News: socio-legal publications


This page contains details of socio-legal publications including books, journals, reports, papers and newsletters/bulletins.

If you would like your publication included on this page, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Latest ...

Law Commission Reports on The Future of Home Ownership 

Sentencing Council: Guidelines for sentencing offenders with mental disorders


Books

New book series – Routledge Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice and Procedure: call for proposals 

This series deals with aspects of criminal justice and procedure in both practical and theoretical terms. Books may examine issues such as the use of police powers, the rights of the suspect during the police investigation, access to legal advice and the trial process. Many jurisdictions have seen substantial changes to their criminal justice systems which often have ramifications for due process safeguards. From a theoretical standpoint, the series invites analyses of the way in which different jurisdictions make changes to their justice systems, highlighting and examining the ramifications of such changes. The series welcomes contributions from scholars from all jurisdictions thereby creating an opportunity for novel cross-jurisdictional scholarly collaboration.

The series will offer books in the following formats: 

  • monographs
  • focus titles (between 20,000–50,000 words)
  • edited collections

    Full details regarding proposals can be found on the website. If you have a proposal you would like to discuss, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

‘Queering Asylum in Europe: A Survey Report’, published by SOGICA

The ERC-funded SOGICA project, based at the University of Sussex (UK), published ‘Queering Asylum in Europe: A Survey Report’. This report discusses the data gathered through two surveys that explored the social and legal experiences of people across Europe claiming international protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). The final recommendations of the project have also been launched, in versions tailored to Germany, Italy, UK and the European Union. The authors are Vítor Lopes Andrade, Carmelo Danisi, Moira Dustin, Nuno Ferreira and Nina Held. 

How to Engage with Policy Makers: A guide for academics in the arts and humanities, published by the AHRC and Institute for Government

The AHRC and the Institute for Government have been working in partnership for six years on the Engaging with Government programme – a three-day course for researchers in the arts and humanities. This programme helps academics develop the knowledge and skills they need to engage effectively with government and parliamentary bodies at all levels, along with the other organisations involved in the policy-making process. This guide brings together some of the huge amount of expertise gained from participants, who now form an active alumni network brimming with knowledge about how to engage with policy in practice. See website to download this free guide.

Poetry and Covid: A project funded by the AHRC, University of Plymouth, and Nottingham Trent University: submit a poem

What role is poetry playing during COVID-19? Each month, the 'Poetry and Covid' project will be featuring new writing from some of the world’s leading poets as they think through their predicaments, find, in language, a way to connect to others, offer and seek solace and consolation. How has COVID-19 and lockdown affected you? You are invited to join the conversation, to submit your own poems or to nominate others which speak to the idea of contemporary and/or historical pandemics. See website for details.

New and forthcoming human rights titles from Intersentia: 20% discount available

The new membership discount from Intersentia is redeemable against this range of new and forthcoming human rights titles and all other English language book. Use code SLSA20 at checkout.

Palgrave Macmillan summer sale ends today: 30% discount available Networks

The offer includes free ebook access with print orders and free shipping. See website for details. Use code SUMMER20.

Special offer from Hart: 30% off print and 45% of ebooks from a selection of hundreds of new and old titles

Hart publishing are offering substantial discounts on a wide range of print and ebooks. See website for details.

New book: A History of Regulating Working Families: Strains, stereotypes, strategies and solutions, by Nicole Busby and Grace James

Published by Hart, this book critiques how working families in the UK have been subject to regulation. It charts the development of the UK's law and policy framework by focusing on the post-war era and the growth and decline of the welfare state, considering a longer historical trajectory where appropriate. The authors favour an alternative policy approach based on Martha Fineman's vulnerability theory in which the vulnerable subject replaces the liberal subject as the focus of legal intervention. This reorientation enables a more inclusive and cohesive policy approach and has great potential to contribute to the reconciliation of the unresolved conflict between paid work and care-giving. See website for details. Use code SLSADIS at checkout.

