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The Socio-Legal Studies Association

This website contains information about the SLSA and our aims and objectives. You can find out how to join and about the many benefits of membership. There are details on all our activities including our prestigious socio-legal prizes, our research grants scheme, our seminar competition and our popular annual and postgraduate conferences.

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SLSA 2017 prizewinners announced

The winners of our 2017 prizes were announced at our annual dinner on 6 April at this year's conference in Newcastle.

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SLSA 2020 and 2021: Call for expressions of interest

The SLSA Executive is seeking expressions of interest from universities wishing to host our annual conferences in 2020 and 2021.

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SLSA chair and Exec

The SLSA chair is Professor Rosie Harding (pictured) of the University of Birmingham. She took up the post in April 2017. Members are invited to contact the chair or a member of the Executive Committee with their comments, suggestions and feedback. See the Exec page for details.

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Prizewinners

The SLSA book prize was launched in 2001 at the same time as the SLSA article prize. The prize for early career academics was added in 2004. These three prizes are generously sponsored by Hart Publishing. Each year Hart prizewinners receive their awards at the SLSA annual conference and since 2010 have taken part in author-meets-reader sessions at the conference. The full list of all past winners is published below.

In 2011 the SLSA Executive Committee announced a new prize sponsored by a private benefactor: the SLSA Prize for Contributions to the Socio-Legal Community and the Socio-Legal Theory and History Prize was first awarded in 2015 – also sponsored by a private benefactor.


Read MoreSLSA Prize for Contributions to the Socio-Legal Community


2016

Linda Mulcahy

Linda is Professor of Law, Director of the PhD Academy and Director of the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre at the LSE. Her contributions to the socio-legal community have been many and varied over the last 25 years. She has produced ground-breaking interdisciplinary work on dispute resolution, particularly in the area of medical mishaps, and on law and architecture. She was a member of the SLSA Executive Committee for over 12 years, serving as chair of the association from 1999–2002, and two terms as treasurer, from 1991–1993 and 2010–2013. She has also helped to develop the field of socio-legal studies through her role as coordinating editor of Social and Legal Studies for over 10 years and through her tireless support for postgraduate research students, as an examiner of many socio-legal PhD theses, as a co-organiser of the highly successful SLSA postgraduate conference since its inception, and most recently as organiser of an inter-Doctoral Training Centre initiative to bring ESRC-funded PhD students in socio-legal studies together in a Masterclass with experienced scholars in the field. She is truly a leading citizen of the socio-legal community and has played a very important role in helping socio-legal studies become the dynamic and thriving field it is today. Rosemary Hunter (SLN 80:1)

2015

Martin Partington

We are delighted that Martin has won this year’s SLSA annual prize. Martin was a founding member of the SLSA who chaired its steering committee and organised its first conference in 1990. Subsequently he served as its chair from 1993–1999. Much of the stuff that we now take for granted is due to him, for example, the various ways of interacting with policymakers and significant subject-specific innovation (housing, administrative justice) as well as a focus on legal education and even the directory of members. Martin co-directed the WG Hart Workshop on Empirical Research in Law at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2005 and founded the Legal Empirical Research Support Network in 2007. Martin’s pioneering publications established housing law, welfare law and administrative justice as significant, and now flourishing, fields for academic enquiry. Grounded in the real world and motivated by social justice, his work has prompted fruitful collaborations with practitioners and policymakers and inspired a generation of both academic and practising lawyers. As a law commissioner, Martin used and developed socio-legal research in an innovative programme of law reform. The Welsh Assembly is currently debating a Bill that will implement his proposed reforms to tenure law, affecting the lives of more than one million people involved in residential renting. Other notable examples of public service include acting as a consultant to the Lord Chancellor’s Department/Treasury Review of Legal Aid (1994–1995), as an expert consultant to the Leggatt Review of Tribunals (2000–2001) and as a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (2011–2012).
Most of all, though, he has been a wonderful friend to the next generation of socio-legal scholars. Dave Cowan and Helen Carr (SLN 77:1)

