Socio-legal news

Welcome to the news section of the SLSA website. This area is divided into the following categories:

If you would like an item added to the news section, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New for week ending 13 May 2021

SLSA events and co-sponsored events

Decolonising the Criminal Question: Colonial legacies, contemporary problems, Warwick

Other events

Immigration Law and Policy, Border Control and Migrant Deaths, Berlin: call for papers

Sheffield University Law School Early Career Researcher’s workshop: online

Public Intellectual: The life of a citizen pilgrim: online from QMUL International State Crime Initiative

Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein talk to Angela Duckworth about Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment: the Hay Festival online

AHRC Pitching your Research to the Media Webinar

BA & Nuffield Foundation: Understanding Communities pre-application deadline webinar


Call for chapters/expressions of interest: Leading Works in Law and Anthropology

Palgrave Macmillan: 'Demystifying the publishing process' two-part blog

International Journal of Law in Context: Special Issue in Celebration of Peter Fitzpatrick and his Scholarship

Research and funding

AHRC Research in Film Awards: now open for 2021 entries

Trans-Atlantic Platform: Recovery, renewal and resilience in a post-pandemic world: open for applications


Sentencing Council: Sexual offences guideline – consultation


Dulverton legal fellow, JUSTICE

JUSTICE invites applications for a paid Fellowship funded by the Dulverton Trust. This fellowship is specifically targeted at graduates or current students in law or criminology with personal experience as a defendant in the criminal justice system, and is open to former prisoners and those currently serving in a Category D prison. Please see website for details. Closing date: 31 May 2021

Funded PhD studentship, Queen's University Belfast

Queen's University Belfast School of Law is delighted to announce a PhD studentship, funded as a Collaborative Studentship by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and the Department of Justice (DoJ). The successful candidate will research the topic of ‘Sexual History Evidence in Northern Ireland Trials: Prevalence, Impact and Reform’, spending part of their time on placement at DoJ as an integral part of their research. The studentship will commence in October 2021. Please see annoucement for full details. Closing date: 31 May 2021.

Digital (virtual) fellowships, Kate Hamburger Kolleg

Applications are invited for the above fellowships. Closing date: 30 April 2021. See announcement for details.

Virtual Knowledge Frontiers Symposium: call for participants

The British Academy and the Polish Academy of Sciences are inviting applications for early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences to participate in a virtual Knowledge Frontiers Symposium on the broad theme of 'Just Transitions'. See announcement for details. Closing date: 21 July 2021.

Two PhD opportunities, Centre for Access to Justice and Inclusion, Anglia Ruskin University

Applications are invited for the following openings.

Both can be undertaken on either a part-time or full-time basis. Closing date: September 2021.


Online resources

Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School Podcast

The IILAH podcast is the online home of lectures and conversations hosted by the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School. Please see website for details.

KG Kannabiran Lectures on Law, Justice and Human Rights

A series of lectures organised by the family of K G Kannabiran (1929–2010) to remember him 10 years after his death: jurists, lawyers and judges who knew and worked with KG Kannabiran recall and celebrate his life, his work, and his futures. Details can be found on the YouTube Channel.

The Countersign Podcast hosted by Professor Stewart Motha

Countersign is a podcast hosted by Stewart Motha, Professor of Law at Birkbeck. Stewart and guests discuss books, films, and other materials from across disciplines which open new perspectives on law, difference, and plural existence.

The Oxford Putney Debates: All five of this year's debates now available online

This year these events livestreamed as webinar debates on 'The Sovereignty of Parliament'. The entire series, featuring Sir Adam Roberts, AC Grayling, Helen Mountfield QC, and a host of other panellists, is now available online.

Criminal Justice Natters: new YouTube channel

Dr Ed Johnston, University of the West of England, has launched a new videocast channel which will feature interviews with individuals wth an interest in criminal justice. In the first episode, Ed will be speaking to Liam Allan who was accused of rape in 2016 and took two years to clear his name. The second episode will US lawyer David Rudolf of The Staircase documentary series. See Criminal Jusice Natters on YouTube for details.

