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Good ethical practice in empirical research on law

Israel, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-1263-8699 and Hay, I. (2007) Good ethical practice in empirical research on law. Research Resource Tool. United Kingdom Centre for Legal Education .



Most academic researchers are concerned about ethics. However, many researchers find that acting ethically can be difficult for a number of reasons: for example because the ethical implications of a situation are difficult to recognise.

This research resource material addresses some ethical issues for those engaged in empirical research in law. After delineating the nature of this academic field (Section 2), the authors examine the nature of and the tensions between ethical conduct and research ethics governance (Sections 3-5). In Section 6, they consider how these tensions influence particular research practices around the concepts of informed consent, confidentiality, harms and benefits, research integrity, and the problems relating to investigators’ relationships.

Practical answers to two critical questions for socio-legal scholars are offered: how might we respond to ethical problems as researchers (Section 7); and, how might we teach a new generation of researchers to develop their own ethical imaginations (Section 8).

This should be seen as an evolving tool for researchers and teachers, and so a list of easily available sources (Section 9) is included as well as a request for scholars to help develop these materials further (Section 10). This resource has drawn on work that the authors have published elsewhere (see Section 12). Where appropriate, the authors have modified their earlier publications to create a coherent set of resources for a British audience of research students, researchers and teachers engaged in empirical research in law.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Publisher: University of Warwick. UK Centre for Legal Education
Copyright: © 2007 UKCLE
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