Against the backdrop of the steady rise of empirical legal research, this chapter starts by introducing the goal of the volume: to provide lawyers, policy makers and academic researchers with first-hand insights on the possibilities and limitations of different empirical methods for legal questions. The chapter continues by contrasting methods of legal research with methods of empirical legal research and by describing how the latter can complement the former. Subsequently, it describes the three methods of empirical legal research that are addressed in this volume – experiments, surveys and case studies – and links the choice of research strategy to the weighting of different research purposes – control, representativeness and naturalness. It then introduces the chapters to this volume. The chapter ends by discussing the practicality of empirical legal research as a major challenge for bridging gaps between legal scholars and empirical legal scholars.
Willem H. van Boom, Pieter Desmet and Peter Mascini
Reflections on Methods and their Applications
Edited by Willem H. van Boom, Pieter Desmet and Peter Mascini
Empirical legal research is a growing field of academic expertise, yet lawyers are not always familiar with the possibilities and limitations of the available methods. Empirical Legal Research in Action presents readers with first-hand experiences of empirical research on law and legal issues.