The Dissolution of the Social in the Legal Academy
Australian Feminist Law Journal, Vol. 25, pp. 3-18, 2006
17 Pages Posted: 2 May 2007
This valedictory address presents an account of an experiment to set up a Department of Law and Legal Studies within a School of Social Sciences, at La Trobe University in Melbourne, with the aim of emphasising not just the role of law in its social context, but an interdisciplinary approach to the study of law. As with the attempts by the legal realists at Yale and Columbia in the 1920s and 1930s, the experiment was unsuccessful. In light of the evanescence of the vision, the question arose as to whether external political pressures, including the corporatisation of universities and the commodification of higher education, were responsible for inducing significant changes of direction or whether law is inherently resistant to the social.
Keywords: Legal Academy, Socio-legal, Neoliberalism
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