The Journal of Law and Society has been the home for challenging, authoritative and topical contributions to socio-legal studies since its establishment in 1974 at Cardiff University.

The Journal is committed to publishing interdisciplinary research from a range of legal cultures as well as theoretical and methodological perspectives.

It is particularly interested in promoting meaningful contributions to contemporary socio-legal issues and concerns, such as challenges to democratic processes, constitutional development, human rights, civil participation, access to justice, and the contemporary role of legal education within a changing society.

As such, the journal appeals to legal researchers and practitioners as well as sociologists, criminologists, and other social scientists.

Socio-legal scholars have an important role to play in addressing social issues and contemporary challenges… and the JLS continues to be a vehicle for scholarship which has something special to say about the issues of the moment.”


The story of the JLS is closely linked with that of socio-legal studies in the UK.

Both the Journal and socio-legal studies more broadly were conceptualised as spontaneous alternatives to the Law School establishment, its pedagogy, and its ideology.

Established in 1974 at Cardiff University, the Journal sought to open up something radically different to the many existing doctrinal journals that were available at the time. The JLS has integral and historical links with the broader community of socio-legal scholarship, including the Socio-Legal Studies Association, whilst also seeking to make its own contribution to this community. Top of its agenda has always been first class scholarship; quality alternative scholarship, expanding our understanding of law in society.

Today, the Journal’s authors and readership are truly international. The Journal now has quarterly issues with additional Special Issues discussing topics such as the intersections of law, science, technology and science; economic globalization and ecological localization; and the reconceptualization of regulation in the era of globalization. Recently, the Special Issues have been replaced by in-house Special Supplements based on work coming out of the Centre for Law and Society at Cardiff University, with which the Journal has a strong working relationship. The Journal has been at the forefront of socio-legal thought for decades with a noticeable shift to a more interdisciplinary focus, critically examining the intersectional relationship between academic disciplines.