Creating socio-legal conversations about justice – Methods and Mobilization

25 Apr to 26 Apr

Coordinators: Annie Bunting (Law & Society, York University), Jennifer Balint (University of Melbourne)

Description of the meeting

A key element of participatory action research is that results are produced collaboratively and shared with the broader affected community. This commitment is echoed in the call to decolonize research in general and university research with Indigenous and racialized communities, in particular. We will create a space for people to exchange about methods for decolonizing research, and, critically, innovative dissemination across different projects. The convenors of this Workshop, “Conversations about Justice”, have both recently wrapped up large, collaborative, law and society projects that use academic-practitioner collaboration and public dissemination as a significant methodological tool for justice-focused research, and include civil society partners in six countries in Africa and in Australia: the Conjugal Slavery in War Project: Partnerships for the study of enslavement, marriage and masculinities (2015-2022), and the Minutes of Evidence Project. They began this conversation through a roundtable convened at the 2017 LSA in Mexico City, “Doing Socio-Legal Work”, which created a space to discuss how sociolegal work takes shape through partnerships, collaborations and in research settings outside the academy. They would now like to extend this conversation and reflections to include hubs of community-university activity in Puerto Rico (Somos Dign@s, InterAmerican University), Indonesia (Sites of Violence, Sites of Peace, Universitas Gadjah Mada), Myanmar and Portugal (University of Coimbra).

The Workshop will explore the following key questions:

  • How do law and society conversations about the meaning and mechanisms of justice happen?
  • What work needs to be done to create public conversations around justice?
  • How do histories of colonialism and ongoing racism impact the contours of these conversations?
  • How can community members have meaningful evaluation of the research projects?
  • What does partnership in law and society work look like and how does law and society work take shape through partnerships and collaborations outside the academy?
  • What does community-facing dissemination look like?
  • How are new insights about justice generated in these meeting points?

This proposed workshop will be a combination of paper presentations and reactions, and video, podcast and art displays which are the product of community-engaged research (Life of the Law podcast "Uganda"; Minutes of Evidence play; children born of war choreographed performance). In drawing on the different strengths of this work in different locales, as well as considering historically its antecedents, this Workshop will provide a space for law and society researchers to reflect on past, new and emerging projects that employ this methodology, and to collaborate on developing a framework for a law and society community-engaged methodology of practice.


For more information: 

Workshop Coordination Team

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