Welcome to the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

For nearly fifty years the Oxford Centre has been at the forefront of research into the nature and role of law in society. Our researchers study law as a historical and culturally specific mode of social organisation that takes a variety of forms within and across societies.  Our expert staff bring together a wide variety of disciplinary expertise including law, sociology, anthropology, politics, international relations, human rights, economics, geography and art history to examine the interface of law and society. 

Researchers at the Centre specialise in theoretically informed studies of law in action and much of our work draws on expertise in interviewing, participant observation, focus groups, surveys, discourse analysis and statistical analysis of data. A large number of associate research fellows and academic visitors also engage in research with the Centre’s staff and contribute to its extensive programme of academic activities.

Our core staff of experienced Professors, Associate Professors and Post-doctoral fellows are complemented by students who form the largest collection of socio-legal students in one academic unit in the UK.  In the informal and relaxed atmosphere of the Centre we teach and supervise graduate research students at both masters and doctoral level.  Our students are international in their backgrounds and outlook as well as being diverse in their academic qualifications. They bring exciting and fresh ideas to our research clusters and their commitment and energy contribute substantially to our success. The Centre is also an ideal base for post-doctoral scholars who wish to receive specialist mentoring, develop their projects, gain academic experience, and launch their careers.

Our research community conducts research into the socio-legal dynamics of some of the most pressing political questions of the day such as rights, technologies and social media;  comparative legal cultures; access to justice; governance of environmental resources; ethical business regulation; the migration crisis and cultural expertise; legal ideology and religion; and the management of counter terrorism cases in the courts.  We particularly welcome visitors and research students working in these areas of expertise.

Read More