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Law and Society Research Network

Advancing research in law, the social sciences and the humanities
We interrogate and understand legal ideas, institutions and practices in their social, historical, cultural, political and economic contexts.

About us

The interdisciplinary field of socio-legal studies has its empirical, theoretical and methodological bases in law and the humanities and the social sciences more broadly. While retaining vital links with the black-letter approach to law and with jurisprudence, our approach is distinct from both in that our methodology is more empirical, historical and socio-theoretical.

The network connects researchers and constitutes a focus for law and society research across the University for academics and students who contribute to socio-legal studies, human rights and criminology. We organise workshops and seminars and welcome postgraduate students and international scholars.

Our work covers a vast range of topics, including:

  • the sociology and history of crime
  • crime control and punishment
  • cultural criminology
  • the development of international human rights regimes
  • migration and human rights
  • law and family life
  • the legal dimensions of social policy
  • accountability, governance and regulation in government and business 
  • the legal profession and the globalisation of legal practices and institutions
  • law reform, the discourse of law and legal pluralism
  • cultural analyses of law
  • law and colonialism
  • comparative legal systems
  • responses to historical injustice
  • law and social change
  • the legal dimensions of political change and stability
  • the social and experiential impact of legal processes
  • legal informalism
  • legal reasoning and social scientific knowledge
  • science in court and forensic social science.

Our people

The Law and Society Research Network comprises academics and students from across the University of Sydney and welcomes visiting international scholars.

  • Professor Robert van Krieken, Department of Sociology and Social Policy
  • Associate Professor Greg Martin, Department of Sociology and Social Policy


Headshot of Professor Robert van Krieken

Contact us

Professor Robert van Krieken
  • Room 11, R C Mills Building A26, The University of Sydney