New Antwerp-Essex Collaboration on Socio-Legal Methods 

Photo by Ian Schneider

Essex’s School of Law. which was ranked 3rd in the UK for research power in law (Times Higher Education research power measure, REF2021) is delighted to announce that its research environment is further enriched by a new collaboration with the Research Group Government and Law of the University of Antwerp.

One of the key objectives of this partnership is to establish a solid network, particularly (though not exclusively) among early career scholars, to connect with researchers beyond the respective faculties, provide training on different topics related to socio-legal methods and ultimately strengthen both institutions’ international and interdisciplinary ties.

The University of Antwerp campus (image from Openverse)

The new exciting partnership was launched on Monday 16 May 2022 with an event titled The Opportunities and Challenges of Socio-Legal Methods. This inaugural workshop featured contributions by legal scholars from both universities and a keynote speech by Prof. David Cowan from the University of Bristol.

“The event provided an excellent opportunity for cementing our research partnership with the University of Antwerp. As Prof. Cowan, our keynote speaker from the University of Bristol, put it: ‘this is an ambitious and exciting connection’ especially because ‘sociolegal scholarship is all about the community’. There are clear commonalities and synergies between Antwerp and Essex researchers both in terms of subject matter and approach. The launch event provided an excellent forum for exchanging views and an opportunity for research networking for young researchers who are eager to ask questions about trust and legitimacy in the law using socio-legal methods in order to address contemporary issues and challenges.”

Prof. Theodore Konstadinides, Director of Research (School of Law, University of Essex)
The University of Essex campus

“This complementarity between the Antwerp and Essex leads us to consider further workshops next year. We plan to offer workshops on methods ‘tailored to the needs of lawyers’, looking at providing an overview of the available methods before dipping into concrete illustrations of how these methods have been used by colleagues. When it comes to events around thematic areas, our shared interests cover vulnerable people, power relationships, sustainability, access to resources, and legal effectiveness – to name a few potential areas for future collaboration. So, watch this space!”

Dr. Yseult Marique. Senior Lecturer and International Cooperations Coordinator (School of Law, University of Essex)

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