Margaret Doyle

Visiting Fellow
School of Law
 Margaret Doyle



Margaret Doyle is a visiting research fellow at the University of Essex School of Law and works with the UK Administrative Justice Institute (UKAJI), which is based at the School. She writes for and manages its website ( and coordinates and conducts research. She is also a consultant in appropriate dispute resolution (ADR) and an independent mediator in disputes involving special educational needs and discrimination Margaret's research interests include the operation and practices of redress mechanisms, particularly for complaints about public services; the relationship between different redress mechanisms such as mediation, ombuds, and courts and tribunals; and policy development in dispute resolution. Specific areas of interest are education, and in particular special educational needs; and equalities and discrimination. As part of her work on administrative justice with the UKAJI project, Margaret is conducting a knowledge exchange project on young people's participation in resolving disputes about their special educational needs and disabilities support. This work is funded by an ESRC IAA Fund grant and the Garden Court Chambers Special Fund. The project website is Margaret is currently also working with Professor Andrew Le Sueur on a project to design a public-sector ombud for the States of Jersey, also funded by an IAA grant, for the Jersey Law Commission. Margaret was principal investigator (from January 2014) for a mapping study of informal resolution approaches by ombudsmen in the UK, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. She manages the project website and ongoing blog at

Research and professional activities

Current research

A Place at the Table: Young people's participation in SEND dispute resolution

A knowledge exchange project exploring issues about young people's involvement in resolving disputes with local authorities about their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) support need.
More information about this project

Human Rights in Small Places: Re-imagining Administrative Justice

Book in progress (contract with Palgrave Macmillan): Administrative justice has been perceived as a 'system' of decision-makers and mechanisms for challenge and redress, one subject to ad hoc design over the course of its development. More than that, however, it is 'an approach, a way of looking at the interaction between people and the governments and other public bodies that make decisions about a wide range of aspects of everyday life' (UK Administrative Justice Institute 2018). Administrative justice and human rights are kept apart for two main reasons: first, they seem to occupy different territory, human rights being associated with substantive civil and social rights entitlement, and administrative justice being associated with procedural fairness in decision-making; secondly, they seem to comprise different forms of ‘social ordering’, human rights being associated with legal adjudication and ‘enforcement’, and administrative justice with non-judicial decision-making and forms of mediation. How can bringing these together illuminate both concepts and so make them more effective channels of something larger than either component part, namely, social justice?

Designing a Public Services Ombud scheme for Jersey

The aim of the project is to develop costed options for a Jersey public services ombud and to explore best practice in terms of jurisdiction and powers, governance, accessibility, and techniques. To seek out lessons for Jersey from experiences in other jurisdictions, we are studying ombud schemes in smaller countries and territories and looking at how ombud schemes in the UK have been designed and redesigned.


Journal articles (3)

Bondy, V., Doyle, M. and Reid, V., (2005). Mediation and Judicial Review – Mind the Research Gap. Judicial Review. 10 (3), 220-226

Doyle, M. and Fenn, P., (2003). Ombudsmen. Arbitration. 69 (4), 243-251

Doyle, M., (2001). Settling public sector disputes. Adviser (May/June 2001), 4-6

Books (1)

Doyle, M., (2000). Advising on Adr The Essential Guide to Appropriate Dispute Resolution. 0953743918. 9780953743919

Book chapters (1)

Doyle, M. and Bondy, V., (2018). What’s in a Name: A Discussion Paper on Ombud Terminology. In: Research Handbook on the Ombudsman. Editors: Kirkham, R. and Hertogh, M., . Edward Elgar. 1- 608. 978 1 78643 124 0

Reports and Papers (8)

Doyle, M., (2019). A Place at the Table: A report on young people's participation in resolving disputes about special educational needs and disabilities

Sunkin, MS., Doyle, M. and Bondy, V., (2018). A Research Roadmap for Administrative Justice

Doyle, M., (2018). Relationships, trust and learning to drive: A report on a discussion of young people's participation in SEND dispute resolution Report on a roundtable discussion for the project A Place at the Table

Doyle, MT., Bondy, V. and Hirst, C., (2014). The use of informal resolution approaches by ombudsmen in the UK and Ireland: A mapping study

Bondy, V. and Doyle, M., (2011). Mediation in Judicial Review: A practical handbook for lawyers

Bondy, V., Mulcahy, L., Doyle, M. and Reid, V., (2009). Mediation and Judicial Review: An empirical research study

Doyle, M., (2006). Evaluation of the Small Claims Mediation Service at Manchester County Court

Doyle, M., Ritters, K. and Brooker, S., (2004). Seeking resolution: The availability and usage of consumer-to-business alternative dispute resolution in the United Kingdom

Thesis dissertation (1)

Doyle, M., (2006). “Just” resolutions? An exploration of the use of mediation in public law disputes

Grants and funding


Proposal for a mapping study of the use of Informal resolution approaches by ombudsmen in the uk

Nuffield Foundation



Colchester Campus