Spaces of Care edited by Loraine Gelsthorp et al: 20% discount available

The collection from Hart examines the ways in which the emerging interdisciplinary study of care provokes a reassessment of the connections and disjuncture between care and governance, ethics, and public, personal and professional identities.  See website for full details. Use code HE6 at checkout to claim 20% discount.

Time, Law, and Change: An Interdisciplinary Study edited by Sofia Ranchordás and Yaniv Roznai: 20% discount available

Offering a unique perspective on an overlooked subject – the relationship between time, change, and lawmaking – this edited collection from Hart brings together world-leading experts to consider how time considerations and social, political and technological change affect the legislative process, the interpretation of laws, the definition of the powers of the government and the ability of legal orders to promote innovation. See website for full details. Use code HE6 at checkout to claim 20% discount.

Re-Inventing Labour Law Enforcement: A Socio-Legal Analysis by Louise Munkholm: 20% discount available

This monograph published by Hart investigates current issues in labour law enforcement from a socio-legal perspective. It analyses how local Italian enforcement actors promote the protection of workers in Prato – a city that in recent decades has seen a significant influx of Chinese migrants who run small workshops as part of the local clothing industry. Many of the Chinese firms in Prato fail to live up to core labour standards, such as maximum working hours, health and safety at work and payment of social security contributions. The book analyses the strategies and practices employed by three local enforcement actors (labour inspectors, labour unionists and a new type of labour law consultant) in their efforts to assist Chinese firms in improving their level of labour law compliance. See website for full details. Use code HE6 at checkout to claim 20% discount.

Access to Justice for the Chinese Consumer: Handling Consumer Disputes in Contemporary China by Ling Zhou: 20% discount available

Published by Hart, this book offers a socio-legal exploration of localised consumer complaint processing and dispute resolution in the People’s Republic of China – now the second largest consumer market in the world – and the experiences of both ordinary and ‘professional’ consumers. See website for full details. Use code HE6 at checkout to claim 20% discount.

Sentencing Rape: A Comparative Analysis by Graeme Brown: 20% discount available

Published by Hart, this book presents an in-depth comparative study of sentencing practice for rape in six common law jurisdictions: England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. It provides a thorough review of the medical literature on the physical and psychological effects of rape, the legal and philosophical literature on the seriousness of the offence, and the victim’s role in sentencing. Given the increasingly common practice of perpetrators using mobile and online technologies to film or photograph the commission of sexual offences, the book examines recent socio-legal research on technology-facilitated sexual violence and considers the implications for sentencing. See website for full details. Use code HE6 at checkout to claim 20% discount.

Constitutional Idolatry and Democracy: Challenging the infatuation with writtenness, by Brian Christopher Jones: 35% discount available

Published by Edward Elgar, Constitutional Idolatry and Democracy investigates the increasingly important subject of constitutional idolatry and its effects on democracy. Focused around whether the UK should draft a single written constitution, it suggests that constitutions have been drastically and persistently over-sold throughout the years, and that their wider importance and effects are not nearly as significant as constitutional advocates maintain. Chapters analyse whether written constitutions can educate the citizenry, invigorate voter turnout, or deliver ‘We the People’ sovereignty. This volume will be published in June 2020. See website for details. SLSA members can claim a 35% discount: use code BCJO35 at checkout.

The Director's Series 2020/21 Law and Humanities in a Pandemic: call for papers for special issue and or edited collection

Applications are invited for this Series from IALS. Please see website for details. Closing date: 30 June 2020.

Assets, Crimes and the State: Innovation in 21st century legal responses, by Katie Benson, Colin King, Clive Walker: 20% discount available

Organised crime, corruption and terrorism are considered to pose significant and unrelenting threats to the integrity, security, and stability of contemporary societies. Alongside traditional criminal enforcement responses, strategies focused on following the money trail of such crimes have become increasingly prevalent. These strategies include anti-money laundering measures to prevent ‘dirty money’ from infiltrating the legitimate economy, proceeds of crime powers to target the accumulated assets derived from crime, and counter-terrorist financing measures to prevent ‘clean’ money from being used for terrorist purposes.

