SOCIO-LEGAL STUDIES IN WALES
With the conference hosted in Cardiff in 2021 it is the perfect opportunity to consider the state of socio-legal research in Wales and the wider influence that socio-legal research in Wales could have. Wales is a relatively unique case study in terms of its constitutional dynamics. Social policy come from two separate governments but operates within a single legal system. This leads to a system of ‘jagged edges’ where law and social policy do not align (WGC 2018); particularly in areas of criminal and administrative justice. This has implications for socio-legal scholars that requires further exploration.
Wales is also an area of socio-legal experimentation. The Senedd has promoted wellbeing and a rights-based approach in its landmark legislation such as incorporation of the UNCRC and the Wellbeing and Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Significantly, the Socio-Economic Duty in Wales will come into force during the conference. Wales, therefore, is justified as an area worthy of its own study given its unique context and distinct approaches but also an area for experimentation with lessons for other systems.
Using the Commission on Justice in Wales report to consider Wales as a distinct justice space we aim to reconsider the role and value of socio-legal research in Wales and how it could influence socio-legal approaches in other parts of the UK and beyond.
The Stream will also welcome papers that consider other devolved or regional systems in the UK and globally that consider socio-legal studies at the sub-state level.
Huw Pritchard (PritchardH3@Cardiff.ac.uk)