Social & Legal Studies

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Book Review: A Jurisprudence of the Body
  • Collective Dissent as Legal Consciousness in Contemporary British Theatre

    This article explores legal consciousness in contemporary British theatre. It is concerned with the messages conveyed about law in society as experienced through participant-observation and textual analysis. The interpretation of meaning will take place within the legal consciousness framework of collective dissent developed by Halliday and Morgan. Using this framework, this article will show that dissent is a reoccurring theme in these performances, with the legitimacy of state law under challenge. Alternative visions of law are pluralistic in nature. By applying a collective dissent narrative to this study, the article tests and further develops collective dissent as an analytical tool for examining legal consciousness for cultural legal studies. Through this framework, it also advances the study of theatrical performance for cultural legal studies in terms of what dramaturgic images, observational and textual, say about the relationship between law and society; specifically, to determine what theatrical performance of British contemporary theatre says about the law in this snapshot of time and place.

  • ‘They Are Here Without Chains, but With Invisible Chains’: Understandings of Modern Slavery Within the New South Wales Settlement Sector

    Modern slavery is a complex and clandestine social phenomenon that is poorly understood in the Australian context. The settlement sector is integral to Australia’s counter-slavery efforts, and yet, no Australian study has explicitly sought to explore how this group identifies and navigates modern slavery. This paper draws on surveys and interviews with workers in the New South Wales settlement sector, and offers new insights into how certain forms of modern slavery are understood and addressed by professionals working with newly arrived migrants. The findings of the study uncover some of the profound challenges staff encounter in detecting and responding to different exploitative practices. Furthermore, they underscore the significant disjunctions between existing legislative provisions that aim to address modern slavery, and the experiences and understandings of workers at the frontline of the issue. The study demonstrates the need for education and greater investment into modern slavery responses within the settlement sector, and multi-sectoral collaboration to proactively address the systemic issues engendering exploitation at a community level.

  • Book Review: Elitism: A Progressive Defence
  • Book Review: Speaking Out: Feminism, rape and narrative politics
  • Why women judges really matter: The impact of women judges on property law outcomes in Kenya

    In this paper, I discuss the impact that women judges have made in property law outcomes in Kenya. The study shows that women judges were able to influence a feminist jurisprudence in matrimonial property and inheritance disputes peripherally even though they were not sitting in some of those cases – through trainings of other [male] judges and informal interactions with colleagues. I argue that there is need to focus lens on the collaborative and networking programmes of women judges to bring about institutional change as opposed to a focus on individual women judges. The findings suggest that studies that focus on individual [women] judges have far less potential to uncover the impact of collective efforts of women judges. Existing studies are based largely on Anglo-American positivist methodologies that are based on methodological individualism over collectivism. It is no wonder that the collective efforts of women judges under the auspices of the International Women Judges Association has received little to no scholarly attention.

  • On the Sociology of Law in Economic Relations

    A focus on law’s role in economic activities was central to many of the classical sociologists, and it remains a key theme in the sociology of law, although no longer central. The view of capitalism as a market economy is reflected in formalist perspectives on economics, law and even sociology, and limits these understandings. Economic sociologists and institutional economists have examined the extensive institutionalisation of economic activity due to the shift to corporate capitalism since the last part of the 19th century, and have focused on law’s role in these processes. The neo-liberal phase of capitalism since the 1970s brought a renewed emphasis on property rights and market-based management, but accompanied by an enormous growth of new forms of regulation, often of a hybrid public-private character, leading to a new view of law as reflective or responsive, very different from traditional formalist perspectives. We argue that law’s role in the economy can be better understood by examining the social processes of lawyering, mediating between the realms of political and economic power, through practices of legal interpretation that both reflect and shape economic activity.

  • Audit as Accountability: Technical Authority and Expertise in the Governance of Private Financing for Development

    The paper examines the emergence of a new landscape of international development finance that is blurring traditional boundaries between public and private resources for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global public goods (GPGs). In the SDG financing ecosystem, private actors are no longer passive bystanders in the development process but as active contributors to and investors in development projects and programmes. The paper argues that the emerging ‘private turn’ in the architecture of development finance represents a technology of governance that is rooted in the assemblage of international development policy and practice. This regime constitutes an emerging complex and often problematic framework of organising and managing countries’ access to external finance and establishing their terms of engagement with the broader global economy.

  • The Governance of Complaints in UK Higher Education: Critically Examining ‘Remedies’ for Staff Sexual Misconduct

    Complaints processes and their governance in UK higher education (HE) have received little critical scrutiny, despite their expanded role under the increasing marketisation of HE. This article draws on interviews with students who attempted to make complaints of staff sexual misconduct to their HE institution. It outlines four groups among the interviewees according to the ‘remedy’ that they obtained, describing how most interviewees could not access the services of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education in England as they could not complete internal institutional complaints processes. The failure of most complainants to obtain remedy, and the difficult experiences of those who did, reveals the inadequacies of using an individualist, consumer-oriented model for addressing discrimination complaints in HE. The article also contributes to discussions of justice for sexual violence survivors, suggesting that community-oriented remedies are needed alongside formal administrative justice processes to address power-based sexual misconduct in institutions.

  • The Struggle for the Human Right to a Good Life for Everyone: Oscar Correas’s Legacy for the Crítica Jurídica Movement in Latin America

    Oscar Correas has been one of the promoters and main references of the Crítica Jurídica movement in Latin America due to his theoretical contributions and his permanent activism to develop the movement. In this paper, we firstly review his vast academic and intellectual career, and then we go through and analyse some of Correas’s main contributions to the study of the law and the Marxist thought. Special focus will be given to: (a) his approach to Marx’s works and its extension to the analysis of modern law; (b) his understanding of Hans Kelsen’s theory; and (c) Correas’s critical contributions to the debate on human rights. We aim to highlight the originality and wit of Oscar Correas’s work, and its importance for the development of the legal critical studies and debates on legal and human rights challenges from a critical perspective.

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