Publised by Routledge, this collection brings together 17 emerging researchers in the fields of anti-money laundering, proceeds of crime, counter-terrorist financing and corruption to offer critical analyses of contemporary anti-assets strategies and state responses to a range of financial crimes. The chapters focus on innovative anti-financial crime measures and assemblages of governance that have become a feature of late modernity and on the ways in which individual nation states have responded to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements in light of their specific social, political, and economic contexts. This collection draws on perspectives from law, criminology, sociology, politics, and other disciplines. It adopts a much-needed international approach, focusing not only on expected jurisdictions, such as the USA and UK, but also on analysis from countries such as Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, and Nigeria. The authors stand out for their fresh and original research, which places them at the cutting edge of the subject.

This book provides a comprehensive, insightful, and original study of an important and developing field for academics, students, practitioners, and policymakers in multiple jurisdictions.See website for details. SLSA members can use code DEW09 to receive a 20% discount.

Call for proposals – Leading Works in Law Series

The Leading Works in Law series, published by Routledge, explores the development of particular areas of law by reference to their ‘leading works’. Each book asks scholars in the field to select and analyse a ‘leading work’ and how it has or should have impacted upon the development of that area of law.

The first book in the series has already been published on Leading Works in Law and Religion (note that SLSA members can claim a 20% discount until 30 April using code DEW09) and books are under contract on Legal Ethics, Public Law, Law and Social Justice and Family Law.

Editors are sought for volumes on any other area of law. If you are interested or have any queries then please email the series editor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law (2020) Chris Ashford and Alexander Maine (eds): 25% discount now available

This innovative and thought-provoking Research Handbook, published by Edward Elgar, explores not only current debates in the area of gender, sexuality and the law but also points the way for future socio-legal research and scholarship. It presents wide-ranging insights and debates from across the globe, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia, with contributions from leading scholars and activists alongside exciting emergent voices.

Chapters address a range of current arguments and issues, providing an enhanced theoretical framework and evolving understanding from a variety of feminist and queer perspectives. Relationship recognition debates and LGBT activism and scholarship are examined and discussed, as well as questions around bodily autonomy, kink identities, pornography and healthcare access rights. Research exploring the lived experiences of people facing challenges such as domestic violence, asylum, femicide and hate crime is also assessed.

This Research Handbook will be an invaluable resource for researchers and students in the fields of law, sexuality and gender, as well as family studies, sociology, media and cultural studies, and medicine. Activists will also benefit from its scholarly insight into key policy debates and future strategy. See website for details. Use code SLSA25 for a 25% discount.

Routledge Cultural Heritage in International Law Book Series: call for book proposals

Proposals are invited for this book series from Routledge, edited by Professor Valentina Vadi. Please see announcement for full details.

Open Book Series from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies: call for submissions

OBserving Law – the IALS Open Book Service for Law is an open access book publishing initiative developed with the School of Advanced Study and University of London Press. The University of London Press builds on a century of publishing tradition by disseminating distinctive scholarship at the forefront of the humanities. Based at the School of Advanced Study, the press seeks to facilitate collaborative, inclusive, open access, scholar-led interchange, within and beyond the academy. These open access books are free to read online and download in pdf format for anyone in the world to use in the Humanities Digital Library. See website for full details and submissions process. 

Vernon Press: Call for book and translation proposals: Bridging Language and Scholarship (BLS)

Vernon Press invites original book proposals and translation proposals for previously published books (from English to Spanish or Spanish to English) for as part of our Bridging Language and Scholarship (BLS) initiative. Proposals for both edited volumes and single-author books in a range of disciplines are welcome. See website for details.

