Empirical Legal Research - Necessity, Not Opportunity
Schebesta, Hanna, 'Empirical Legal Research - Necessity, not Opportunity' (October 11, 2017). Wageningen Working Papers in Law and Governance 2017/08.
28 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 11, 2017
The article proposes to use software supported content analysis in the legal discipline, because better empirical methods make research findings more scientifically robust, i.e. objective, reproducible and transparent. While there is some consensus on the need for engaging with empirical approaches, the methods to so are largely unexplored. Drawing on mainstream social sciences research, we show the opportunities in using software programmes that allow qualitative analysis with limited quantitative inquiry options for law and circumscribe the specific conditions for using qualitative assessment tools in legal research. The argument is supported by a proof of concept of legal research conducted using the software Atlas.ti. We conclude that qualitative analysis software is both accessible and useful for legal research, but that a specifically legal approach to the use of systematic content analysis is needed to accommodate particularities of the discipline.
Keywords: Empirical Legal Research, Software Supported Content Analysis, Atlas.ti
JEL Classification: K
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation