- Introduction and Guide for the Reader
- Notes on the Contributors
- Equity Property and Obligation
- The Nature and Functions of the State
- Review of Executive Action
- Judicial Review of Legislation
- Criminal law
- Criminology Crime's Changing Boundaries
- The International Legal Order
- Human Rights
- The European Union: Discipline Building Meets Polity Building
- Complex Polities
- The Welfare State
- Health: The Health Care System, Therapeutic Relationships, and Public Health
- Global Development and Impoverishment
- International Business and Commerce
- Intellectual Property
- The Media
- Abortion and Reproductive Rights
- The Environment
- Legislation and Rule-Making
- Civil Processes
- Criminal Process
- Lawyers and Legal Services
- International Legal Sanction Processes
- A Transnational Concept of Law
- Historical Research in Law
- Empirical Research in Law
- Legal Education
- The Role of Academics in the Legal System
- A Century of Legal Studies
- Law as an Autonomous Discipline
Abstract and Keywords
This article considers the contribution to legal scholarship which has been and is being made by research strategies which fall under the broad heading of ‘empirical’. Empirical research in law involves the study, through direct methods rather than secondary sources, of the institutions, rules, procedures, and personnel of the law, with a view to understanding how they operate and what effects they have. It is not a synonym for ‘statistical’ or ‘factual’, and its intellectual depth and significance are not determined by the empirical label but can only be judged by reference to the same standards and the same yardsticks as would be applied to any other academic endeavour.
John Baldwin is Professor of Judicial Administration in the Law School, University of Birmingham, and has been Director of the Institute of Judicial Administration since 1982. In the past thirty years, he has conducted a great number of empirical research projects, concerned in particular with the administration of justice, both criminal and civil. His latest book is Small Claims in County Courts in England and Wales: The Bargain Basement of Civil Justice? (Clarendon Press, 1997).
Gwynn Davis is Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow attached to the Department of Law, University of Bristol. Over the past twenty-five years he has conducted over forty empirical research projects in the fields of family law and practice, criminal justice, and developments in the legal profession. He is the author of Partisans and Mediators (Clarendon Press, 1988) and, most recently, Child Support in Action (with Nick Wikeley and Richard Young, Hart, 1998).
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