News: socio-legal publications
This page contains details of socio-legal publications including books, journals, reports, papers and newsletters/bulletins.
- Journals and magazines
- Reports and working/research/discussion papers
- Blogs and other online articles
This blog, entitled 'Demystifying the publishing process: What value do open access book publishers add?' ,consists of two separate parts: the first part discusses quality assurance for open access books, the editorial process and publisher prestige; the second part looks at the production, dissemination and marketing of open access books.
Titles and abstracts are invited for this collection, edited by Karen Brennan and Emma Milne. Please see announcement for full details. Closing date for abstracts: 31 May 2021.
Pensions and Legal Policy: Lessons on the shift from public to private, by Amanda Cooke: 20% discount available
This monograph explores the historical position of pensions law in the UK and the recent influences which have led to the introduction of auto-enrolment and subsequent reforms. Alternative models, such as the US and Australia, are also considered as well as the function of law in bringing about political changes. The question of saving for retirement is of national and international importance and many governments are wrestling with the issue of how to deal with the pension funding crisis. Consequently, political policy has, in many cases, combined with behavioural science to inform new laws which have acted to shift the burden from the state into the private sector. Around the world responsibility is being moved onto individuals and employers as the state retreats from provision of state support in retirement; this book offers a sophisticated analysis of the role of legal intervention to facilitate this shift. See website for details. Use code UG7 at checkout.
Gender and Careers in the Legal Academy, by Ulrike Schultz, Gisela Shaw, Margaret Thornton and Rosemary Auchmuty: 20% discount available
In the past 15 years there has been a marked increase in the international scholarship relating to women in law. The lives and careers of women in legal practice and the judiciary have been extensively documented and critiqued, but the central conundrum remains: does the presence of women make a difference? What has been largely overlooked in the literature is the position of women in the legal academy, although central to the changing culture. To remedy the oversight, an international network of scholars embarked on a comparative study, which resulted in this path-breaking book. The contributors uncover fascinating accounts of the careers of the academic pioneers as well as exploring broader theoretical issues relating to gender and culture. The provocative question as to whether the presence of women makes a difference informs each contribution. See website for details. Use code UG7 at checkout.
Invisible Institutionalisms: Collective reflections on the shadows of legal globalisation, edited by Swethaa S Ballakrishnen and Sara Dezalay: 20% discount available
Taking its cue from theoretical and ideological calls to challenge globalisation as a dynamic of homogenisation – and resistance – as led from, and directed against, the Global North, this volume asks: what can we see when we shift the lens beyond a North–South binary? Based on empirical studies of ‘frontier-zones’ of legal globalisation in India, Pakistan and Latin America, the book adopts an original format. Framed as a relational dialogue between newer as well as more prominent scholars within the field, from various cores through to postcolonial academic peripheries, it questions structural variables in the shadows of legal globalisation and how we as scholars build a space for critique. See website for details. Use code UG7 at checkout.
This book argues that insufficient recognition of new families is a legal problem that needs fixing in light of recent evolutions in family patterns and normative conceptions of ‘family’. People increasingly invest in relationships falling outside the model of the marital family, such as non-conjugal unions of friends or relatives, polyamorous relationships and various religious-based families. Despite this, Western jurisdictions retain the marital family as the relevant basis for allocating family law benefits, rights and obligations.
Through its comparative, interdisciplinary and critical legal method, the book provides scholars, activists and policymakers with conceptual tools to tackle the current invisibility of new families. Further, by advancing legal arguments to enhance the protection of non-conjugal families in courtrooms, the book illuminates the different approaches jurisdictions are likely to take and the hindrances thereof to overcome and debunk stereotypes associated with proper familyhood. See website for details. Use code UG7 at checkout.
Art as an Interface of Law and Justice: Affirmation, disturbance, disruption, by Frans-Willem Korsten: 20% discount available
This book looks at the way in which the ‘call for justice’ is portrayed through art and presents a wide range of texts from film to theatre to essays and novels to interrogate the law. ‘Calls for justice’ may have their positive connotations, but throughout history most have caused annoyance. Art is very well suited to deal with such annoyance, or to provoke it. This study shows how art operates as an interface, here, between two spheres: the larger realm of justice and the more specific system of law. This interface has a double potential. It can make law and justice affirm or productively disturb one another. The book considers the improvement of law and justice to be a global struggle and, whilst the issues dealt with are culture-specific, it argues that the logics introduced are applicable everywhere. See website for details. Use code UG7 at checkout.