Book series: Law and Visual Jurisprudence - call for proposals

Proposals are invited for this series, published by Springer and edited by Sarah Marusek and Anne Wagner. Please see flyer for full details.

Routledge series: Global Law and Sustainable Development and Transnational Law and Governance – call for book proposals

Series editor Paolo Davide Farah invites proposals for the above two Routledge book series in association with gLAWcal (Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development). Please see flyer and website for details.

Law, Society, Policy: book series from Bristol University Press edited by Rosie Harding – call for proposals

'Law, Society, Policy' seeks to offer a outlet for high-quality, socio-legal research monographs and edited collections with the potential for policy impact. The series will be international in scope, engaging with domestic, international and global legal and regulatory frameworks. It will be open to scholars engaging with any area of law, provided their focus is grounded in social and policy concerns. Please see website for details.

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Journals and magazines

Feminist Legal Studies: Call for reflections on COVID-19 

The current and ongoing effects of COVID-19 are laying bare inequalities that feminist scholarship has consistently highlighted and resisted. Feminist Legal Studies invites submissions on COVID-19 for its Reflections section, which provides the space for shorter creative content pieces on current and pressing feminist legal issues. See announcement for details. To be in time for the next issue, Reflections should be submitted by the middle of August 2020, but contributions are welcomed on an ongoing basis at any time.

International Journal of Law in Context: news and call for papers

The International Journal of Law in Context has been publishing as normal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and welcomes your submissions. Upcoming content includes special issues on Jurisdictional Perspectives on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Access to Justice, Migrants’ Rights, LPS at the Margins and Stigmatization, Identities and the Law: Asian and Comparative Perspectives. The journal is also celebrating 50 years of the Cambridge Law in Context book series with a Reviews Symposium on William Twining’s Jurist in Context. The journal also has space for regular articles and all accepted content will publish online ahead of print.

Journal of Legal Research Methodology: call for peer reviewers, board members and submissions

Northumbria Journals, Northumbria University, are pleased to announce the creation of a new, international, open-access, peer-reviewed journal: the Journal of Legal Research Methodology (JLRM). The overarching aim of the JLRM is to provide an outlet for ‘self-conscious reflection’ of the diverse range of methods employed in legal research. The JLRM publishes articles related to any kind of legal research methodology, including novel or experimental, from any perspective.

The journal also introduces the new concept of file drawer papers: papers of up to 10,000 words in length confronting the ‘file drawer problem’. Did you abandon a research project or have papers rejected due to flaws with your methodological approach? Reflective papers are invited in which you ‘self-review’ your own unpublished work, especially if you have altered your methodological approach.

This is a call for papers for the inaugural edition of the journal – planned for early 2021. The JLRM publishes discursive or research articles up to 10,000 words in length, as well as review articles up to 5000 words in length. The editors also seek expressions of interest to join the pool of reviewers for this new journal. Please visit the website for further information on the JLRM and contact the Managing Editor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss.

Special issue of Law and Critique on the work of Peter Fitzpatrick: call for papers 

Expressions of interest are invited for this special issue of Law and Critique, co-edited by Dr Ben Golder and Dr Sara Ramshaw. Please see the call for papers: closing date for expressions of interest 1 August 2020.

Journal of the British Academy: Special issue on 'Memories of violence' 

This collection of papers was produced following the first Knowledge Frontiers Symposium, which the British Academy hosted in partnership with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, on the broad theme of ‘violence’. See website to view the whole issue.

Critical Discourse Studies: special edition on 'The Law and Critical Discourse Studies' – call for papers

Papers are invited for this special issue, edited by Prof Le Cheng, Zhejiang University, People’s Republic of China Prof David Machin, Zhejiang University, People’s Republic of China. See announcement for full details. Deadlines for abstracts: 1 September 2020

Cambridge University Press to publish American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics' journals 

Cambridge University Press and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME) have announced that beginning in January 2021 Cambridge University Press will publish the ASLME’s respected multidisciplinary journals: the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics and the American Journal of Law & Medicine. See website for full details.

