The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford is committed to carrying out original, cutting edge research, encouraging lively intellectual debate and providing a supportive environment for inquiry into law as a social phenomenon. The Centre provides a solid platform upon which a dedicated group of gifted graduate students and post-doctoral scholars can initiate and advance their projects on wide variety of socio-legal issues.
Most of the Centre students are encouraged to engage in evidence-driven empirical research, and they respond by identifying complex issue areas and formulating research designs that take them to places as diverse as the EU, Brazil, Colombia, Uganda, Kenya, the USA, Indonesia, China, Russia, Libya and many others. They bring back to the Centre in-depth knowledge about laws in many different contexts and in a wide variety of circumstances: how it is constructed and interpreted, how it works in practice, how well its institutions perform, and how it shapes peoples’ lives and societal institutions. Their projects tend to be creative, pushing at the boundaries of conventional approaches and challenging established points of view.
The Journal of the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies is an initiative taken by these students with the goal of reaching out to the wider socio-legal community in their academic activities. By creating a new intellectual space that is open to all, the journal will hopefully enable more extensive intellectual interaction to take place, more experience to be shared, and propositions to be more rigorously examined and weighed. Bearing in mind the global nature of the internet, the hope is that the Journal will be a way to open up the Centre’s intense ‘in-house’ intellectual exchanges of the Centre to all scholars in the socio-legal field, and also to enable to benefit from the possibly more critical perspectives to be encountered when their our work reaches across the world’s cultural and political barriers.
On a practical level, the existence of the JOxCSLS will hopefully make it easier for those taking their first steps towards an academic career to gain the confidence of having published a peer-reviewed article in a sound academic journal. Observing the commitment and enthusiasm of all those involved and the determination of the editorial group to make the Journal as rigorous in its scholarly procedures as it is possible to be, I am confident that this journal will earn respect of the academic community, and will achieve it very soon.
Dr Marina Kurkchiyan
Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies