Domestic violence is a serious and pernicious problem, affecting one in
four women, and a significant number of men. Despite this, in general,
legal responses to domestic violence have not been as effective as they
could be. Professor Mandy Burton has carried out wide-ranging research for
UK government departments and public bodies, including the Home Office,
Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Legal
Services Commission (LSC) specifically designed to inform legal and policy
change on domestic violence. Her work informed the Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act in 2004, and was important in helping to develop
more than 100 Specialist Domestic Violence Courts across the country.
Research published in peer-reviewed journals/books and reports
commissioned by government departments have had significant impact on UK
government policy relating to the reform of domestic consumer law.
Impact can be seen in legislation adopted to transpose EU directives into
domestic law, as well as the development of reform proposals during the
current period (notably the Consumer Rights Bill [draft bill published on
12 June 2013]). The research was also used to give evidence to a House of
Lords Select Committee and to assist the Law Commission with several
The ultimate non-academic beneficiaries are UK consumers, because a
clearer and streamlined set of legal rules will make it easier for them to
identify their rights and encourage greater compliance by business. Other
non-academic beneficiaries are staff from Consumer Direct and the Citizens
Advice Bureau who advise on consumer law, and the UK government itself.