FuzzyLaw – Welcome!

Intro Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Comments Conclusion

Thank you for visiting FuzzyLaw. By taking part in FuzzyLaw you will contri­bute to a research study which aims to improve communication between the legal system and the public.  Taking part in FuzzyLaw will take around 5 minutes.

Over the next few pages, you will be asked to explain four words from the field of criminal law, in your own words. It’s important that you DO NOT try to find out what they mean by looking online, by looking them up in a book, by asking someone nor in any other way. Instead, simply write down, off the top of your head, what YOU think the words mean, as fully as possible. You are not being tested. We will not even ask for your name so no one will know what your answers were. Your contri­bution will be used to give us a sense of what the ‘person on the street’ thinks that legal terms mean. All of the terms relate to policing, crime and the court system.

After you have given your explanations of the four legal terms you will be presented with the correct meanings for each term and asked some general questions.

Your explanations will be used in three ways. First they may appear on the FuzzyLaw website where they will help discussion and learning for people who work in legal settings. These people include solicitors and police officers but also inter­preters whose job is to make language compre­hen­sible to people who do not speak English or Welsh in our legal system. Secondly, we hope that the explanations gathered here will become a resource for people who come into contact with the law, for example as victims of crime. Finally, your answers will be used for academic research and may appear in research publications and presenta­tions.

Below are four statements. Please consider each statement honestly and carefully because only those people who can confirm each one are eligible to take part in FuzzyLaw. Tick the box next to all statements which apply to you:

Please confirm
  • English is my ‘first language’ or ‘mother tongue’; I speak English as a ‘native speaker’
  • I do not and never have worked directly in the criminal legal system (for example, as a police officer, solicitor or barrister)
  • I do not and have never worked as an interpreter or translator
  • I am not studying and have never studied language and communication nor law
  • By clicking “continue” below, you agree to take part in this research. If you change your mind, you can opt out of the study at any time by simply closing the webpage. Your answers will not be saved if you do this and we will have no record that you visited the site. At the end of the survey we will check that you are happy for us to use your answers. If you decide not to submit your results at that stage, again, your answers will not be saved and we will keep no record of your visit. We hope that you will feel comfortable to contribute freely. Remember we will not be asking for your name so your answers are anonymous. At the end of the survey, you will see contact details for Dr Frances Rock, the researcher leading this study. You are welcome to contact her if you have any questions about the research, after taking part.