Case Studies in Legal Research Methodologies: Reflections on Theory and Practice

Case Studies in Legal Research Methodologies: Reflections on Theory and Practice


A unique book on the principles and practicalities of legal research


Editors: Laura Cahillane and Jennifer  Schweppe | ISBN: 978-1-911611-11-0  | Format and Price: Paperback €38 | Publication Date:  25 July 2019



The methodological approach and methods used in any particular research project are key to its success. In  the 2016 publication’, the contributors assessed the relative utility of a variety of methods and methodologies in the context of legal research generally. Taking a case studies approach, contributors to this text have written about the methods used in a particular piece of research, outlining the justification for the choice of that methodology; describing the methods used; detailing the advantages, disadvantages and challenges to the approach taken; discussing any ethical considerations that arose in the context of the research; reflecting on the approach taken; and concluding with advice to scholars engaging with similar methods or methodologies. Each chapter is structured in the same way in order to allow for ease of comparison between the approaches taken.  The real advantage of this book is the insightful advice provided by the authors, who are all experts in their relevant fields, and through the examples given the reader gains the benefit of the lessons learned and experiences of the authors.

Content includes

  • Researching Law and Legal Research: Introducing the Case 
Studies Approach, Laura Cahillane and Jennifer Schweppe
  • The Case for a Qualified Veto System of Adverse Possession in Ireland: A Doctrinal Approach with ‘Bells and Whistles’, 
Una Woods
  • Who Gets to Decide on Marriage Equality? A Reflection on Comparative Research, 
Conor O’Mahony
  • Researching the Irish Free State Constitution: Law and History, Laura Cahillane
  • Using International Law in Interdisciplinary Human
Rights Research, 
Clíodhna Murphy, Mary Gilmartin, and Leanne Caulfield
  • The Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project: Experiments
in Feminist Legal Research, 
Máiréad Enright and Aoife O’Donoghue
  • ‘Changing Ireland, Changing Law’: Access to Justice and Understanding the Lived Experience, Ivana Bacik and Mary Rogan
  • Researching with Hard to Access Communities: Understanding
the Relationship between the Trans Community and An Garda Síochána in Ireland, Amanda Haynes, Jennifer Schweppe and Niamh Dillon
  • Capturing Cultures of Control: Some Reflections on
 Social Research, Claire Hamilton
  • Using Methodological Triangulation to Understand Illicit
Drug Markets, Johnny Connolly
  • Crossing the Line: Ethnographic Fieldwork on Crime and Justice, Jonathan Ilan
  • Researching Domestic Violence: The INASC Project, Conor Hanly
  • Mixed Methods Inquiry in Law: Exploring the Temporal
Burdens of Medical Negligence Litigation, Mary-Elizabeth Tumelty
  • Research at the Law Reform Commission, Ciarán Burke and Raymond Byrne

Who Should Buy This Book?

Case Studies in Legal Research Methodologies: Reflections on Theory and Practice is essential reading for all law students, legal researchers and legal academics. This book will also be of great interest to legal practitioners, legal librarians and anyone interested legal research theory and practice.


About the Editors

Laura Cahillane is a lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Limerick.

Jennifer  Schweppe is a lecturer in law at the University of Limerick.



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