Project’. Senior Solicitor (pro bono) Consumer Action Law Centre June 2012 - 2017 and from 2017-2020, in-house adviser.


  • 2021 Nominated for the Evaluation Journal of Australasia Publication Award, a category in the 2021 Australian Evaluation Society Awards for Excellence in Evaluation.
  • 2014 Nominated for Teaching Award ANU, 2014
  • 2006: National Carrick Australian Award for University Teaching, ‘Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning’ – For enhancing students’ understanding of ethical and professional responsibilities in a deep learning experience’.
  • 2006 La Trobe University, ‘Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning’.
  • 2004 - Australian Centenary Medal ‘for legal services to the community and lecturing’.
  • 1999 - Received the Tim McCoy Social Justice Award for work of the Federation of Community Legal Services.

Sponsors and collaborators

  • CLEO Policy Clinic Network UK
  • Law for Life UK
  • Hammersmith Fulham Law centre
  • Ealing Law Centre
  • Hume Riverina Community Legal Service
  • Upper Murray Family Care
  • Department of Justice Victoria
  • Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service
  • Flexible Learning Centre (Wodonga)
  • Northeast Support and Action for Youth
  • Consumer Action Law Centre
  • Legal Services Board and Commissioners Victoria
  • NSW Government (through the National Partnership Agreement of Legal Assistance Services)
  • National Legal Aid Australia
  • International Legal Aid Group
  • Social Security Rights Victoria
  • National Association of Community Legal Centres
  • Federation of Community Legal Centre Victoria
  • Law Centres Network UK
  • Legal Action Group
  • Advice Services Alliance UK
  • Victoria Legal Aid


Published book in April 2021 (sole author - 345 pages) for Routledge UK Better Law for a Better World: New approaches to law practice & education; 5 book chapters; articles in esteemed refereed publications national and international (30) and non-refereed publications (80). Published reports (at least 21) on access to justice, human rights, youth justice, restorative practice, multidisciplinary practice (pioneering researcher on Health Justice Partnerships in Australia, UK and Canada).

NTU Chapters

- Chapter 12, 'Delayed Justice' with Sharon Lacy (Victorian Bar) in edited collection Controversies, Challenges and Change in Australian Courts, eds. Dr Alistair Harkness (University of New England) Marg Camilleri and Dr Rachel Hale (Federation University) Palgrave Macmillan Publisher.

Recent Publications 2013-2021


- Better Law for a Better World: New approaches to practice and education, (Routledge UK/Taylor & Francis Ltd)


- ‘Wellness and going bush’ Chapter in Wellness for Law: Making Wellness Core Business (ed. Judith Mary Church & Adiva Sifris) with Pamela Taylor-Barnett, Reed International Books Australia Pty Ltd (trading as “LexisNexis”) (28 November 2019).

- ‘Enabling Marginalised Voices to Be Heard: The Challenge to Law

- Reform Bodies’, New Directions for Law in Australia: Essays in Contemporary Law Reform, edited by Ron Levy, Molly O’Brien, Simon Rice, Pauline Ridge and Margaret Thornton, published 2017 by ANU Press, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Chapter 48, 517 - 527.

- Global Perspectives on Human Rights: Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog (2nd Edition) edited by Laura Hilly and Richard Martin (2014-2015), Oxford University Press, 2016.  Chapter One: Access to Justice ‘Valuing the Work of Community Lawyers to Resolve Systemic Problems, 21-22 and Chapter Seven: Expression Association and Assembly ‘Racial Discrimination Act and Free Speech – Carte Blanche or Fair and Reasonable – What are Human Rights in all this?  141-142.

Peer Reviewed/Refereed Journals

- ‘Interdisciplinary Learning Opportunities for Clinical Students and Teachers – A Case Study Shared’ with Matthew Atkinson, Katia Ferrar and Paras Kontolian, Special Edition, ‘Teaching and Learning in Interdisciplinary Higher Education: Law and Social and Health Sciences’6 (1) Australian Journal of Clinical Legal Education (Editor: Caroline Strevens) (November 2019).

- ‘Sharing elements of effective practice to address earlier, signs of family violence’, 44 (3) Alternative Law Journal, 17 April 2019,

- ‘Evaluating projects in multifaceted and marginalised communities: the need for mixed approaches’ (with Pamela Taylor- Barnett) Evaluation Journal of Australasia, March 2019

- ‘Social Justice – Making It Come Alive and A Reality for Students, And Enabling Them to Become Engaged Future Ethical Practitioners’, Nottingham Law Journal, Fall (2) 2018, 33-47.

