ACJI actively engages in research to provide the intellectual underpinnings for increased court efficiency and effectiveness and to support improved governance, continued development and implementation of court innovations and the adoption of non-adversarial justice and ADR approaches.

ACJI also operates a Research Consultancy in the areas of program design, piloting, monitoring and evaluation of court innovations and non-adversarial justice approaches. For more information, contact Professor Tania Sourdin, Director, ACJI

Current projects

ACJI is currently engaged in the following projects:

Complaint Frameworks Project

This project is supported by a grant from Professional Standards Councils to the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Australia (SOCAP Australia) and ACJI to create competency and ethical frameworks for complaint professionals as well as small to medium businesses that do not have dedicated complaint handling departments..

Timeliness Project

ACJI’s Timeliness Project will feature a two-day Forum hosted by ACJI and the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA) on 16–17 May 2014. The Forum will feature panel discussions and presentations, including by keynote presenters Hon. Chief Justice Wayne Martin, Supreme Court of Western Australia, and Judge Kevin Burke, Minnesota District Court, past Board member of the National Center for State Courts, USA, and past President of the American Judges Association, as well as the Hon. Justices Peter Vickery and John Dixon, Supreme Court of Victoria, and Hon. Robert Clark MP, Attorney-General, State of Victoria.

Evaluating Alternative Dispute Resolution in Taxation Disputes Project

In 2013–2014, ACJI was engaged by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in response to a recommendation from the Inspector-General of Taxation to provide an independent dispute resolution evaluation system for participants in taxation disputes.

Past projects

ACJI has completed the following projects:

Innovative Approaches to Justice: The NJC Experience Project

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC), Australia’s first community court, recently collaborated with ACJI to develop a range of resources for Australian and other judicial officers that contribute to the development of therapeutic and similar effective strategies in courts. The materials build on current practice through the unique experience of the NJC, addressing systemic issues and individual skills development.

Expertly produced, the resources use a range of media to articulate successful elements, principles and practices of the NJC. Access to the short videos, resource materials and ‘tip sheets’ is free through Civil Justice Online website.

This exciting collaboration is an expression of the growing local and international interest in innovation in justice delivery and of the potential of such partnerships to shape modern and innovative justice systems. 

For more information, contact Professor Tania Sourdin, Director, ACJI

Family Support Program Family Law Services Project

ACJI was selected to conduct a research project about Family Support Program family law services with Allen Consulting Group for the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. As part of the initial phase of this project, ACJI prepared a background Literature Review, which is now available for download in the link below.

Pre-action Protocols Project

The aim of the Pre-action Obligations Research Project was to assess the use and effectiveness of pre-action schemes and obligations that encourage people to resolve their disputes before filing proceedings with a court or tribunal.

Restorative Justice Conferencing Project

The primary focus of the Consultancy for Development of a Restorative Justice Conferencing Model within the Environment Protection Agency Victoria (EPA) was to assist the EPA to develop a restorative conferencing model that can be used in EPA matters. ACJI set out a training package for use within the EPA and a development plan to create an effective conferencing model. 

Self-Represented Litigants (SRL) Project

The Self-Represented Litigants (SRL) Project – Analysis of Evaluation Data on Self-Represented Litigants (SRL) in the Civil Justice System represents the first step in a longer-term initiative to determine the prevalence of Self-Represented-Litigants (SRL) (and ‘unrepresented’ litigant) cases in federal courts and tribunals across Australia.

Creating a Civil Justice Clearinghouse Project

ACJI received funding in 2011/12 from the Australian Government’s Attorney-General's Department under their Grants for Australian Organisations Program (GAOP) to develop a civil justice research clearinghouse.

Extend Drink Driving Project

Professor Arie Freiberg and Liz Richardson, Senior Researcher from ACJI, worked with representatives from the Magistrate’s Court of Victoria, the Dandenong Drug Court, Victoria Police and Associated Drink Driver Services Australia (ADDSA) to develop a proposal for a pilot Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)/Suspended Court List. This court list is modelled on the successful DWI Courts that operate in the United States and are a type of problem-solving court that seek to tackle the underlying causes of offending for serious repeat drink drivers.

Following extensive consultation and preparation, the court list will operate in the Magistrate’s Court of Victoria in 2014, with offenders placed on individualised community correction orders that will incorporate rehabilitation programs, alcohol interlock devices, alcohol testing, among other conditions, under judicial supervision.

For more information, contact Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg at