Session 1 - John Flood

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1
Research Theory and Practice, 1LLM7A1.2006.1,
Session 1
18/01/07
I. Introduction
1) General introduction
2) The aims and the structure of the module
3) Deadlines for the outlines and the proposal
4) The Blackboard (Lecture notes can be found under the Course Documents)
5) Plagiarism: Taking someone else’s words, ideas, or specialised information and passing them off as
one’s own; it is intellectual theft.
II. What is a research proposal?
1) It is a carefully thought-out plan explaining how you intend to conduct a larger piece of research.
2) It can be on the same topic as you dissertation. It can also be on a different topic.
3) It explains the rational for designing your research in a specific way.
4) It is the foundation for a larger research undertaking.
5) A research undertaking which is not based on a sound design is bound to fail and/or not produce
reliable form of knowledge.
6) A research proposal is not an essay and does not follow an essay format.
7) How long should the research proposal be?
8) How should it be presented?
9) Case Studies
10) Supervision
III. What are the main elements of a research proposal?
1)
2)
3)
4)
Research problem or topic
Research Question
Literature Review
Method(s) of research: i) What type of date are you going to collect, ii) are you certain that this data
provide an answer to the research problem which you posed at the outset? ii) how do you intend to
collect it, and iii) how are you going to process and analyse this data?
Example 1:
Topic: Law and Terrorism
Research questions: 1) To what extend can law provide an effective deterrent to terrorism? 2) Do
terrorist laws violate the civil liberties?
Example 2:
Topic: The development of the EU Law and Trade Relations
Research Question: How effective are the UK based companies which operate in the new EU
member states with EU directives on commercial law?
There are 3 examples of previous research proposals under Assignments on the Blackboard.
IV. How to choose a research question
V. Descriptive or Analytical
1) Good research has both a descriptive and analytical parts,
2) To develop an analytical approach one needs to broaden ones approach to law and see the object of
study in a its legal context and sometimes also in its social setting,
3) One also needs to become conscious of the interrelationship between various parts of law, legal
practice, legal institutions and social forces.
VI. What is an Outline?
An outline is a brief description of the research proposal you intend to develop. It consists of 1) The research
topic2) preliminary research question(s) and 3) some general considerations on sources of data, previous
studies and methods of research. The outlines should be submitted no later than 8/3/7.
VII. A few questions
What is Research? What is knowledge? What is science?
What is law? Is there such a thing as a legal science?
Do we need to be scientific in the study of law?
If yes, how can we be scientific in the study of law?
2
Research Theory and Practice
(1LLM 7A1)
Dr. Reza Banakar
Email: [email protected]
I. Introduction
1) General introduction
2) The aims and the structure of the
module
3) Deadlines for the outlines and the
proposal
4) The Blackboard (Lecture notes can be
found under the Course Documents)
5) Plagiarism: Taking someone else’s
words, ideas, or specialised information
and passing them off as one’s own; it is
intellectual theft.
3
II. What is a research proposal?
1) It is a carefully thought-out plan
which explains how you intend to
conduct a larger piece of research.
2) It explains the rational for designing
your research in a specific way.
3) It is the foundation for a larger
research undertaking.
4) A research undertaking which is not
based on a sound design is bound to
fail and/or not produce reliable form
of knowledge.
5) A research proposal is not an essay
and does not follow an essay format.
6) How long should the research
proposal be? About 3500 words
including footnotes and
bibliography.
7) How should it be presented?
8) Case Studies
9) Supervision
4
III. The main elements of a research
proposal?
1) Research problem or topic
2) Research Question
3) Literature Review
4) Method(s) of research: i) What type of date
are you going to collect, ii) are you certain
that this data provide an answer to the
research problem which you posed at the
outset? ii) how do you intend to collect it,
and iii) how are you going to process and
analyse this data?
Topic: The development of the EU Law and
Trade Relations
Research Question: How effective are the UK
based companies which operate in the new
EU member states with EU directives on
commercial law?
Topic: Corporate Governance
Research Question: To What Extent can
Parmalat’s Collapse be considered in terms of
individual responsibility.
5
Types of Questions which are
Unsuitable
1) Burden of Proof with regard to
Barratry.
2) Does Council Regulation 44/2001
Ensure A Single Adjudication and A
Single Judgement Within the EC?
3) Which stipulations need to exist in
order to ensure the principle of Good
Faith?
4) Alternative Dispute Resolution vs
Litigation: Should the courts make
the use of ADR more or less
obligatory?
6
IV. How to chose a research topic and
formulate a research question
- Personal interest
- Using imagination and creativity
- Focus
- Practical thinking – some research
questions are interesting but cannot be
investigated within the framework of this
course.
V. Descriptive or Analytical
1) Good research has both a descriptive and
analytical parts,
2) To develop an analytical approach one
needs to broaden one’s understanding of law
and see the object of study in a its legal
context and sometimes also in its social
setting,
3) One also needs to become conscious of the
interrelationship between various parts of
law, legal practice, legal institutions and
social forces.
7
VI. What is an Outline?
An outline is a brief and preliminary
description of the research proposal you
intend to develop.
It consists of:
1) The research topic (Example: Copyright
protection on the internet)
2) Preliminary research question(s) (Example:
How and to what extent does the copyright
regime deal with the P2P file sharing?)
3) Some general considerations on sources of
data, previous studies and methods of
research (Example: cases, interviews,
qualitative methods)
The outline should not exceed one page.
The outlines should be submitted no later that
8/3/07.
Do Not submit your Outline by email.
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VII. A few questions
What is Research?
What is knowledge?
What is science?
What is law?
Is there such a thing as a legal science?
Do we need to be scientific in the study of law?
If yes, how can we be scientific in the study of
law?
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