International Journal of Discrimination and the Law: special issue on ‘Covid-19: Lessons for and from Vulnerability Theory’ – call for papers

The International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, edited by Nicole Busby and Grace James, is inviting papers for this special issue with Special Guest Editor Martha Albertson Fineman. Contributions are welcome which explore experiences of the pandemic within a single state, geographical region or through a comparative approach and which consider the impact of the pandemic on one area of law and/or policy (for example, family law, social security law, medical law, economic law, employment law, etc) or across legal and policy frameworks more generally. The submissions deadline is 31 October 2020 and manuscripts will be considered as they are received. See the announcement for further details.

Warning notice from Journal of Law and Society

The editor of the Journal of Law and Society would like SLSA members to note that the journal has absolutely no connection whatsoever with the similarly named International Journal of Law and Society. The latter has recently been inviting prominent socio-legal scholars to join its boards and/or to contribute content – in at least one instance citing a specific publication already published in a reputable journal. The Journal of Law and Society is published by Wiley. The editor is Philip Thomas.

Expanded access to JSTOR during COVID-19 crisis

Due to the ongoing crisis, JSTOR has extended access to unlicensed archive collections to institutions who've opted in through 31 December 2020.

Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman: first issue published

Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman's core contributor base and readership will be in the social sciences, arts and humanities although often social and political thought will be applied to aspects of the natural or ‘hard’ sciences. This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. See website for details.

Journal of Law and Society: Operating as 'normal'

The Journal of Law and Society has released the following statement relating to the current crisis:

See the journal's website for further details.

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique and Comparative Legilinguistics: call for papers for 3 COVID-19 special issues 

See website for details. Closing date: 10 December 2021

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law: special Issue on 'Semiotic Perspectives on Environment, Forestry, Fishery, Hunting and Law' – call for papers

Guest Editors: Dariusz Gwiazdowicz, Aleksandra Matulewska and Anne Wagner

Please see announcement for details. Closing date: 10 February 2021.

Coimbra Journal for Legal Studies: special issue on 'Law and the Janus-faced morality of political correctness' – call for papers

Papers are invited for the above special issue. Please see announcement for full details. Closing date: 15 September 2020.

Journal of Social Security Law: now on Twitter

The Journal of Social Security Law is now on Twitter @JSocialSecurity. The account is run by Professor Gráinne McKeever @McKeeverGrainne, the joint editor of the Journal with Professor Neville Harris, and will be focused on promoting the work of academics and practitioners who publish there, to bring social security legal analysis to a wider audience. The Journal provides expert coverage and analysis of the latest developments in law, policy and practice across the field of social security law, covering the wide range of welfare benefits and tax credits in the UK and internationally, encompassing socio-economic rights and administrative justice in relation to social security entitlement. Journal articles are available online through Westlaw and ThompsonReuters but published authors will also be encouraged to link to their SSRN pages, where pre-edited manuscripts can be uploaded and disseminated via the Journal’s Twitter account.

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law: special issue on 'Heritage, Law and Discourse: A Triadic Dimension in Protection, Regulation and Identity' – call for papers

Submissions are invited for this special issue. See website for details. Call closes: late April 2020.

Anthropocenes: Human, inhuman, posthuman: call for papers – new journal launch January 2020

Submissions are invited for this new journal launching in January. Please see website for details.

New article: 'States of legal denial: how the state in Myanmar uses law to exclude the Rohingya', by Melissa Crouch  – 50 free downloads available

Published in December 2019 in the Journal of Contemporary Asia. Follow this link to download the article for free.

Mediation Theory and Practice, the journal of the College of Mediators: call for papers

Submissions are invited for the next issue of the journal of Mediation Theory and Practice. Please see website for details. This is an open call with no closing date.

