Getting Down and Dirty: The Case for Empirical Legal Research
Early version of chapter published in: Cahillane, L and Schweppe, J (eds), Legal Research Methods: Principles and Practicalities (Clarus Press, 2016)
20 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016 Last revised: 29 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 14, 2015
This paper considers the role of empirical research in legal scholarship. The paper argues that the failure by higher education institutes, including, but not limited to, failings on the part of law schools, to develop a more significant research capacity in empirical legal research could have very negative impacts on the next generation of legal scholars. It sets out some (very) personal reflections of the author and illustrates the argument by using practical examples of empirical legal research. As a result, it seeks to be both a ‘call to arms’ and a practical guide for those interested in pursuing empirical legal research.
Keywords: legal research; empirical research; research methods
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