What we do

The Centre for Innovative Justice was opened by the Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia, on 15 March 2013.

CIJ is led by its Director Rob Hulls, a former Victorian Deputy Premier and Attorney-General with a passion for making the justice system act as a positive intervention in people’s lives, and a strong record of delivering major reforms to criminal and civil justice systems at a state and national level.

The CIJ’s objective is to develop, drive and expand the capacity of the justice system to meet and adapt to the needs of its diverse users. The CIJ meets this objective by conducting rigorous research which focuses on having impact – taking our research findings, most of which involve direct engagement with service users, and using them to develop innovative and workable solutions.

Our approach to research


  • We focus on people’s lived experience
  • We partner with people, rather than doing things ‘to’ or ‘for’ them
  • We support people to become their own advocates
  • We create avenues for people’s voices to be heard
  • We don’t assume we know the answers.  Our first step is listening to the people most affected by the issue

Our research processes embody our values and aims

  • The process is as important as the research ‘output’
  • We design our approach to be inclusive of and empowering for participants
  • We build stakeholder support along the way
  • We use the research process to raise awareness of the issues

We translate research into practice

  • Our projects do not end when the research component finishes.  We use our research to advocate, model and pilot
  • Our research has a direct practical application

We are innovative in how we communicate our research

  • We disseminate our research findings using a range of traditional and non-traditional forums and media
  • We aim to reach a diverse range of people, from academics and legal system professionals to people without high levels of literacy