2014

Sally Wheeler 

Sally Wheeler is one of my oldest and closest academic friends. There are good reasons for this – she took me under her wing in the 1990s and I witnessed first-hand her commitment to the socio-legal cause while she was chair of the SLSA, between 1995–1999 and again from 2002–2009. She fought for that cause in successive RAE/REF consultations and developed close relationships with the ESRC which enabled socio-legal studies to be prioritised. She pushed the agenda for the socio-legal postgraduate community and it is no small thing to say that many of us owe our careers to her. It is fair to say that she does not suffer fools gladly and she can cut me down to size with a withering glance, but the best thing about Sally is that she will pick you up, dust you down, and help you make something of it. There is nobody I know who is more generous of their time both for the community and personally. Sal will not thank me for nominating her for this prestigious award but it is about time we recognised her for her amazing contribution over the last decades. To put her career in a nutshell, she was a professor at a ridiculously young age and head of school for much of her time since at different institutions; she has written seminal texts in her field and beyond, and been on two RAE panels; and, most of all, for myself and Linda Mulcahy she has been our conference buddy at numerous conferences.

If only her beloved Aston Villa had put as much commitment into their football over the last few seasons ... Dave Cowan (SLN 74:1)

2013

Roger Cotterrell

Roger is, for most of his peers, the leading social theorist of law and sociologist of law in the UK, and amongst the very best worldwide. He combines highly sophisticated theoretical skills with a masterly capacity to appreciate and synthesize the results of empirical work. In a career spanning almost 40 years he has impressed his stamp on the field in contributions such as The Sociology of Law, The Politics of Jurisprudence and Law’s Community. As important, Roger has been a model to generations of colleagues and students. He rose to be Dean at Queen Mary University of London and has been in high demand as a lecturer and examiner in the UK and around the world. He has ensured that socio-legal studies maintains a dialogue with related disciplines and subject areas without being subordinated to them. He is an exemplary scholar and teacher and administrator that our field is fortunate to have produced. David Nelken (SLN 71:1).

For more detail about Roger's contributions to the socio-legal community, please follow this link.

2012

Phil Thomas

Professor Philip (Phil) Aneurin Thomas has been awarded the 2012 Prize for Contributions to the Socio-legal Community. There can be few people who deserve this honour more than Phil, who occupies a pivotal place in the history of UK socio-legal studies. Starting from a position in the 1960s in which he believed that UK legal education was not fit for purpose, much of what socio-legal academics now regard as obvious and apparent owes itself in part to Phil. That is not to say that there is not a considerable amount more to do, but what we can be sure of is that Phil, with his academic entrepreneurial antenna intact, will be at the forefront. Most current members will know him as the editor of the Journal of Law and Society (JLS), a journal which he, together with some of his colleagues at Cardiff, founded in 1974. Phil was also a founding member of the SLSA itself and, for many years, a member of its Executive Committee. The relationship between the JLS and SLSA remains strong as a result. In the 1990s, Phil persuaded Dartmouth to publish a series of monographs and edited collections as a socio-legal series, and himself edited, in 1999, Socio-Legal Studies. His introduction to that collection is what I think about as ‘pure Phil’; jovial as always but with a cutting-edge mission to nail the significance and problematics inherent in the socio-legal label. It should be compulsory reading for all. I could run through Phil’s many publications or his career posts and his many achievements but they are not why I nominated him for the prize because Phil’s contribution transcends all that; many of us (including me) owe our entire careers to him. When it was not fashionable, he acted as our mentor; at a time when early career scholars and doctoral students were largely left to sink or swim, he was there to help (a role which he continues to play through the JLS, funding bursaries at the SLSA conference, setting up and presenting at the postgraduate conference, and through general encouragement). For me personally, when nobody would publish my work or look at my book proposal in the early 1990s, he took me on and offered valuable advice right down to how to write. There are many other ‘pure Phil’ nuggets which I and others will, no doubt, share with you when the prize is awarded at the 2013 York conference. Dave Cowan (SLN 68:1)

2011

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Mavis Maclean

Mavis has nurtured the careers of generations of socio-legal scholars, particularly in the family law area. She has been an amazing mentor, has introduced young scholars to her extensive networks and created valuable opportunities for them to present and publish their work. She has also acted as an important link between the academic and policy communities, not only providing academics with access to policymakers, but ensuring that policymakers received the best advice from the right experts. In doing so, she has promoted significant reforms and, just as importantly, has helped to avert some foreseeably adverse outcomes. In addition, her contributions extend to her own research, which has broken new ground both substantively and methodologically. Indeed, the fact that family law is such a thriving field of socio-legal research and teaching is due in no small part to Mavis’s example and her encouragement and training of others to engage in this form of scholarship, as well as her fostering of scholarship through book and journal editing.

