It has previously been observed that two forms of writing – doctrinal and theoretical- account for almost the entire body of legal scholarship. A far smaller fraction is dedicated to gathering new data about how the law works in action. The fact that doctrinal work dominates in the study of law both in Australia and elsewhere is said to reflect traditional concepts of legal reasoning. Demands for more realistic and sociologically- based accounts of law have not gone unaddressed. The socio-legal studies movement has demonstrated that there is interest in the multidisciplinary study of the law. At the same time, these demands have not managed to displace the prevailing orthodoxy of law’s isolation from other disciplines. It remains that, at least in Australia, socio-legal research and teaching is undertaken primarily within the social sciences. In this chapter, we explore how empirical methods can contribute to our understanding of the impact of labour regulation, and the different challenges it creates in practice, through discussion of an empirical research project on which we are presently working. While this project, which seeks to assess the impact of protected industrial action ballot procedures on enterprise bargaining processes, is not complete, aspects of the project design and execution usefully illustrate some of the themes we have identified above.
|Title of host publication||The Evolving Project of Labour Law.|
|Place of Publication||Melbourne|
|Publisher||The Federation Press|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 24 Aug 2016|
- Labour law
- Industrial disputes
- empirical research