Law School

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 Fiona McGaughey.

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:

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

    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 ‘Law and Contemporary Social Issues’, 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


    Dr Renae Barker
    Assistant Professor Theodore Bennett

    Winthrop Professor Harry Blagg
    Associate Professor Ethan Blue
    Winthrop Professor Robert Burrell
    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 Wesson
    Ms Fiona McGaughey

    Higher Degree by Research
    Peta-Jane Hogg

    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