The Socio-Legal Research Centre investigates the origins, operations and effects of legal regimes, policies and practices.
The Griffith Law School has one of the strongest concentrations of socio-legal researchers in Australia. The Socio-Legal Research Centre was established to maximise the potential of this area of strength. At present, it is unique in Australia.
The meaning of socio-legal: Socio-legal research and scholarship has its theoretical and methodological base in the social sciences. It seeks to understand law as a social phenomenon. It is distinguished from other traditions of legal scholarship and research, such as the "black letter" tradition of legal exegesis. Its methodology is predominantly empirical and social-theoretical rather than doctrinal. The Socio-Legal Research Centre includes scholars who work in the jurisprudential tradition, and whose approach to law is philosophical and draws on social theory.
- theoretical and empirical analyses of the nature of law and its relationship to society and the State in the context of a rapidly changing world;
- analyses, both historical and contemporary, of the social, economic and political factors leading to the development of the law and legal process;
- examination of the operation of the law in formal contexts; for example, the courts, or in informal contexts, for example, the law office;
- analyses of the process of decision-taking by those responsible for the administration of the law; and
- analyses of the experience of those affected by the process of law.