Socio-legal Studies

The Socio-Legal research cluster provides a setting for colleagues to explore and discuss their research in the field of socio-legal studies.

Numerous members of academic staff within the School of Law engage in research which goes beyond the doctrinal, in considering law in terms of its wider societal context. How does the law operate in practice? How is it implemented and enforced through the exercise of discretion?  What impact does it have on the lives of citizens?

Many, but not all, of the cluster’s members engage in empirical and/or interdisciplinary research. The objective of the cluster is to provide a supportive atmosphere in which to present research findings, explore ideas for further research, develop funding applications and discuss appropriate research methods. Activities include receiving presentations from members of the School on their research projects (both completed and embryonic), hearing papers from external presenters and research methods training workshops. 

Current research

Eugenia Caracciolo di Torella is presently working on a monograph that explores the legal regulation of caring responsibilities, entitled: Caring Responsibilities in Europe: Who Cares?

Pablo Cortés was awarded a two-year grant by the Nuffield Foundation in 2014 to evaluate from a socio-legal perspective the main consumer ADR schemes operating in Italy, Spain and the UK. In addition, he is currently writing a monograph entitled the Law of Consumer Redress in an Evolving Digital Market.

Loveday Hodson in one of the conveners of the Feminist International Judgments Project. This project is a unique venture in which legal scholars are collaborating in the ‘real world’ task of (re)writing key international judgments from a feminist perspective, in order to address the silencing of women’s voices. The (re)writing of judgments demonstrates in accessible and meaningful ways possible alternatives to the structural inequalities of traditional international law.

Charlotte Walsh is a member of the ICEERS Expert Committee for the Regularization of Psychoactives, a group concerned with co-ordinating a common defence strategy in cases involving plant psychedelics used either in therapeutic or ceremonial settings. She is currently involved in establishing the Teacher Plants Legal Defense Fund.

Dawn Watkins recently completed an ESRC funded project entitled ‘Law in Children’s Lives’, which has sought to assess the extent to which children understand law as an empowering force in their lives, using gaming as a research tool.


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