Even after her ‘retirement’, Mavis continues to be active in research, editing, mentoring, networking, policy engagement and strategising. It is hard to imagine the socio-legal community without her. (SLN 65:1)

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Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize


2017

Lizzie Barmes (2016) Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at Work: The duality of individual rights, Oxford University Press

2016

Luis Eslava (2015) Local Space, Global Life: The everyday operation of international law and development, Cambridge University Press

2015

Alan Paterson (2013) Final Judgment: The last Law Lords and the Supreme Court, Hart

2014

Emilie Cloatre (2013) Pills for the Poorest: An exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa, Palgrave Macmillan

2013

Nicola Barker (2012) Not the Marrying Kind: A feminist critique of same-sex marriage, Palgrave Macmillan

2012

Nicholas Blomley (2011) Rights of Passage: Sidewalks and the regulation of public flow, Routledge/Glasshouse

Didi Herman (2011) An Unfortunate Coincidence: Jews, Jewishness, and English Law, Oxford University Press

2011

Rosie Harding (2010) Regulating Sexuality: Legal consciousness in lesbian and gay lives, Routledge

2010

David Fraser (2008) The Fragility of Law: Constitutional patriotism and the Jews of Belgium 1940-1945,Routledge  

2009

Christine Bell (2008) On the Law of Peace: Peace agreements and the lex pacificatoria, Oxford University Press  

2008

Stephen Bottomley (2007) The Constitutional Corporation: Rethinking corporate governance, Ashgate

2007

Awarded jointly

Nigel Fielding (2006) Courting Violence: offences against the person cases in court, Oxford University Press

Anthony Ogus (2006) Costs and Cautionary Tales: economic insights for the law, Hart Publishing

2006 

Awarded jointly:

Katjia Franko Aas (2005) Sentencing in the Age of Information: from Faust to Macintosh, Glasshouse Press

Alan Norrie (2005) Law and The Beautiful Soul, Glasshouse Press

2005

Roy Coleman (2004) Reclaiming the Streets, Willan Publishing

2004

Helen Reece (2003) Divorcing Responsibly, Hart Publishing

2001

Annette Ballinger (2000) Dead Woman Walking, Ashgate

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Hart Prize for Early Career Academics


2017

Sue Westwood (2016) Aging, Gender and Sexuality: Equality in later life, Routledge

2016

Luis Eslava (2015) Local Space, Global Life: The everyday operation of international law and development, Cambridge University Press

2015

Awarded jointly:

Debbie Becher (2014) Private Property and Public Power: Eminent domain in Philadelphia, OUP
Kirsten McConnachie (2014) Governing Refugees: Justice, order and legal pluralism, Routledge

2014

Nevin T Aiken (2013) Identity, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice: Overcoming intractability in divided societies, Routledge

2013

Not awarded

2012

Prabha Kotiswaran (2011) Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labour: Sex work and the law in India, Princeton University Press

Lisa Vanhala (2011) Making Rights a Reality? Disability Rights Activists and Legal Mobilization, Cambridge University Press

2011

Rosie Harding (2010) Regulating Sexuality: Legal consciousness in lesbian and gay lives, Routledge

2010

Not awarded  

2009

Louis Mallinder (2008) Amnesty, Human Rights and Political Transition: Bridging the peace and justice divide, Hart 

2008

David Keane (2007) Caste-Based Discrimination in International Human Rights Law, Ashgate   

2007

Philip Hadfield (2006) Bar Wars:contesting the night in contemporary British cities, Oxford University Press

2006 

Lee Marshal, Bootlegging: Romanticism and copyright in the music industry, Sage

2005

Christopher Waters, Counsel in the Caucasus – Professionalization and law in Georgia, Martinus Nijhoff

2004 

Bronwen Morgan (2003) Social Citizenship in the Shadow of Competition, Ashgate

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Socio-Legal Theory and History Prize 


2017

Emily Grabham (2016) Brewing Legal Times: Things, form, and the enactment of law, Toronto University Press