-‘Educating future practitioners through an Interdisciplinary Student Clinic’ (2018)25 (1) International Journal of Clinical Legal Education. (on-line) with Isobel Ryder, Caroline Strevens

- ‘Reflections on Practice and Recent Research to Enable Future Practitioners to Learn About Working Collaboratively Across Disciplines to Better Help the Community’ Vol. 12, No. 1, Autumn 2017, Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education, 46-64. ISSN 1476-0401

- ‘Multi-disciplinary Practice Health Justice Partnerships–Working ethically to ensure reach to the most in need’, 26 Nottingham Law Journal (2017) 11 -36

- ‘Lawyer Secondary Consultations: improving access to justice and human rights: reaching clients otherwise excluded through professional support in a multi-disciplinary practice’ 8(1) Journal of Social Inclusion (2017)

- ‘Reflecting on community development practice: Working with communities for effective change by enabling access to justice’ with P Taylor Barnett and A Vernon, 19 (1) Flinders Law Journal, (July 2017).

- Measuring the impact, quality and effectiveness of legal assistance services in a climate of reduced funding and increased government expectations: The Australian experience(with Andrew Crockett), 22 (3), (2016), European Journal of Current Legal Issues (p. 27)

- ‘Integrating Two Measures of Quality Practice into Clinical and Practical Legal Education Assessment: Good client interviewing and effective community legal education’, International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, 21(1), 2014 with Tony Foley, pp. 69–92.

- ’Measuring Legal Services: A Practical methodology for measuring quality and outcomes of legal assistance services,’ University of Tasmania Law Review, 32(1), 2013, pp 70-95.

Book Review

- ‘Lawyers in Australia ‘, 3rd Edition, Book Review, Law Institute Journal, 89 (11), 2015, Nov, p. 64 (1).

Published Articles (un-refereed)

- ‘Impact and Outcomes Frameworks: Why We Have Them, How We Got Them, How We Use ThemEvaluation Community of Practice Legal Assistance Sector Victoria, March 3, 2021.

- ‘Measuring and Evaluating Systemic Advocacy/ Law Reform WorkEvaluation Community of Practice, Legal Assistance Sector Presentation Slides (May 5, 2021)

- Keynote Presentation – ‘Measuring Impact through Research into Access to Justice Service Delivery and Legal Education Initiatives’ (June 12, 2020). Impact and Wellbeing International Conference

- ‘The Royal Commission into Institutional Childhood Abuse Laid Bare the Truth, With a Plan for Others in The Future’, Law Institute Journal, December 2018, 19-20.

- Lessons for the Future: the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Childhood Abuse, 2018, (Oxford Law Faculty, OHRH) (reproduced in the Law Institute Journal, December 2018, 19-20)

- 'The Australian Legal Assistance Sector and the Critical Importance of Justice to Human Lives' May 2018, Oxford University, Faculty of Law, Oxford Human Rights Hub

- ‘Freedom of Speech or Enabling a Right to Insult? The Australian Debate over Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975’ (OxHRH, 16 May 2017)

- The Partnership between Health and Law to Ensure Human Rights’ (Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog, (OxHRH) 28 November 2016)

- ‘Government Response to the Productivity Commission Ignores Substance and Significance of the Problems of Access to Justice in Australia’ International Legal Aid Group, 31 October, 2016 (4,392 hits as at 24 May, 2017)

- 'Measuring Impact and Evaluation: How and Why? And Some Tips': Workshop 10 – 11 November 2016 for Law Centres Network UK National Conference (Presentation Slides) (November 11, 2016).

- ‘Health Justice Partnership - Multi-Disciplinary Practices: Research Evidencing Working Ethically to Ensure Reach to Those in Most Need & Improve Outcomes (Presentation Slides) (July 14, 2016). Paper to the International Legal Ethics Conference, Fordham University, Stein Center, New York City, 2016

- ‘Health Justice Partnerships (HJP): Working Ethically to Reach Those in Most Need of Legal and Medical Support & to Improve Outcomes – Research Evidence, a Seminar for City, University of London (Law School) 13 September 2016, London (Presentation Slides) (September 13, 2016).

- ‘International Lessons on Health Justice Partnerships: Their Applicability for Pro Bono Partners and Managers’ (Presentation Slides) (September 14, 2016). Panel for Ukademy (for Law Firm Pro Bono Programmes). Wednesday 14, September, at Shearman and Sterling, 9 Appold Street, London Ec2a 2ap.

