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  • Fiscal Sociology at the Centenary: UK Perspectives on Budgeting, Taxation and Austerity by ANNMUMFORD (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, 224 pp., £64.99)
  • Justice and Profit in Health Care Law: A Comparative Analysis of the United States and the United Kingdom by SABRINAGERMAIN (Oxford: Hart, 2019, 202 pp., £50.00)
  • The People in Question: Citizens and Constitutions in Uncertain Times by JOSHAW (Bristol: Bristol University Press, 2020, 336 pp., £75.00)

    In court judgements on nationality, it is common to find references to the constitutions and citizenship provisions of various countries. In addition, the influences of regional as well as global human rights legal instruments are often cited by lawyers in arguments and judges in their decisions. It is surprising, then, that academic scholarship on the topic is usually single‐country or single‐region specific in nature. In her new book The People in Question: Citizens and Constitutions in Uncertain Times, Jo Shaw decisively goes against this trend through critical engagement with a plethora of jurisdictions at various levels of national and international adjudication.

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  • Gendering the Legal Complex: Women in Sri Lanka's Legal Profession

    Drawing upon feminist standpoint theory and interviews with pioneering women lawyers in Sri Lanka, I argue for a focus on women as a distinct category in ‘legal complex theory’. I consider the following questions in making this claim. What were the internal structures of the legal profession that the older generations of women lawyers encountered as they entered the profession and as they took up positions of leadership? In what ways, if at all, was the ‘culture(s)’ within the profession patriarchal? In what ways, if any, did the entry and advancement of women impact these internal structures of the profession and its culture(s)? And what can we learn from these experiences in predicting the future trajectory of the legal profession? The analytical expansion that I propose reveals gender‐based dynamics within the legal complex, such as gender‐stereotyped perceptions about women lawyers within the profession, the ‘feminization’ of the profession, and ‘gender segmentation’ within its different spheres.

  • Beyond Social Constructionism? Cicourel and the Search for Ecological Validity

    This article is a contribution to the occasional series dealing with a major book that has influenced the author. Previous contributors include Stewart Macaulay, John Griffith, William Twining, Carol Harlow, Geoffrey Bindman, Harry Arthurs, André‐Jean Arnaud, Alan Hunt, Michael Adler, Lawrence O. Gostin, John P. Heinz, Roger Brownsword, Roger Cotterrell, Nicola Lacey, Carol J. Greenhouse, David Garland, and Peter Fitzpatrick.

  • Reviewing Directors’ Business Judgements: Views from the Field

    Directors take decisions that can have significant impacts on others, as illustrated by the global financial crisis and the collapse of Thomas Cook Group plc. Yet many academics argue that courts should not review or impose liability on directors for poor business judgements. These arguments often rely on untested empirical assumptions about directors’ behaviour and attitudes. Through semi‐structured interviews and focus groups, we explored the responses of directors, legal practitioners, company secretaries, and board headhunters to the prospect of judicial review of directors’ business judgements. Our findings challenge orthodox thinking: many directors supported some form of review and the impact of review may not be as great as the literature predicts, nor necessarily detrimental. The debate about whether courts should review directors’ business judgements should therefore move away from reliance on negative empirical assumptions about the impact of review, to clearly articulating, and engaging with, normative positions that underpin opposition to, and support for, review.

  • Disability Law as an Academic Discipline: Towards Cohesion and Mainstreaming?

    This article calls for a strengthening of Disability Law as an academic discipline and offers orientation for its future development. It argues that there is a need for enhanced cohesion among those already applying a critical disability perspective within disciplines such as Equality Law, Mental Health and Capacity Law, and Social Care and Protection Law and also for greater mainstreaming of this approach across the full breadth of sociolegal scholarship. The article is divided into three main sections. The first contextualizes Disability Law by reflecting on its relationship with other legal disciplines and broader pools of scholarship. The second focuses on issues of scope and structure. The third offers orientation for future Disability Law work by outlining four key cross‐cutting challenges with the potential to bring together scholars with expertise in different areas of substantive law.

  • Reinterpreting Law's Silence: Examining the Interconnections between Legal Doctrine and the Rise of Immaterial Labour

    Recent years have seen a rise in immaterial labour in the United Kingdom and other developed economies. Sociological explanatory accounts of these developments focus primarily on economic drivers. Little, if any, inquiry has been made into the potential role of law. This article seeks to identify the aspects of law that may be constitutive of employer and worker perceptions of the acceptability (or otherwise) of employer demands for immaterial labour. Two key contributions are made. The first is a setting‐out of a methodological approach to exploring the constitutive effect of law that emphasizes the internal operation of legal doctrine as critical to understanding its sociological implications. The second is the development of substantive knowledge on the potential role of law vis‐à‐vis the rise of immaterial labour.

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