2016

Jiří Přibáň (2015) Sovereignty in Post-Sovereign Society, Ashgate

2015

Henry Yeomans (2014) Alcohol and Moral Regulation: Public attitudes, spirited measures and Victorian hangovers, Policy Press

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Socio-Legal Article Prize


2017

Helen Carr (2015) ’Legal technology in an age of austerity: documentation, “functional” incontinence and the problem of dignity’ in Dave Cowan and Dan Wincott (eds), Exploring the Legal in Socio-Legal Studies, Palgrave

2016

Lynette Chua (2015) ‘The vernacular mobilization of human rights in Myanmar's sexual orientation and gender identity movement’ 49(2) Law and Society Review 299–332

2015

Amanda Perry-Kessaris (2014) ‘The case for a visualised economic sociology of legal development’ 67 Current Legal Problems 169

2014

Awarded jointly to:

Sarah Keenan (2013) ‘Property as governance: time, space and belonging in Australia’s Northern Territory intervention’ Modern Law Review 76(3) 464–93

Oishik Sircar (2012) ‘Spectacles of emancipation: reading rights differently in India’s legal discourse’ Osgoode Hall Law Journal 527–73

2013

Marie Fox and Michael Thomson, ‘The new politics of male circumcision: HIV/AIDS, health law and social justice’ (2012) Legal Studies 32(2): 255–81

2012

Kieran McEvoy, ‘What did the lawyers do during the “war”? Neutrality, conflict and the culture of quietism’ (2011) MLR 74:350–84

2011

Antonia Layard, ‘Shopping in the public realm: a law of place’ (2010) Journal of Law and Society 37:412–41

2010

Marie-Andrée Jacob, ‘The shared history: unknotting fictive kinship and legal process’ (2009) 43 Law and Society Review 95–126  

2009

Kieran McEvoy,  ‘Beyond legalism: towards a thicker understanding of transitional justice’ (2007) Journal of Law and Society 34(4):411–40  

2008

Donald McGillivray and Jane Holder, 'Locality, environment and law: the case of town and village greens' (2007) International Journal of Law in Context 3:1–17  

2007

Daniel Fitzpatrick, ‘Evolution and chaos in property rights systems: the Third World tragedy of contested access’ (2006) Yale Law Journal 115:996–1048

2006

Helen Carr, ‘Someone to watch over me: making supported housing work' (2005) Social and Legal Studies 387–408

2005

Awarded jointly to:

Kieran McEvoy and Heather Conway, ‘The dead, the law and the politics of the past' (2004) Journal of Law and Society 31(4): 539–62

Jiri Priban, ‘Reconstituting paradise lost: temporality, civility and ethnicity in post-communist constitution-making' (2004) Law and Society Review 38(3): 407–31

2004

Awarded jointly to: 

Bronwen Morgan, ‘The economization of politics: meta-regulation as a form of nonjudicial legality’ (2003) 12(4) Social and Legal Studies 489–523

Amanda Perry-Kessaris, ‘Finding and facing facts about legal systems and foreign direct investment in South Asia’ (2003) 23(4) Legal Studies 649–89

2003

Claire Valier, ‘Punishment, border crossings and the powers of horror’ (2002) Theoretical Criminology 6(3): 319–37

2002

Douglas Vick and Kevin Campbell. 'Public protests, private lawsuits, and the market: the investor response to the McLibel case' (2001) Journal of Law and Society 28: 204–41

2001

Daniel Monk, 'Theorizing education law and childhood: constructing the ideal pupil' (2000) British Journal of the Sociology of Education 21(3): 555

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Poster Competition


All the winning posters and a selection of other entries are available on our poster exhibition page.

2017

Jed Meers, 'Shifting the place of social security: welfare reform and social rights in the UK'

2016

Awarded jointly to:

Bruno Obialo Igwe, 'The impact of domestic violence legal regulation and enforcement in Ireland on Nigerian immigrants'

Stacy Sinclair, 'Designing + (dis)assembling disputes'

2015

Eva Klambauer, 'Sex workers as political actors between criminalisation and employment'

With a special mention for

Titilayo Adebola, 'Implementing obligations under Article 27.3(b) of TRIPS in the Global South'

2014

David Barrett, 'To what extent can equality law be utilised to address socio-economic inequality in Great Britain?'

2013

Rachel Cahill O'Callaghan, 'Personal values: an important element in the diversity debate'

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