Faculty of Law

Law and Society Research and Teaching Network


Further information

Law and Society Network

If you would like any further information about L&S-Net, or are interested in becoming a member, please contact Winthrop Professor Mark Israel at: mark.israel@uwa.edu.au.

UWA garden sculpture

The Law and Society Research and Teaching Network (L&S-Net) was established at UWA in 2012. L&S-Net is an interdisciplinary network that links academic staff, researchers and research higher degree students with a mutual interest in pursuing work that engages with law in its theoretical, cultural, political or historical context.

‘Law and Society’ (also known as ‘socio-legal studies’ or ‘empirical studies in law’) is a broad field of inquiry that draws on a variety of empirical, theoretical and methodological approaches and ideas. While ‘law and society’ work maintains a focus on legal principles, institutions and practices, it extends beyond a doctrinal, black letter approach and instead seeks to understand how law operates as a social phenomenon.

L&S-Net members have a diversity of expertise and backgrounds in disciplines such as criminology, sociology, history, cultural studies and Indigenous issues, as well as in law and legal theory. Current issues of interest for L&S-Net members include:

  • Social justice;
  • Criminology and criminal justice;
  • Distributive justice;
  • Interrelations between law and discourse;
  • The regulation of bodies;
  • Interactions between law and medicine/science throughout history;
  • Law’s involvement in the construction of authority/argument within professions;
  • The historical development of law and religion in Australia;
  • International comparative law around Indigenous people;
  • Research ethics in criminology and socio-legal studies;
  • Law and literature;
  • Learning and teaching in criminology and socio-legal studies; and
  • International comparative studies in penology.

What Do We Do?

L&S-Net provides a locus for ‘law and society’-oriented academics, researchers and research higher degree students. We are a contact point for introducing and facilitating engagement between members, we run a monthly seminar that provides a forum to discuss the current research projects of LS-Net members and other ‘law and society’ scholars, and we offer supervision for research higher degree students working on ‘law and society’ topics.

Some L&S-Net members also undertake teaching in ‘law and society’ across UWA. We run a popular undergraduate major in Law and Society within the Bachelor of Arts degree. The major offers the core units ‘Crime and Society’, ‘Law, Conflict and Change’, ‘Law in Action’ and ‘Investigating Law and Society’, as well as a variety of electives such as ‘Birth, Life, Death and the Law’, ‘Law and Religion’ and ‘Gender and the Law’.

Law and Society Major


Assistant Professor Theodore Bennett
Alysia Blackham
Winthrop Professor Harry Blagg
Associate Professor Ethan Blue
Winthrop Professor Robert Burrell
Lauren Butterly
Professor Kieran Dolan
Emeritus Professor Richard Harding
Dr Ambelin Kwaymullina
Dr Blaze Kwaymullina
Adjunct Professor Neil Morgan
Winthrop Professor Nolan Sharkey
Dr Hilde Tubex
Assistant Professor Tamara Tulich
Associate Professor Murray

Renae Barker


Higher Degree by Research
Peta-Jane Hogg
Kelly-Ann Couzens

Visiting Scholars

If you are an academic or researcher who is not based in Western Australia, please note that the UWA Faculty of Law hosts a number of Visiting Scholars each year. L&S-Net encourages applications from ‘law and society’-oriented academics and researchers.

UWA visiting scholar program; Policy No. UP07/178

Law and Society Links

Law and Society Network, University of Sydney
The Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Inc. LSAANZ