The Socio-Legal Studies Association was formed in 1990 in the UK. It grew out of the Socio-Legal Group, which, for some years, had provided an annual forum for socio-legal scholars to meet and disseminate their work. However, it was felt that there was a need for a more permanent organisational structure, which would help to keep scholars in touch with each other, providing regular channels of communication, and promoting and supporting the work of socio-legal academics.


Over the years, the SLSA has grown and developed. The annual conference is hosted each year by a different UK university. It has been to all four corners of the UK, visiting institutions in major cities - for example, Belfast, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle – and smaller urban settings – Aberystwyth, Stirling, Keele. The 2021 will be the first virtual SLSA conference and will be hosted by Cardiff University.


The SLSA aims 'to advance education and learning and in particular to advance research, teaching and the dissemination of knowledge in the field of socio-legal studies.' It achieves these aims primarily through meetings, conferences, and seminars; through research grants and prizes; through publications; through liaison with policymakers and research funders; and through supporting students.

The SLSA is run by volunteer trustees who sit on its Executive Committee. The committee meets four times a year and holds an open Annual General Meeting each Spring. Executive Committee members are always happy to be contacted about the SLSA's activities. A list of these trustees can be found here. The SLSA also manages a blog through which members can learn of ongoing socio-legal research. The blog can be viewed here.

Image: Cardiff Steel from Dowlais Works for Cardiff Ships. The Morel brothers Tom  & Ralph are seen towards the centre. Their firm had a number of ships built at Northumberland Shipbuilding Co. 

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001-1712-007 Dr John Morel Gibbs as the