Catch-Up Webinar: Populism and the law, by Prof Daniel Smilov, hosted by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, Oxford

Catch up on FLJS Fellow Prof Daniel Smilov's webinar exploring the link between the rise of populism and the rule of law in liberal democracies. Prof Smilov challenges prevailing wisdom on populist regimes in Eastern Europe, offering instead a provocative 'anti-paternalist' thesis to argue that populism in fact fits well with many liberal constitutional principles. See website for details.

Catch-Up Webinar: The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty, hosted by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, Oxford

A panel of experts discuss The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty, a crucial new big-picture framework that answers the question of how liberty flourishes in some states but falls to authoritarianism or anarchy in others, by Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson, the authors of the international bestseller Why Nations Fail. See website for details.

Doing Ethnography Remotely: Stanford Centre for Global Ethnography – six video interviews with researchers 

In this video series, the Center's co-directors Sharika Thiranagama (Anthropology) and Sylvia Yanagisako (Anthropology) interview six ethnographers who have conducted research remotely. See website for details.

IEL Collective: call for contriutions to IEL Pop-up Collection

The IEL (international economic law) Collective invites contributions for its online pop-up collection of artefacts (objects or images). Please see website for details. 



Queer Lawyers of Tomorrow: Breaking barriers to assist the next generation of LGBTQIA+ lawyers

This new network's key aim is is to support the queer aspiring lawyer community across the UK with the creation of an inclusive, informative network. It seeks to support the development of professional relationships enabling likeminded people to connect. Queer Lawyers of Tomorrow is also planning to create a calendar of events that are of particular interest to queer aspiring lawyers whilst holding a few annual events of its own. Social mobility will also be put at the forefront of the network's activities with all its events and opportunities being accessible to all. For further information, please see announcement and website for details.

Pracademia Network: new network for UK and international pracademics

The new Pracademia Network aims to:

  • inform the development of training programmes
  • encourage and share best practice and
  • facilitate internal/external collaborations

for the benefit of a much wider group of local, national and international stakeholders; including academics, students, Higher Education Institutions, and other organisations. The network has been set up with the help of Advance HE following research at Sheffield Hallam University around former/current practitioners who now lecture/research in HE. See the website for further details.

Network: New AHRC humanities-led network will put social justice at the heart of AI research

The Ada Lovelace Institute and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have today launched JUST AI, a network of researchers and practitioners, led by Dr Alison Powell from LSE, that will establish a multidisciplinary research base around ‘just AI’ – AI that is ethical, works for the common good and is effectively governed and regulated. The humanities-led network will build on research in AI ethics, orienting it around practical issues of social justice, distribution, governance and design, and seek to inform the development of policy and practice. See website for full details.

European Reproductive Justice network: call for interest

This is a call to anyone interested in being part of a European Reproductive Justice network. The aim of the network is to share knowledge of law, society and culture across Europe in relation to reproductive justice. The network recognises reproductive justice as a core element of human rights, particularly, but not exclusively for women. As such, the focus is upon, but is not limited to:

  • ability and means to become pregnant
  • ability and means to prevent pregnancy
  • support around and for decision to remain pregnant
  • support around and for decision to discontinue a pregnancy
  • obstetric healthcare
  • gynaecological healthcare
  • obstetric violence
  • economic and social support for parents or those wishing to become parents

This is an interdisciplinary network for academics, professionals and activists. If you are interested in being part of the network then please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Invitation to Join the Global Research Network

Expressions of interest are invited for SLSA members to the Global Research Network, a meeting place for doctoral and early career scholars in law and the humanities.

Network members support one another by, for example, arranging visits to their university to speak, sharing useful information about the newest developments in the field, and participating in regular webinars on key topics of interest (publication strategies, career planning, etc). There are PhD and early career writing groups that meet monthly. There is a members’ forum that includes tips and resources, job and fellowship opportunities, and conference calls and publication opportunities. We are also establishing a Think Tank (with programmes in various field of law), and inviting established scholars to act as mentors.

Please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. via email if you have any questions or fill in the sign-up form online, where you will find more information. 

