Cardiff School of Law and Politics: The Home of the JLS

Richard Caddell, Head of Law, Cardiff University

The history and progress of Cardiff School of Law and Politics has long been intertwined with that of socio-legal studies in the UK. We have a vibrant and intellectually curious student body taught by academic staff at the forefront of their respective disciplines of study. This provides a perfect environment to explore the dynamic and fast-paced fields of law, politics and international relations and the myriad intersections between them. Since the 1970s, the School has forged a formidable reputation as a laboratory for scholars and students undertaking ground-breaking research in socio-legal studies, with the aim of better understanding law as it operates within and upon our society.

The longstanding prominence of socio-legal studies as a leitmotif of our approach to the study and practice of law is due in no small part to the establishment of the Journal of Law and Society here at Cardiff in 1974. The Journal continues to play a significant role in our diverse and vibrant research culture, through which the School and the Journal have a symbiotic relationship, sharing opportunities and support for early career scholars, doctoral students, and visiting researchers.

Our long-established reputation for scholarship in the area of socio-legal studies is aptly embodied by the activities of our Centre for Law and Society, which also finds its home within this website. The Centre is a collaborative endeavour among Cardiff academics to facilitate high-quality socio-legal scholarship and education at Cardiff University. Working closely with the Journal of Law and Society, the Centre seeks to promote and encourage innovative research of international quality, focusing on socio-legal, empirical and theoretical analysis of legal institutions and processes and the impact of social, political, economic and scientific influences on the law, legal professions and legal activities.

The fact that the Journal has retained its roots as a Cardiff-led endeavour is further reflected through the composition and operation of the editorial board. This board draws upon many of the thematic strengths of our School, including representation from a range of career levels and fields, including political theory, public policy, the politics of devolution, and International Relations, notably international law, global ethics, security and piracy.

This close relationship between Cardiff University, the Centre of Law and Society, and the Journal of Law and Society means that we are uniquely positioned as a hub for socio-legal activities. The establishment of this new website is a testament to this, providing an outlet through which the School can host these resources and opportunities in one central place, promoting further opportunities for Cardiff to continue to facilitate and lead pioneering work in the area of socio-legal studies for many years to come.

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