Socio‐Legal Studies in Aotearoa/New Zealand

26 Pages Posted: 15 May 2014

Date Written: June 2014


This article reviews the development and impact of the socio‐legal field in New Zealand. It begins by assessing the socio‐legal presence within teaching and research conducted across New Zealand's law faculties before analysing factors likely to inhibit future growth of the sub‐discipline in this remote jurisdiction. Having examined how New Zealand's legal scholars map and influence national legal behaviour, without always recognizing contradictions between these objectives or categorizing their research as ‘socio‐legal’, the article goes on to examine how the next generation of socio‐legal researchers might exert stronger influence over the law curriculum and new areas of legal policy. In conclusion, it argues for a distinctive New Zealand approach toward socio‐legal studies and notes that future prospects appear encouraging, and in certain respects more promising than those in the United Kingdom, particularly when considering research impact.

Suggested Citation

Economides, Kim M., Socio‐Legal Studies in Aotearoa/New Zealand (June 2014). Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 41, Issue 2, pp. 257-282, 2014. Available at SSRN: or

Kim M. Economides (Contact Author)

Flinders University ( email )

Faculty of Education, Humanities & Law
GPO Box 2100
Adelaide, South Australia 5001
+61 8 8201 5542 (Phone)
+61 8 8201 3671 (Fax)


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