Judith Townend


Dr Judith Townend is senior lecturer in media and information law at the University of Sussex. Having started her career in media and journalism, she has been working in socio-legal research and policy for more than a decade. Her current research focuses on the protection of public interest journalism, access to information, and media/data governance, in the context of a broader interest in human rights and social justice. Prior to joining Sussex, she was the inaugural director of the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Partly fuelled by her own frustrated attempts to access data from the courts, Judith has developed a particular specialism in ‘justice system data’ – that is the information generated by the formal process of justice through courts and tribunals. In 2020-21 she was commissioned by the Legal Education Foundation to undertake an extensive review of the management of ‘justice system data’ in three common law countries and since contributed oral and written evidence to the House of Commons justice committee inquiry on open justice which was drawn upon in its final report (more details: http://bit.ly/jtownendimpact).

In Judith’s fellowship at Connected by Data, she intends to explore new avenues for research involving justice system data, particularly from international and interdisciplinary perspectives; and participate in Connected by Data’s work on justice system data use and governance, as well as its broader projects on data narratives, practices and policies.

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