THE DEVELOPMENT OF EMPIRICAL RESEARCH IN LAW
What do you regard as the key factors explaining the
relative paucity of empirical research in civil justice?
What do you regard as the key factors explaining the relative wealth
of empirical research in criminal justice?
Is it easier to integrate criminal justice rather than civil justice
research centres within Law Schools and social science faculties, and if
What lessons can be learned for the development of empirical research
in the civil justice area from the history of empirical research in criminal
To what extent do you think that Government investment has been an important
factor in the historical development of empirical criminal justice research?
Are there factors relating to the requirements of funding bodies, their
schemes or their programmes that deter empirical researchers interested
in civil law from applying or from succeeding with applications?
Are the explanations for this low application rate to be found in an
interest or skills shortage among lawyers and social scientists, or are
there factors built into the criteria for funding, or the shape of funding
schemes and programmes that deter such applications?
Is there more that could and should be done by the funders of research
to promote empirical research in the civil justice field?
Are there other sources of funding empirical research that have not been
Who should be funding empirical research into civil law subjects?
Do consultees think that the relative lack of official data about the
operation of the civil justice system acts as a deterrent to the undertaking
of empirical research in this area?
How important do you think the building of critical mass in research
centres is to the success of empirical research in civil justice?
If your answer to the preceding question is positive, what size research
groups do you think are optimal?
BUILDING EMPIRICAL RESEARCH CAPACITY: INCENTIVES AND DISINCENTIVES
To what extent do policymakers in your field of research interest encourage
and commission empirical research?
To what extent are policymakers in your field interested in engaging
with the results of empirical research, whether or not they have commissioned
Are there measures that need to be taken both by researchers and policymakers
to increase dialogue and enhance the impact of empirical legal research?
Do you agree that these factors represent incentives for both lawyers
and social scientists engaging in empirical research in law?
If so, which do you regard as the most significant incentives?
Are there other incentives that should be taken into account?
What measures could you suggest to increase the incentives
for scholars to engage in empirical research in law?
Have structural changes in universities led to improved
collaboration between law and other social science areas?
Is there a lack of interest in the investigation of issues
relating to justice and society among young legal academics?
How can the recruitment of new empirical legal researchers
be made more attractive?
What should be the relationship between university pay scales
and other employers of potential researchers?
What is needed by way of training for new empirical researchers
wishing to enter the field?
Where should it be provided?
How can it be funded?
Can such training be offered collaboratively?
Could graduate schools be the focus of research training/staff
development to enable new researchers to develop the necessary skills?
Should law schools be as dominated by the demands of
the taught curriculum as they currently appear to be?
Could the organisation of teaching programmes provide more
time for staff to carry out empirical research?
Are there lessons that law schools could learn from other
disciplinary areas (e.g. engineering, medicine) where there are pressures
to teach an extensive professionally determined syllabus while at the same
time carrying out cutting edge research?
Are there ways in which law schools can cost-effectively
include socio-legal researchers in their staff complements?
Are other institutional arrangements required (e.g. the
creation of graduate schools) to enable interdisciplinary work to be taken
Is there a lack of engagement with the law as part of sociology
or other social science training?
Does lack of fluency in legal issues present a serious problem
for sociologists interested in research on law?
Does the ESRC stress on research skills for graduate social
scientists hamper attempts to branch out and develop new skills, such as
Is there a need for positive incentives to encourage students
in social science to cross disciplinary boundaries?
Has the demise of joint Law and Sociology degrees (e.g.
Warwick) had an impact on the development of interdisciplinary research
Is there an intellectual ‘animosity’ between
lawyers and other social scientists that inhibits interdisciplinary activity?
What are the key factors inhibiting social scientists from
engaging in empirical research on legal subjects?
What measures could be taken to overcome such problems and
to encourage social scientists to work either alone or collaboratively
on empirical research in law?
Do consultees agree that the capacity of the HEFCE (and
other HE Funding Councils) to address the specific issues raised in this
CD is limited?
Should the Funding Councils be more directive?
Do consultees agree that a particular effect of the RAE
has been to deter researchers from undertaking empirical research into
law and legal process?
If so, are there measures that can be taken to address the
Do you agree that the barriers and disincentives suggested
in this Chapter act as a constraint on both lawyers and social scientists
engaging in empirical research in law?
If so, which do you regard as the most significant constraints?
Are there other barriers and disincentives that should be
What measures could you suggest to overcome these barriers
Are there concerns about capacity to conduct empirical
research in law in your country?
If so, what is the nature of the problem and what do you
consider to be the contributing factors.
If, on the other hand, there are no such concerns about
capacity, can you suggest why the situation in your country might be different
from that in the UK?
Are there any lessons from the experience in your country
that you think
would be particularly important to consider in the UK context?
Any other comments
Can we quote your answers in our final report
Can we use your name to support a quote