The Swiss Network for Law and Society aims to create a space for networking, discussion and cross-disciplinary collaboration between Switzerland-based scholars researching law from an empirical perspective.

Please visit our newly-published directories of Swiss socio-legal research. We are still accepting submissions of propositions for entries of the directory: submission form.

“Voices of Law”, our inaugural Conference of the Swiss Network for Law and Society, took place on 15 and 16 September at the University of Lausanne. Find below a report of the event.

Inaugural Conference of the Swiss Network for Law and Society

The inaugural Conference “Voices of Law | Les voix du droit” gathered more than 130 participants and 44 papers in 13 panels.

The presenting scholars came from 18 universities and universities of applied sciences. Their empirical research on law represented a wide variety of academic disciplines: law, sociology, anthropology, political science, criminology, history, social work and psychology.

The 13 panels of the conference gathered interventions on a variety of topics:

  • Justice in action
  • Law and politics
  • International law and human rights
  • Methods to study law in action
  • Legal consciousness and access to justice
  • Law, social mouvements and strategic litigations
  • Gender law
  • Expertise

Two plenary events took place during the conference. On Thursday, during a round table Professors Gesine Fuchs, Tobias Eule, Véronique Jaquier, Karl Hanson and Grégoire Mallard discussed on the practices and challenges of developing empirical research on law. On Friday, Prof. Sophie Weerts and Prof. Bernard Voutat gave two talks on “opportunities and constraints of a disciplinary decompartmentalisation” based on their socio-legal research experiences at the University of Lausanne.

The conference closed with a collective discussion session on the future of the Swiss Network for Law and Society. This conclusive session brought out the liveliness of socio-legal research in Switzerland, despite the absence of a coherent, established field. Participants highlighted the need to develop further spaces for interdisciplinary dialogues and discussed the potentials of an institutionalization.

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