Doctrinal research : researching the jury

Hutchinson, Terry C. (2013) Doctrinal research : researching the jury. In Watkins, D. & Burton, M. (Eds.) Research Methods in Law. Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK, pp. 7-33.

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This chapter examines the doctrinal methodology which many lawyers consider best typifies a distinctly legal approach to research. Legal research skills have been identified as a core skill for lawyers, and within the profession, such skills are regarded as synonymous with the doctrinal research method. Good legal research skills are a necessary step in attaining the ability to ‘think like a lawyer’ and achieving valid legal reasoning outcomes. For lawyers, therefore, the doctrinal method is an intuitive aspect of legal work. Yet as this chapter demonstrates, the doctrinal methodology is not without its detractors. There have been serious criticisms of the method put forward by exponents of the various critical legal theories, as well as a perception in some academic circles that the doctrinal research method is nothing more than mere ‘scholarship’ and as a result less compelling or respected than the research methods used by those in the sciences and social sciences. Despite these attacks, and the incursions on the method posed by the growth in the use of non-doctrinal and interdisciplinary research work by lawyers, the argument put forward in this chapter is that the doctrinal method still necessarily forms the basis for most, if not all, legal research projects.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 61441
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Doctrinal research, Research methods, Jury, Legal research
ISBN: 9780415672146
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Deposited On: 21 Jul 2013 22:54
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 16:01

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