The Legal Cultures of the Subsoil Database – new database launched by the Institute of Latin American Studies

The Legal Cultures of the Subsoil Database compiles legal actions and documentation (artefacts) devised in the context of mining conflicts. It has resulted from an ESRC-funded anthropological project led by ILAS lecturer, Dr Ainhoa Montoya, that explored how legal languages, instruments and institutions are employed by different actors within the field of environmental politics, specifically in the context of mining conflicts. It currently contains information on six mining projects in Central America, with plans to expand to other Latin American regions in the future. 

To learn more about the database and the wider 'Legal Cultures of the Subsoil' project please consult the following blog contributions:

The database will continue to be developed and expanded during 2020, as part of a British Academy–GCRF sponsored project, ‘The Juridification of Resource Conflicts: Legal Cultures, Moralities and Environmental Politics in Central America’. A Spanish-language version will be available by the end of 2020. If you have any questions or comments about the database or the wider research projects, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The IEL Collective: launch of a new international economic law initiative

The IEL Collective was launched on Thursday 23 May 2019. It is an initiative started by research centres based at seven law schools around the UK and we are hoping to include more partners from around the world shortly. The IEL Collective provides a space for critical reflection on the complex interactions in the growing field of international economic law and exploring how epistemological and methodological diversity in the discipline can contribute towards the development of a more holistic landscape of scholarship on law and the governance of the global economy. The Collective aims to stimulate conversations about plurality, representation and, criticality, in researching, teaching and practising international economic law and spark new conversations about the future of the discipline. Visit the website for more information

Current partners include: Cardiff Law and Global Justice, University of Cardiff; Centre for Critical International Law, University of Kent; Centre for Law, Regulation and Governance of the Global Economy, University of Warwick; Human Rights Centre, University of Essex; Human Rights Law Centre, University of Nottingham; Liverpool Economic Governance Unit, University of Liverpool; School of Law, University of Bristol; Social Critiques of Law, University of Kent.

To receive more information and get involved, please sign up here.


Consultations, inquiries and surveys

Sentencing Council: Sexual offences guideline – consultation

The Sentencing Council is consulting on proposals to revise sentencing guidelines for child sexual offences in cases where no sexual activity takes place or the targeted child does not exist. The revised guidelines will clarify how courts in England and Wales should sentence offenders convicted of these offences. See announcement and website for details. Closing date: 13 August 2021.


Other announcements

IALS Library Virtual Roadshows: find out how IALS Library can support you and your PGR students

Access to scholarly legal information is crucial to teaching and researching the law. The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library (IALS Library) is considered to be the national library for legal research and we provide academics and the postgraduate legal research community with access to the most extensive collections of foreign and international law in the UK. What’s more, membership of IALS Library is freely available to all academic staff and law PGR students.

Each year the librarians at IALS Library take to the road to talk to law school faculty and PGR students across the UK about our collections and the ways in which we can support legal research. We call this the IALS Library roadshow! Covid has meant we have had to adapt and so, for now, the roadshows have moved online. If you think your academic staff and PGR students would benefit from knowing more about the resources on offer at IALS Library (including how to access subscription research databases which may not otherwise be available to them) email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set up a virtual roadshow at your law school.

Tribute to Don Harris, former director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford University

Staff at the Law Faculty at Oxford University were saddened to hear of the death of Donald Harris on 10 August 2020. One of his many achievements was the centre role he played in establishing the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford in 1972. He was the centre's director for 21 years. The current director, Professor Linda Mulcahy, commemorates his work and legacy on behalf of her colleagues at the centre. 

Tribute to Reza Banakar, Professor of Legal Sociology, Lund University

Following the recent death of Professor Reza Banakar, the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, has published a tribute to its former colleague. Reza held the Paul Dodyk Resarch Fellowship at the centre from 1997 to 2002. He was also Professor of Law at the University of Westminster before moving to a Chair in Legal Sociology at Lund University. He was also a lifelong member of the SLSA.

Law and Society Association commemorates the life of its former president, Professor Sally Engle Merry

The Law and Society Association is inviting expressions of condolences following the recent death of Professor Sally Engle Merry. Sally was a pre-eminent law and society scholar, who won many prestigious awards during her career and whose work was hugely influential. Those who knew her either personally or through her work are invited to contribute to the condolences page