- 'A Literature Review: Examining the Literature on How to Measure the 'Successful Outcomes': Quality, Effectiveness and Efficiency of Legal Assistance Services' (February 2012), Australian Attorney General’s Department.

- Law Centres: the comparative way ahead, the differences between UK and Australian legal aid, 06 December 2022

Commissioned Reports for Industry (since 2015 only)

- With Pamela Taylor-Barnett (June 2021) Pathways to empowerment and justice: The Invisible Hurdles Stage II Research and Evaluation Final Report Produced for the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service; Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service; North East Support & Action for Youth & Wodonga Flexible Learning Centre, ANU.

- 'From Fragmented to Holistic: Starting the evidence base the client centred practice through a navigator.' A report on the research evaluation of the Hammersmith Fulham Law Centre’s, ‘Women’s Crisis Navigator Service Project Pilot’ (Curran Consulting: Enhancing Justice & Human Rights) Pilot (dated April 2021 publication 5 August 2021).

- 'Getting out of Debt: The Road to Recovery for Victim Survivors of Family Violence' ANU for Consumer Action Law Centre (January 2020).

- 'Overcoming the Invisible Hurdles to Justice for Young People: A Final Research and Evaluation Report of the Invisible Hurdles Project (Health Justice Partnership) with Pamela Taylor Barnett, November 2018.

- First Research and Evaluation Report Phase One Consumer Action Law Centre Project - ‘Responding Effectively to Family Violence Dimensions of Debt and Credit through Secondary Consultations & Training with Community Professionals, commissioned by the Consumer Action Law Centre, 30 November 2017, Victorian State Government, Justice and Regulation.

- A Research and Evaluation Report for the Bendigo Health–Justice Partnership: A Partnership between Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre and Bendigo Community Health Services (October 31, 2016 published 22 November 2017 by ARC Justice Bendigo Ltd.

- Katia Sanderson, Lachlan Edwards, Jillian Williams of Consumer Action Law Centre and Dr Liz Curran, Australian National University, School of Legal Practice, ‘Second Evaluation Report of Consumer Action Law Centre’s Worker Advice Service -A Legal Secondary Consultation Service to Community sector professionals: One year on’ 18 October 2017.

- Health-Justice Partnerships Development Report 2016 report compiled by Susan Ball and Cindy Wong, Victorian Legal Services Board and Dr Liz Curran, Adviser and Facilitator for HJP Quarterly Focus Groups, Australian National University, July 28, 2016.

- Willcox, Tom and Williams, Jillian and Curran, Liz, ‘Evaluating Consumer Action’s Worker Advice Service’, June 2016 (June 30, 2016). (23 pages).

- Final Evaluation Report on the “Why Didn’t You Ask?” – Project of the Family Violence Project of Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Community Legal Centre’, ANU, May 2015 (77 pages).

Recent policy input and impact (since 2014)

- Citations in the following Parliamentary Reports as demonstration of policy impact (snap-shot only)

- Cited in the Review of Continuing Professional Development to the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioners, page 63 and used as basis for its recommendations, November 2020 - Report and Lawyer Resources

- Cited in the Review of the National Partnership Agreement by Urbis for the Australian Government, December 2018, Pages 97 &123 - Report

- Cited in the Volume 1 (pp. 70, 155, 165 and 180) and Volume 2 (p. 374 x 3 and p. 424) of the Department of Justice and Regulation, ‘Access to Justice Review’, August 2016. (See submission 10) - Report

- ‘From Commitment to Culture: The 2015 Review of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006’ by Michael Brett Young. See link and follow to full report. Cited in the Full Report 17 times of the following

- The Productivity Commission Full Final Report (Vol 1 and 2) on Access to Justice Arrangements (September 2014 at least 30 times) - Report

- The Allen Consulting Review for the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department (July 2014 at least seven times in each of the draft, interim and final reports)

- Mention of work and cited before the Royal Commission into Family Violence, para. 40, p. 8 and annexure of Curran’s report as ‘CC1’- Statement

- Mention of work and cited in a submission by ARC Justice Ltd to the Review of the National Disability Scheme (p. 10), 20 June 2016 - Report

See all of Liz Curran's publications...

Press expertise

Access to Justice, Clinical Legal Education, Multidisciplinary Practice (including Health Justice Partnerships); Legal Aid, Effective Legal Practice, Social Justice, Accountability to Excluded Community; Legal Professional Ethics (including applied ethics). Also, regular media commentator in Australia on access to justice.

Course(s) I teach on