Welcome to the SLSA

Where law meets the social sciences and humanities.



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The Socio-Legal Studies Association

Welcome to the SLSA website where you will find comprehensive information about the SLSA's aims aims and objectives. You can also 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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Socio-Legal Sources and Methods in Family Law

This SLSA-supported event will take place on 18 May 2018 at the British Library.

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SLSA 2018: Registration

Registration at the late rate for this year's conference closes on Monday 19 March. Don't miss out on your place!

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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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Residential Socio-Legal Masterclass for doctoral students

The Third Annual Socio-Legal Masterclass for second to fourth-year doctoral students is being held at St Catherine’s College Oxford from 3–4 September 2018. This year’s masterclass is being sponsored by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnerships network, the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, the Journal of Law and Society and the SLSA. The theme will be ‘Looking at law from the bottom up’.

This event gives a small group of 20 doctoral students the opportunity to spend two days talking to established academics about a variety of methodological approaches to the study of law. The Masterclass is free for ESRC students and there are bursaries available for other students allocated on a competitive basis. Further details of the event will be posted on the SLSA website and weekly ebulletin before the Annual Conference in Bristol.

Organised by Linda Mulcahy, LSE, and Marina Kurkchiyan, Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies.

SLSA Nominations of Panel Members for REF 2021

Members of the REF2021 expert panels will be appointed through a nominations process. As an association with a clear interest in the conduct, quality, funding and wider benefits of publicly-funded research, the SLSA has been invited to nominate individuals for panel membership.

  • The information on this page is also available as a Word document.

The funding bodies are seeking nominations of candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical region. They particularly welcome nominations of candidates from groups previously under-represented on assessment panels, including women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people.

The funding bodies are seeking nominations for candidates to be:

  • additional main panel members (with expertise in leading, commissioning or making use of interdisciplinary research, leading research internationally, or senior level experience in the commissioning, use or wider benefits of research)
  • sub-panel members and assessors (including practising researchers, individuals with expertise in commissioning, applying or making use of research, and interdisciplinary advisers).

When making nominations the SLSA are required to submit a range of information about each nominated individual. We are also required to consider equality and diversity issues and report on how we have taken these into account in our nominations process.

Whilst many of our members are likely to have research submitted to the Law sub-panel (UoA 18), we are aware that there are socio-legal scholars whose research is more likely to be returned to other, allied panels, including UoA 20 (Social Work and Social Policy) and UoA 21 (Sociology). We will consider nominations across these disciplinary boundaries as appropriate.

The SLSA Executive Committee have established the following REF2021 Nominations Process:

  • Any person seeking nomination from the SLSA to any of the REF2021 expert panels outlined above must submit an expression of interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm on Wednesday 29 November 2017.
  • Expressions of interest must include all of the required information for the nomination form (Annex E, Nomination Information). Please note that nominations cannot be considered without this information.
  • Anyone expressing an interest in nomination should also ensure that they have read the information about the roles and workload implications in the ‘Roles and recruitment of expert panels’ (REF 2017/03) document.

Following receipt of expressions of interest in nomination, the SLSA Executive Committee will consider all expressions of interest. Final nomination decisions will be made bearing in mind the need to consider and nominate a wide range of individuals from across the diversity of the socio-legal research community.

2017 prizewinners

Congratulations to the winners of our 2017 book, article and poster prizes.

Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize

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

Hart Prize for Early Career Academics

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

Socio-Legal Theory and History Prize

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

Socio-Legal Article Prize

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

Poster Competition

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


SLSA 2018: call for current topics

The organisers of the SLSA Annual Conference 2018, to be held at Bristol University from 27–29 March 2018, invite members to submit proposals for current topics (formerly termed ‘themes’ in previous years) for the forthcoming conference.

A current topic is a one-off grouping for the purposes of a single conference which reflects a current topic of debate or an issue of emerging importance and which would be expected to attract at least six papers. There will be a maximum of seven current topics for the conference, in addition to the regular streams.

Prospective convenors should send a proposal including:

  • current topic title;
  • a call for papers indicating the scope of the current topic (300 words); and
  • convenor contact details.

Proposals should be sent to the Bristol organisers Devyani Prabhat and Janine Sargoni at slsa-2018@bristol.ac.uk by 6pm on 1 October 2017.

SLSA prize shortlists 2018

The SLSA Exec is delighted to announce the shortlists for this year’s book and article prizes. The winners will be announced at the annual dinner in Bristol on 28 March 2018.

Hart–SLSA Book Prize

Rowland Atkinson and Sarah Blandy (2016) Domestic Fortress: Fear and the new home front, Manchester University Press

Anne Barlow, Rosemary Hunter, Janet Smithson and Jan Ewing (2017) Mapping Paths to Family Justice: Resolving family disputes in neo-liberal times, Palgrave Macmillan

Janine Natalya Clark (2017) Rape, Sexual Violence and Transitional Justice Challenges: Lessons from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Routledge

Hart–SLSA Prize for Early Career Academics

Lydia Hayes (2017) Stories of Care: A labour of law, Palgrave Macmillan

Kathryn McNeilly (2017) Human Rights and Radical Social Transformation: Futurity, alterity, power, Routledge

Theory and History Prize Shortlist 2018

Margaret Davies (2017) Law Unlimited: Materialism, Pluralism and Legal Theory, Routledge

Henrique Carvalho (2017) The Preventive Turn in Criminal Law, Oxford University Press

Yaniv Roznai (2017) Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments, Oxford University Press

Socio-Legal Article Prize

Emily Grabham (2016) ‘Time and technique: the legal lives of the 26-week qualifying period’ 45 (3–4) Economy and Society 379–406

Cheryl Lawther (2017) ‘The truth about loyalty: emotions, ex-combatants and transitioning from the past’ 11(3) International Journal of Transitional Justice 484–504

Marie-Andrée Jacob (2017) ‘The strikethrough: an approach to regulatory writing and professional discipline’ 37(1) Legal Studies 137–161