Robert Gordon University Law School hosted the Socio-Legal Studies Association 2014 conference, held in Aberdeen Business School on 9 - 11 April 2014.

About the SLSA

Over the past 21 years, the annual SLSA conference has expanded to become one of the most prestigious international events in socio-legal studies. The SLSA has been running an annual conference since the association was founded in 1990, in-keeping with the SLSA objective of dissemination of knowledge in the field of socio-legal studies. More information about the SLSA, including how to join, can be found on the SLSA website.

The 2013 conference at the University of York attracted around 350 delegates from 25 different countries. Delegates came from a variety of backgrounds and at different stages in their professional career, from early career researchers through to the most eminent scholars in their field. Many enduring scholarly connections have been established at the SLSA conference over the years. 

About SLSA 2014

The conference will follow the “streams and themes” format successfully run in previous years. This year, there are: 27 confirmed streams; 4 themes; and a panel session. This year, we are pleased to announce that the plenary session will take the form of a panel session on Scottish Independence.


The conference organisers were Dr Sarah Christie and Margaret Downie.


With thanks to our sponsors.

Sponsors Logos

Hart Publishing                Cambridge Press                     Palgrave Macmillan           Oxford Press


Sponsors Logos




             EUP                                    Routledge                                Intersentia                            HEA

SLSA Sponsors

         W Green                       Westlaw UK                   Thomson Reuters               Sweet & Maxwell


Student Bursary awards are kindly sponsored by the Journal of Law and Society  Journal of Law and Society

Papers & Posters

The Call For Papers Is Now Closed

Postgraduate Poster Competition

The call for poster competition entries is now closed.

The winner of the postgraduate poster competition was David Barrett of Bristol Law School. David's poster is available for download here.

For more information about the competition and designing a poster, please see the Postgraduate Poster Competition Guide


Programme of Events

A programme of events is available along with details of the evening events (pdf)


A parallel session summary for the 2014 conference is available (pdf)

The format of the SLSA 2014 conference continues with the popular “streams and themes” format which has been successful in previous years.  In addition to stream and theme sessions, there will also be a series of panel sessions entitled: Renewing Critique in Criminal Justice

NEW:  Researcher Development Sessions at the Annual Conference

At the RGU conference we will be introducing ‘researcher development’ sessions as part of the parallel sessions programme. There are three sessions planned for the 2014 conference:

  • Getting published – This interactive workshop will be led by editor of the JLS, SLSA stalwart and winner of the 2013 SLSA prize for contributions to the socio-legal community, Phil Thomas. The aim of the workshop is to introduce young, underpublished scholars to the how and why of research and publishing. 
  • Open Access – Everything you wanted to know about open access publishing (but were too afraid to ask)! The session will be led by SLSA Chair Rosemary Hunter, and will mark the launch of the SLSA’s Guidance on Open Access.
  • Getting funded – This session will include the socio-legal studies member of the ESRC grants assessment panel, Anne Barlow, and a representative from the SLSA research grants committee, among others.

Buddy up

For the first time, a ‘buddy up’ scheme was offered, under which postgraduate students were offered the opportunity to meet with a more senior academic.  This scheme enabled students both to network and to discuss their research with senior academics within their field. It provided the ideal opportunity, outside of the sometimes intimidating conference setting, for postgraduates to make a connection with a scholar that they had been wanting to talk through their ideas with.

Plenary Panel

This year, the plenary session took the form of a panel session on Scottish Independence. Each of our invited guests spoke about their particular take on aspects of the Independence debate, and the floor was opened for a Q and A session. Panel members included:

Dr Elisenda Casanas Adam (University of Edinburgh)  

Professor Sir David Edward (former Judge of the Court of Justice of the European Communities)  

Professor Alan Miller (Scottish Human Rights Commission)  

Professor Tom Mullen (University of Glasgow)

Professor Alan Paterson (University of Strathclyde)

Professor Jo Shaw (University of Edinburgh)

Evening events

Wednesday 9 April 2014 – Reception at Riverside East
Wine and canapés at the new addition to the RGU Garthdee Campus: “Riverside East”.

Thursday 10 April 2014 – Conference Dinner and Ceilidh at the Beach Ballroom
Civic Reception, Prize-giving, Dinner, and a ceilidh at Aberdeen’s newly refurbished Beach Ballroom


Photographs from the SLSA 2014 Conference Dinner and Awards

Civic Reception, Prize-giving, Dinner, and a ceilidh were held at the Aberdeen Beach Ballroom. Award winners were...

SLSA Prize for Contributions to the Socio-Legal community

Professor Roger Cotterrell - Queen Mary University of London

Postgraduate poster competition

David Barrett - Bristol Law School. David's poster is available for download here.

Socio-Legal Book Prize

Emily Cloatre - 'Pills for the Poorest' ISBN 9780230282841

Early Career Book Prize

Nevin T. Aitken - ‘Identity, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice’ ISBN 978-0-415-62833-4

Socio-Legal Article Prize

Sarah Keenan - The Modern Law Review 76 (2013) 464–493.

Oishik Sircar - Osgoode Hall Law Journal 49(3) (2012) 527.

SLSA 2014 Dinner and Awards

Event Photos

SLSA Conference Photographs

SLSA Atrium

SLSA Conference

SLSA Conference

SLSA Conference