Journal of Law and Society: Winter 2020 issue REF guidelines

The REF 2020 publication deadline will be of significance to some scholars. The Journal of Law and Society Board has decided to accommodate accepted articles for the Winter 2020 issue in the following manner. Early View of accepted articles will ensure they appear within the stated REF deadline. For those who wish to store their article for the subsequent REF then Early View will not occur so that the article will be 'published' in December 2020. See the website for full details and author guidelines.

International Journal of Discrimination and the Law: call for papers

The editor and editorial board of the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law welcome contributions that meet the journal’s orientation as an international journal encompassing a wide range of areas encompassing anti-discrimination and equality law and human rights, including race and sex discrimination, the treatment of asylum-seekers and refugees, issues of migration and nationality, discrimination on the grounds of disability, gender identity, sexual or political orientation, age and ill-health, in relation to access to employment, housing, education and other services. The journal publishes original research and welcomes papers from scholars at all career stages and from practitioners. Please contact the Editor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you have any queries regarding submission to the journal.

Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly: now available via LexisNexis – call for papers and special issue proposals

The Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, a leading law journal since it was established in 1936, is delighted to announce that all issues from 2019 will now be disseminated via LexisNexis.

If you have an excellent paper, or note or commentary, that makes a significant contribution to legal studies, contact the Chief Editor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., at  or via @NILegalQ, to discuss submitting a paper. If accepted after successful peer review your piece will also be disseminated via LexisNexis. Proposals for special issues are also welcome.

The Chief Editor invites submissions of full-length articles (approx 10,000 words) in any area of law, plus shorter items (approx 2000 words) on ‘Notes and commentaries’. All submissions are subject to review, but the editorial board seeks to ensure that articles are reviewed and published within a reasonable period. The Chief Editor also invites submissions of proposals for special issues. See the website for further details. 

For further information, please see the ‘For authors’ page on the website. This is an open call with no cut-off date.

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Newsletters and electronic bulletins

Leverhulme Trust: Annual Review 2019

In addition to a financial overview and full list of grants awarded, the Annual Review highlights the breadth and significance of the research supported, with brief accounts of over twenty projects funded during the year. Interviews with past winners of the Research Leadership Awards give an insight into the investment made in teams tackling distinctive research problems. Hard copies will be available in September 2020.

Nuffield Foundation: latest newsletter

The Nuffield Foundation newsletter has all the latest news on the organisation's projects and activities.

Foundation for Law, Justice and Society: latest newsletter

The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society has published its latest newsletter about its recent events, publications and other activities.

JUSTICE: latest newsletter

The latest newsletter from JUSTICE is now available.

Legal Education Research Network Newseltter

The latest LERN Newsletter is now available including details of LERN activities and events.

Baldy Center Newsletter

Follow the link for the latest news from the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, SUNY Buffalo Law School.

Transnational Law Institute, Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London

Download the latest issue of the Transnational Law Institute's newsletter.

 Research Methods Bulletin

The latest issue of the NCRM  Research Methods Bulletin is now available. If you are planning to go on an National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) training course, you may be eligible for SLSA funding.

Latest AHRC News: February 2020

The AHRC has published its latest News Alert

British Academy newsletters

The latest issue of the BA International Newsletter is now available. 

Campaign for Social Sciences latest newsletter

The latest newsletter from the Campaign for Social Science (CSS) has now been published: see the website.

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Reports, guidelines and working/research/discussion papers

Law Commission Reports on The Future of Home Ownership 

The Law Commission has published three reports setting out recommendations for the reform of the law of residential leasehold and commonhold:

  • Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease
  • Leasehold home ownership: exercising the right to manage
  • Reinvigorating commonhold: the alternative to leasehold ownership

The Law Commission has have also published an overall summary explaining the future of home ownership after reform and of how its recommended reforms fit with government’s proposed reforms. Summaries of the reports, the reports themselves, and other accompanying documents, can also be found on the website.

Sentencing Council: Guidelines for sentencing offenders with mental disorders

Judges and magistrates across England and Wales will have a new guideline for sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders or neurological impairments from 1 October 2020. See website for details.