Abstracts are invited for this collection, being edited by Pamela Davies, James Heydon, Emma Milne, Kay Peggs and Tanya Wyatt. Please see announcement for full details. Closing date for 200-word abstracts: 31 May 2021.
This book, published by Hart, argues that insufficient recognition of new families is a legal problem that needs fixing in light of recent evolutions in family patterns and normative conceptions of 'family'. People increasingly invest in relationships falling outside the model of the marital family, such as non-conjugal unions of friends or relatives, polyamorous relationships and various religious-based families. Despite this, Western jurisdictions retain the marital family as the relevant basis for allocating family law benefits, rights and obligations. See website for full details. Use code SLSADIS at checkout.
Europe is a popular destination for LGBTQ people seeking to escape discrimination and persecution. Yet, while European institutions have done much to promote the legal equality of sexual minorities and a number of states pride themselves on their acceptance of sexual diversity, the image of European tolerance and the reality faced by LGBTQ migrants and asylum seekers are often quite different. To engage with these conflicting discourses, Queer Migration and Asylum in Europe, published open access by UCL Press, brings together scholars from politics, sociology, urban studies, anthropology and law to analyse how and why queer individuals migrate to or seek asylum in Europe, as well as the legal, social and political frameworks they are forced to navigate to feel at home or to regularise their status in the destination societies. See website for full details.
New book: Access to Justice for Vulnerable and Energy-Poor Consumers: Just energy?, edited by Naomi Creutzfeldt, Chris Gill, Marine Cornelis and Rachel McPherson – 20% discount available
How do ordinary people access justice? This book offers a novel socio-legal approach to access to justice, alternative dispute resolution, vulnerability and energy poverty. It poses an access to justice challenge and rethinks it through a lens that accommodates all affected people, especially those who are currently falling through the system. It raises broader questions about alternative dispute resolution, the need for reform to include more collective approaches, a stronger recognition of the needs of vulnerable people, and a stronger emphasis on delivering social justice. The authors use energy poverty as a site of vulnerability and examine the barriers to justice facing this excluded group. See website for details. Use code SLSADIS at checkout.
The editors – Foluke Adebisi, Suhraiya Jivraj, Ntina Tzouvala and Penelope Andrews – invite chapter contributions for this book. The purpose of this volume is to collate examples of good antiracist/decolonial legal pedagogy. This could be in design or delivery of teaching or any other related activity. The book is intended to be multi-jurisdictional, and the editors particularly welcome contributions from the global south and non-state jurisdictions such as indigenous law. They also welcome non-traditional chapter formats with pedagogical value, as well as contributions from early career academics. The editors plan for the chapters to address teaching substantive areas of law, most especially (but not limited to) the foundational subjects of public law, criminal law, property law (land and equity & trusts) and obligations (contract and tort). Closing date for abstracts (300 words max): 28 May 2021. Please see website for full details.
The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society, edited by Mariana Valverde, Kamari M Clarke, Eve Darian Smith and Prabha Kotiswaran: 20% discount available
This innovative handbook provides a comprehensive, and truly global, overview of the main approaches and themes within law and society scholarship or social-legal studies. This one-volume introduction to academic resources and ideas that are relevant for today’s debates on issues from reproductive justice to climate justice, food security, water conflicts, artificial intelligence, and global financial transactions, this handbook is divided into two sections. The first, ‘Perspectives and Approaches’, accessibly explains a variety of frameworks through which the relationship between law and society is addressed and understood, with emphasis on contemporary perspectives that are relatively new to many socio-legal scholars. The second presents reflections on topics or areas concerning law, justice, and society that are inherently interdisciplinary and that are relevance to current – but also classical – struggles around justice. Informing readers about the lineage of ideas that are used or could be used today for research and activism, the book attends to the full range of local, national and transnational issues in law and society. The authors were carefully chosen to achieve a diverse and non-Eurocentric view of socio-legal studies. This volume will be invaluable for law students, those in inter-disciplinary programmes such as law and society, justice studies and legal studies, and those with interests in law, but based in other social sciences. It will also appeal to general readers interested in questions of justice and rights, including activists and advocates around the world. See website and flyer for further detaisl. Use code FLR40 at checkout. Publication date: 4 March 2021.
