LC4S174 - Research MethodsWEEK4:LEGALRESEARCHMETHODOLOGIES 1 (Doctrinal and SocioLegal Research Methodology)This chapter will address on legal research methodologies; mainly thedoctrinal methodology and the socio-legal research methodology.These are important to consider in detail as they can influence thedevelopment of the law and examine the law as a social institution. Part A. Doctrinal MethodologyIn this part, the following questions will be answered:1.What is doctrinal research?2.What characterizes doctrinal method?3.Why is doctrinal research important?4.How to undertake success doctrinal research?5.Advantages and disadvantages of doctrinal research1.What is doctrinal research?Doctrinal (or “black letter”) methodology refers to a way of conducting research,which is usually thought of as “typical legal research”1. A doctrinal approach toresearch will focus on case law, statutes and other legal sources2.1 Duncan N. and Hutchinson T., ‘Defining and Describing What We Do: Doctrinal Legal Research’ (2012) 17(1) Deakin Law Review 83, p.852 Dobinson I. and Johns F., ‘Qualitative Legal Research’, in McConville M. and Chui W.H (eds), Research Methods for Law(Edinburgh University Press 2007), p.18
LC4S174 - Research MethodsDoctrinal… legal research can be defined in simple terms as research, whichasks what the law is in a particular area. The researcher seeks to collect andthen analyse a body of case law, together with any relevant legislation (so-called primary sources). This is often done from a historical perspective andmay include secondary sources such as journal articles or other writtencommentaries on the case law and legislation3. 2.What characterizes doctrinal method?It is difficult to define doctrinal legal method; however, it is open to characterization.It differs from other methodologies in that it looks at the law within itself; a puredoctrinal approach does not attempt to look at the effect of the law or how it isapplied, but instead examines law as a written body of principles, which can bediscerned and analyzed using only legal sources4.3.Why is doctrinal research important?-Doctrinal research can provide clarity, in the case where there is a lack ofacademic consensus and/or judicial inconsistency as to the state of the law on aparticular topic. -Similarly, historical-doctrinal research can also enable the researchers to tracethe development of doctrines and principles of law so that the correct precedents canbe ascertained.4.How to undertake successful doctrinal research?Undertaking doctrinal research typically involves source-based research and itwould be unusual to undertake qualitative or quantitative research under thedoctrinal methodology. Doctrinal analysis will focus on traditional legal sources,such as case law.