Sexual Consent in Northern Ireland: two QUB Briefing Papers

These two briefing papers by Eithne Dowds are entitled 'Sexual Consent in Northern Ireland: The social and legal dimensions' and 'Reforming Sexual Consent in Northern Ireland: Reflections on "Reasonable belief"'. The first gives background detail and explains key concepts; the second paper dives into the legal framework, both within NI and elsewhere, to provide a better foundation for thinking through legal reform. Both papers contain the same recommendations. This research was funded by the SLSA Grants Scheme.

Exploring the case for Virtual Jury Trials during the COVID-19 Crisis: An evaluation of a pilot study conducted by JUSTICE

On 23 March all new trials were suspended, due to fears that they may contribute to the spread of COVID-19. JUSTICE has a number of concerns about this. For those remanded in prison, it means an indefinite period in which their liberty is being restricted without a determination of guilt. For those remanded on bail, it means increased uncertainty and the inability to make plans for the future. For victims, it means a long wait for justice and a lack of closure. Moreover, it means a rise in the backlog that criminal courts were already struggling with, delaying justice far beyond the lifting of restrictions, which will not be for some time. The same is true of civil and family court trials. In collaboration with Corker Binning solicitors and AVMI, the audio visual solutions company, JUSTICE have been testing whether virtual jury trials are possible using a video platform already utilised in the courts and which can be accessed from home computers. They have commissioned a report by Professor Linda Mulcahy, Centre for Socio-legal Studies, Oxford University, and Dr Emma Rowden, School of Architecture, Oxford Brooks University, to independently evaluate the initiative. The report, which can be found here, considers how well the technology worked in the virtual trials; compares the conduct of the trial with traditional face-to-face hearings; considers whether there are any benefits to virtual trials; appraises whether there were any problems that arose which might give cause for a legal challenge; and evaluates what lessons might be learnt from the two virtual trials conducted to date. It concludes that there are still a number of technical difficulties to overcome and that we should be concerned that the digitally excluded and vulnerable may not be able to access or use the systems available. Despite these difficulties, it is argued in the report that there were also some ways in which virtual trials improved on face-to-face interactions in courtrooms, including the democratising impact of lay participants being given comparable space to others in the virtual courtroom and being able to see everyone more clearly.

Law Commission: Final Report on Electoral Law

Electoral law in the UK is spread across 17 statutes and some 30 sets of regulations. It has become increasingly complex and fragmented; it is difficult to access, apply, and update. Much of the law is rooted in nineteenth century language and practice and doesn’t reflect modern electoral administration. The electoral law reform project is part of the Law Commission for England and Wales’ Eleventh Programme of Law Reform published on 19 July 2011. See website for further details and to download report.

New report: Delivering Dispute Resolution: Recent review on the resolution of disputes in England and Wales

This report summarises the main points of two recent reviews on the resolution of disputes in England and Wales. One is a study by Professor Christopher Hodges and the other is a Report for the Welsh Government chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Published by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society. See website for details and to download the report.

Law Commission report on Simplification of the Immigration Rules: now published

The Law Commission of England and Wales has published its report on Simplification of the Immigration Rules. See website for details.

Law Commission: Leasehold Enfranchisement report published 

The Law Commission of England and Wales published its report on valuation in enfranchisement (Report on Options to Reduce the Price Payable) on 9 January 2020. Please see website for details.

City Reports on International Law: ongoing call for contributions

Abstracts are invited for city reports for inclusion in the Report of the Study Group to the International Law Association Kyoto conference in 2020. Please see attachment and website for details. 

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Other

Joseph Rowntree Foundation: COVID-19 – The keyworker diaries

The immense pressures of lockdown for the families of low-paid key workers have been brought into sharp focus in a unique project. Working with the journalist Sharon Hendry, JRF asked four families to keep personal diaries for two weeks in the early days of the pandemic. See website for details.

 

 

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