This collection of essays analyses how diversity in human identity and disadvantage affects the articulation, realisation, violation and enforcement of human rights. The question arises from the realisation that people, who are severally and severely disadvantaged because of their race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, class etc, often find themselves at the margins of human rights; their condition seldom improved and sometimes even worsened by the rights discourse. How does one make sense of this relationship between the complexity of people’s disadvantage and violation of their human rights? Does the human rights discourse, based on its universal and common values, have tools, methods or theories to capture and respond to the difference in people’s lived experience of rights? Can intersectionality help in that quest? This book published by Palgrave Macmillan seeks to inaugurate this line of inquiry. See website for details. Use code UG6 at checkout.
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Member States, Michal Bobek and Jeremias Adams-Prassl (eds) – 20% discount available
Ten years after the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU became part of binding primary law, and 20 years since its adoption, this volume assess the application of the EU Charter in the member states. How often, and in particular by which actors, is the EU Charter invoked at the national level? In what type of situations is it used? Has the approach of national courts in general, and of constitutional courts in particular, to EU law to EU fundamental rights law changed following the entry into force of the Charter? What sort of interplay does the Charter generate with the national bill of rights and the European Convention? Is the life with the Charter on the national level a harmonious 'praktische Konkordanz' or rather a messy 'ménage à trois'? Published by Palgrave Macmillan. See website for details. Use code UG6 at checkout.
Human Rights Commitments of Islamic States: Sharia, Treaties and Consensus by Paul McDonough – 20% discount available
This book from Palgrave Macmillan examines the legal nature of Islamic states and the human rights they have committed to uphold. It begins with an overview of the political history of Islam, and of Islamic law, focusing primarily on key developments of the first two centuries of Islam. Building on this foundation, the book presents the first study into Islamic constitutions to map the relationship between Sharia and the state in terms of institutions of governance. It then assesses the place of Islamic law in the national legal order of all of today’s Islamic states, before proceeding to a comprehensive analysis of those states’ adherences to the UN human rights treaties, and finally, a set of international human rights declarations made jointly by Islamic states. See website for details. Use code UG6 at checkout.
This innovative book published by Palgrave Macmillan looks at the topic of migration through the prism of law and literature. The author uses a rich mix of novels, short stories, literary realism, human rights and comparative literature to explore the experiences of African migrants and asylum seekers. The book is divided into two. Part one is conceptual and focuses on art activism and the myriad ways in which people have sought to ‘write justice.’ Part two moves from the general to consider the intersections of gender and status focusing on women, LGBTI individuals and children. See website for details. Use code UG6 at checkout.
See the website for Palgrave's guide to five easy steps to get published.
Governing the Society of Competition: Cycling, doping and the law by Martin Hardie: 20% discount available
This book, published by Hart, considers the manner in which the making and implementation of law and governance is changing in the global context. It explores this through a study of the deployment of the global anti-doping apparatus including the World Anti-Doping Code and its institutions, with specific reference to professional cycling, a sport that has been at the forefront of some of the most famous doping cases and controversies in recent years. Critically, it argues that the changes to law and governance are not restricted to sport and anti-doping, but are actually inherent in broader processes associated with neoliberalism and social and behavioural surveillance and affect all aspects of society and its political institutions. See website for details. Use code UG6 at checkout to get 20% discount.
Hart Publishing is offering discounts on a selection of new releases. The offer excluded pre-orders and books priced £125 and over. See press release for details.
Submissions are invited for this special issue of Social Sciences guest-edited by Professor Rosalind Malcolm and Dr Katrien Steenmans. Please see website for details. Closing date: 30 June 2021.
British Academy: call for proposals for a themed volume in the 'Proceedings of the British Academy' series
Conferences will often provide a valuable basis for an edited volume, however themed volumes do not necessarily need to derive from a conference event. The exception to this rule is British Academy Conferences which will automatically lead to a Proceedings volume. Volumes should fit within the discipline of the humanities and social sciences. Proposals should focus on an area of research that is advancing rapidly and will be of general enough interest for our wide readership. The deadlines are:
- 24 February 2021, for notification in late May 2021
- 29 July 2021, for notification in late October 2021
See website for full details.
