The LAW, JUSTICE & SOCIETY (LJS) research grouping showcases and supports the full breadth of legal research found at the University of Reading. United by a determination to interrogate and reflect upon the multitudinous interactions between law, justice and society, scholars in this research grouping approach their chosen subjects through the lens of various methodological and conceptual approaches, including doctrinal, socio-legal, empirical, historical, literary and theoretical approaches to the study of law.
The Law, Justice and Society grouping, which includes a vibrant postgraduate research community, hosts a range of research activities each year and many of the colleagues within it have engaged in significant impact and outreach activities – bringing their research to bear in policy formation, law reform and public engagement. It is the home of four thematic and interrelated research subgroups.
JUSTICE, RIGHTS & LEGAL THEORY
Scholars working within this sub-group adopt theoretical (including critical legal, queer theory and feminist) approaches to topics such as constitutional theory and reform, human rights, and citizenship and electoral rights.
This sub-group focuses on the role that law plays in the delivery and management of public policy goals, including the provision of services by Government, the management and maintenance of social order and security, and the pursuit of other outcomes that are defined as forms of social good. A core, unifying interest of researchers within this grouping is the law’s role in balancing and placing limits on the interests that public policymakers can, and should, seek to pursue.
FAMILY, GENDER & SEXUALITY
This sub-group of established and emerging scholars offers a wide range of both methodological approaches and subject expertise in complex theoretical and practical issues affecting personal status, relationships, and employment law and policy. Its members frequently contribute to topical debate and law reform initiatives, both at a national and a European level.
Colleagues working in this sub-group founded the Forum for Legal and Historical Research with the explicit aim of bringing together lawyers, historians, and archivists to explore the ways in which law, a discipline which draws heavily on its own past, has both shaped and been shaped by society in history. They are motivated by the belief that engagement with historical archives, with the testimonies and biographies of those who witnessed change in the past, and with other historical evidence, is a powerful means of furthering our understanding of law’s role in society in the past, present and future.