Through this article, We will try to understand the basic concepts of research and legal research with its objectives. Further, this article will also cover different kinds of legal research continuously done by legislators, judges, lawyers, law students, and law teachers. Thus, let’s begin.
The terms “Re” and “Search” are the basic components of the word “research.” Re means once again, and Search means to look closely or inquire. Therefore, by combining these, we may state research means searching repeatedly. To conduct research is to look into, enquire about, or probe a subject. It is a thorough investigation into a subject to learn more about it. Research is done to learn more about a topic or to add fresh knowledge to what already exists. Because the results of research affect the general population, it must be conducted meticulously, methodically, and with the fewest possible errors.
The objective of the Research is to add knowledge to what already exists in a discipline. Research can open our eyes to a variety of different viewpoints. Research is to be done to address socio-economic issues which help to better comprehend how to create policies in that particular field. Findings from the research are also used to address a specific problem or question. To make the answers to the questions easier to understand, it is to be done in an organized manner.
The field of law is vast and has many facets of knowledge. In India, several laws, including a mass of statutes, constant amendments, and supplementary rules and regulations, make it challenging for a prudent man to comprehend everything. Due to the dynamic nature of law, the legal profession cannot flourish without research and findings. It forms an integral part of the life of law learners. Legal research can be defined as the methodical finding or ascertainment of the law on a specific subject or in a given context, as well as an investigation into the law to advance the science of law.
In other words, legal research is the scientific investigation into a legal issue or problem and the process of gathering evidence or information to develop new knowledge, ascertain an assumption or verify some hypotheses which starts with a factual assessment of the issue at hand and ends with the investigation’s findings.
Purposes of Legal Research
With so many laws, rules, and regulations in society, it is crucial to identify the ones in society, it is crucial to identify the ones that are currently relevant to the specific circumstance. Finding the law or a court decision at a particular period is not always simple. In this case, legal research makes the job easier. It makes ascertaining the law simpler and significantly more useful. A law is not intended to cover every scenario that might occur in the future. Therefore, if any questions or gaps develop, legal research may be able to clear them up. A researcher can demonstrate the law’s consistency, coherence, and stability through a process of critical examination of the laws. This aids in the future creation and development of legislation, a legal provision, or a doctrine.
An essential part of the modern system of legal education is legal research. The acquisition of theoretical information, practical training, and general education that supports sound legal thinking, effective communication, and ethical responsibility are only a few of the connected tasks that legal education accomplishes. These goals can be more easily attained with legal research.
Types of Legal Research
- Quantitative and Qualitative legal research– The former, as suggested, is about numbers or amounts. The results are expressed in numerical form. Quantitative legal research uses sampling techniques like online polls, questionnaires, and surveys to gather information from both existing and new data sources. It is possible to forecast the future and make adjustments to handle the problem after thoroughly comprehending these numbers. The latter, meanwhile, tries to assemble viewpoints and opinions to produce results. Using regular interactions and close observation, regular interactions and close observation, qualitative research can be used to investigate systems or people. Grounded theory practices, narratology, storytelling, and ethnography are some of the different methodologies used in qualitative research to gather data.
- Descriptive and Analytical Legal Research– The first explains the current situation. Without addressing the cause or justification for the phenomenon, it reports what has occurred or is occurring. Surveys, comparative and correlative approaches, and fact-finding inquiries are the tools used. However, it does not demonstrate a connection between the elements. However, the analytical research critically assesses the given data and facts. A researcher gathers crucial information from the analytical study to contribute fresh concepts to already existing knowledge. Descriptive research, for instance, might look at the variations in crime rates in India between 2021 and 2022, whereas analytical research might explain why and how the crime rates increased over time.
- Conceptual and Empirical Legal Research– Conceptual legal research is an approach that involves monitoring and evaluating information that is already available on a specific topic. Conducting practical experiments is not a need for conceptual research. It has to do with notions or ideas that are abstract. Philosophers and thinkers typically use them to reinterpret pre-existing concepts. However, the latter ‘Empirical Legal Research’ only relies on experience and observation. It is data-based and generates conclusions that can be supported by observations or experimental findings.
- Applied and Pure Legal Research– Applied legal research is an approach used to address an immediate practical issue. It is a simple, effective strategy for the matter you are handling. For instance, if your client is an organization employee contesting wrongful termination of a contract, the practical course of action would be to carefully review the company regulations, identify any broken policies, and file a lawsuit against the firm based on those defenses. Pure legal research also referred to as basic Legal Research typically focuses on the generalization and formulation of a theory. It is more like a general form of approach to the case you are handling. It does not focus on practical utility. For instance, researchers might carry out fundamental research on how unemployment is caused by illiteracy.
- Doctrinal and Non-Doctrinal Legal Research– What is the law? is the main research question in doctrinal legal research on a specific topic. It is focused on researching the statute, carefully examining it, and developing the logical reasoning for it. On the other side, Non-doctrinal Legal Research which is also called socio-legal research and examines how the legal system and institutions shape and have an impact on society.
At last, We can conclude that An investigation into the depths of a particular topic is called research. Since society and the law both impact one another, research is vital for both. While different ways are undoubtedly used when researching different topics, there are times when the issue is so complicated that multiple approaches are needed simultaneously. However, Every research methodology has a purpose and merits of its own.