The Socio-Legal Studies Association and the JLS

John Harrington, Chair of the Socio-Legal Studies Association

The Journal of Law and Society has a strong and enduring connection with the Socio-Legal Studies Association. Professor Phil Thomas was among the group which established the Association in 1990, and the Journal has remained a stalwart and generous supporter down the decades. Many colleagues have served on the SLSA executive and Cardiff successfully hosted the annual conference in 2021: the first to be run on-line, with the largest number of participants, drawn from the greatest number of countries worldwide. As a member of Cardiff’s Centre of Law and Society, I am delighted to have been elected Chair of the SLSA in 2022.

The SLSA supports scholars working in our field, represents them within the academy and promotes the discipline to wider audiences. With over 1,500 members in 34 countries around the world, we host the best new work and bring our community together at our annual spring conference. We convene annual mentoring and methods workshops for Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers. Our book and article prizes, as well as our funding schemes for seminars, research projects and impact work, provide essential support for new ideas and recognition for excellence.

The launch of this website comes at an exciting time for socio-legal studies in the UK and internationally. It will showcase the exciting scholarship published in the Journal of Law and Society and provide a platform for the international programme of the Centre of Law and Society. Through blogs and social media it will be a vital tool for the dissemination of research findings, for engaging with audiences in academia and beyond, and for sustaining a supportive community of scholars at all stages of their careers.

These goals are consistent with my own ambitions for the SLSA in the coming years. We are committed: to renewing the socio-legal community in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic; to celebrating the achievements of scholars of all backgrounds, and working with them to make the academy an inclusive home for their work; to deepening connections with peers and sister associations around the world; to learning from colleagues in the global south, and building links with continental European partners; and to representing the membership through well informed and timely interventions in key policy processes. I am sure that the Centre of Law and Society, and the Journal, will continue to be essential partners in realizing those ambitions and ensuring the continued flourishing of socio-legal studies.

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