Medical Decision-Making on Behalf of Young Children, by Imogen Goold et al: 20% discount for SLSA members
In the wake of the Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases, a wide-ranging international conversation was started regarding alternative thresholds for intervention and the different balances that can be made in weighing up the rights and interests of the child, the parent’s rights and responsibilities and the role of medical professionals and the courts. This collection provides a comparative perspective on these issues by bringing together analysis from a range of jurisdictions across Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia. Contextualising the differences and similarities, and drawing out the cultural and social values that inform the approach in different countries, this volume is highly valuable to scholars across jurisdictions, not only to inform their own local debate on how best to navigate such cases, but also to foster inter-jurisdictional debate on the issues. See website for details. Use code UG6 at checkout for 20% discount.
A History of Regulating Working Families: Strains, stereotypes, strategies and solutions, by Nicole Busby and Grace James: 20% discount for SLSA members
Families in market economies have long been confronted by the demands of participating in paid work and providing care. Across Europe the social, economic and political environment within which families do so has been subject to substantial change in the post-World War II era and governments have come under increasing pressure to engage with this important area of public policy. In the UK, as elsewhere, the tensions which lie at the heart of the paid work/unpaid care conflict remain unresolved posing substantial difficulties for all of law’s subjects both as carers and as the recipients of care. What seems like a relatively simple goal – to enable families to better balance care-giving and paid employment – has been subject to and shaped by shifting priorities over time leading to a variety of often conflicting policy approaches.
This book critiques how working families in the UK have been subject to regulation. It has two aims:
- To chart 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.
- To suggest 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 UG6 at checkout for 20% discount.
Towards Decolonising the University: A kaleidoscope for empowered action, by Decolonise University of Kent Collective, edited by Dave S P Thomas and Suhraiya Jivraj
As part of the aim to amplify those otherwise silenced voices, particularly the range of experiences of students of colour in the academy, this collection, published by Counterpress, is ground-breaking in embodying what has been an ostensible and deliberate collaboration and co-production of knowledge between students and academics of colour. It was inspired by an institutionally funded research project in 2018–2019, ‘Decolonise the Curriculum’, at the University of Kent and presents a Kaleidoscope for Decolonising a university.
It operationalises conceptual thinking, fed into expressions of national and international student-led movements as well as others in the UK and elsewhere including: Why is my curriculum White?; Decolonise SOAS; Reclaim Harvard Law School (RHLS); #LeopoldMustFallQM; and Why isn’t my professor Black? What they have in common is that they seek to unveil colonialism, racism, sexism, ageism and its intersectional inequalities with other (protected) characteristics, whilst also doing the structural labour towards the utopia of dismantling white supremacy in the academy.
The success of this project lies in the unearthing of different formations of inequality in the academy. The perspectives presented in this book all share a common theme of decolonisation of the university. These are some of the reverberations that concern us. Our sincere hope is that it will inspire students to enact change no matter how small or large as part of their empowerment including hold their institutions to account to eliminate inequality and injustice in all formats. See website for further details.
International Journal of Law in Context: Special Issue in Celebration of Peter Fitzpatrick and his Scholarship
This special issue celebrating the life and work of Peter Fitzpatrick is guest edited by David Sugarman and Abdul Paliwala with contributions from William Twining, Eve Darian-Smith, Sundhya Pahuja, George Pavlich, Upendra Baxi, Patricia Tuitt, Sara Ramshaw and Ben Golder. See full table of contents for details and journal website.
Journal of the British Academy: 'Repositioning of Africa in Knowledge Production: Shaking off Historical Stigmas' – special issue
The British Academy has published this special issue edited by by Dr Evelyn Chivevo Garwe and Writing Workshops grant recipient Dr Juliet Thondhlana. Themes covered are:
- Decolonising Africa’s research, innovation and development
- Develop robust internationalised higher education and quality assurance institutions
- Inclusive education and knowledge production
See website for details.
New open access online journal from Bristol University Press: Global Social Challenges Journal – call for papers
Bristol University Press has announced the call for papers for its first fully open access journal: Global Social Challenges Journal. Please see announcement for full details. The first issue will be published in 2022.
The deadline for submissions for the inaugural edition of the open access Journal of Legal Research Methodology by Northumbria journals has been extended to 14 May 2021. The editors invite submissions for our inaugural special edition on the topic of 'Virtual Legal Research Methodology'. To find out more about the journal and to make a submission please visit the website.
The Journal of the British Academy, which has previously published articles mainly on an invitation-only basis, is now welcoming submissions from across the British Academy’s funded research and policy programmes for the first time. The Journal is inviting submissions from any of the British Academy’s programmes and activities to enable a greater range of researchers at different career stages, including early-career researchers, to contribute. The editors welcome high-quality articles on topics of political, social and cultural importance, which may include shorter ‘commentary’ pieces and articles featuring dialogues between two or more academics. See website for full detail.
