Friday, February 12, 2010

Report from London


I've spent the best part of this week in London as part of our joint effort with the Young Foundation to test the feasibility of a Center for Court Innovation-like entity for the UK. From our meetings with various government officials, academics, funders, potential non-profit partners and political operatives, Aubrey and I took away mixed messages. On the one hand, this is a bad moment to try to start something new in England: the economy is in horrible shape, government is being forced to make drastic cuts and with an election looming in the not-too-distant future, it is unclear who will be in power and what their agenda will be. On the other hand, nearly everyone we talked to, both on this visit and earlier trips, seems to think that there is a real need for an institution that bridges the worlds of practice and theory and can push a justice system reform agenda over the long haul. We'll see. We've got the better part of 2010 to figure out whether we can make it happen or not.