Is Law an Academic Discipline?

(2016) 50(2) R.J.T.U.M. 433

20 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2017 Last revised: 18 Sep 2017

See all articles by Finn Makela

Finn Makela

Université de Sherbooke, Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2017


This article engages with the existing literature on the role of legal research in the University by framing the question as whether law is an academic discipline. I answer in the affirmative but my defense of this position is based on a sociological rather than an ontological conception of disciplinarity. Law is an academic discipline not by virtue of its relationship to a specific object or methodology, but by virtue of the institutional recognition of its legitimacy to produce a scholarly discourse. The argument relies on the distinction between points of view internal and external both to law and to disciplines.

Suggested Citation

Makela, Finn, Is Law an Academic Discipline? (August 1, 2017). (2016) 50(2) R.J.T.U.M. 433. Available at SSRN:

Finn Makela (Contact Author)

Université de Sherbooke, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sherbrooke, Québec

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