Special Issue of feminists@law: 'The future of legal gender: Exploring the feminist politics of decertification' – now published
This special issue is based on research from the ESRC-funded project, 'The future of legal gender' and includes five papers from project researchers plus 10 commentaries by socio-legal and gender studies scholars. See website for full details: feminists@law is an open access online journal.
'Understanding Hate Speech and Free Speech: Variable and Multidimensional Perspectives': Special Issue – International Journal of Law, Language and Discourse: call for abstracts
Abstracts are invited for the above special issue guest-edited by Ruth Breeze and Anne Wagner. Please see announcement for details. Closing date: 1 May 2021.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The trust has published the February 2021 issue of its newsletter.
This project, based at UCL's Constitution Unit, is examining how any future referendum on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland would be best designed and conducted. Full details, including the interim report are available on the website.
Vereinigung für Recht und Gesellschaft (German Association for Law and Society): Socio-Legal Newsletter No 34
The latest newsletter from the German Association for Law and Society contains the latest news on the activities of our socio-legal colleagues in Germany.
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.
The Nuffield Foundation newsletter has all the latest news on the organisation's projects and activities.
The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society has published its latest newsletter about its recent events, publications and other activities.
The latest newsletter from JUSTICE is now available.
The latest LERN Newsletter is now available including details of LERN activities and events.
Follow the link for the latest news from the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, SUNY Buffalo Law School.
Download the latest issue of the Transnational Law Institute's newsletter.
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.
The AHRC has published its latest News Alert.
The latest issue of the BA International Newsletter is now available.
The latest newsletter from the Campaign for Social Science (CSS) has now been published: see the website.
JUSTICE submitted a response to the review's call for evidence on 3 March 2021. See website for full details.
A coalition of criminal justice and race equality organisations have written to the Prime Minster warning that the government’s plans for policing and sentencing will further entrench racial inequality in the criminal justice system. See website for details and text of the open letter.
When a catastrophic event or systemic failure results in death or injury, the justice system must provide a framework to understand what happened and to prevent recurrence. This Working Party seeks to address the erosion of public trust in the response of the justice system to deaths giving rise to public concern. See website for details.
This Working Party was established to examine the causes of disproportionality in the youth justice system of England and Wales. See website for details of the report.
As part of the work the Ada Lovelace Institute is doing to explore the evidence, risks and benefits of public and private sector vaccine passports and COVID status apps, it has convened a group of experts to rapidly deliberate their roll-out. This review summarises the findings and recommendations of the group, chaired by Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, and made up of multidisciplinary experts from the fields of immunology, epidemiology, sociology, international development, behavioural science, law, medical history, public health, ethics and technical system design. See website for details.
Uncovering Private Family Law: Who’s coming to court in England?, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory Report
A new report from the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory reveals that separated parents in England who depend on the family courts to resolve private disputes over child arrangements are likely to live in the country’s most deprived areas. See website for details.
The Sentencing Council has published revised sentencing guidelines for drugs offences in England and Wales following consultation to reflect the changing nature of offending, the increased seriousness of the offences, emerging drugs and new offences in psychoactive substances. See announcement for details.
The 2020/21 edition of JRF’s annual report on the nature and scale of poverty across the UK and how it affects people struggling to stay afloat has just been published. See website for details.
The Sentencing Council has published eight new guidelines to be used by the Crown Court and magistrates’ courts in England and Wales when sentencing firearms offences, following consultation. The new guidelines will come into effect on 1 January 2021. See press release for details.
In the latest flagship IFS ‘Annual Report on Education Spending in England’, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, researchers look at the challenges posed by COVID-19 for the education sector. See website for details.
Just 13% of people in England feel they ‘fully understand’ the current COVID-19 lockdown rules, with half of adults (51%) in the country saying they understand ‘the majority’ of them, find UCL researchers as part of the COVID-19 Social Study. See website for further details.
The UK has benefited significantly from the Erasmus programme. Following its withdrawal from the EU, the UK government has committed to seeking association to the next Erasmus programme. This briefing underlines the benefits of UK participation to the Erasmus programme and draws out lessons learned and past patterns and potential future for associating to the Erasmus programme: see website to download the briefing document.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Law Commission of England and Wales has published its report on Simplification of the Immigration Rules. See website for details.
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.
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.