About the Journal

Law in Context is published in Open Access by La Trobe Law School, by agreement with PAXTER LLC. (D/B/A The Open Access version was first launched in September 2019 — LiC 36 (1).

LiC was first published in 1983 by the Department of Legal Studies of La Trobe University. The Journal was edited by Federation Press between 1993 and 2017, both in print and online.

All past issues are being digitised and will be made incrementally accessible with new metadata on them. Meanwhile, LiC Archives contain issues of the past five years. PDFs versions of past issues (1993-2017) can be found at HeinOnline (not in open access).  

The first Editorial in 1983 defined and still defines the main goal of the Journal:

“Law in Context is published as a forum for the inter-disciplinary study of law [...]; legal matters can be more richly understood by placing them in their social context and subjecting them to study from a range of academic disciplines.”

This inter-disciplinary approach has been consistently embraced for thirty-five years now. Aboriginal law, criminology and judicial studies, dispute resolution, British and Australian modern and contemporary legal history, political theory, health and medicine, jurisprudence and legal philosophy, the rule of law, the state and the welfare state, have been regular topics in Law in Context. A Special Issue (LiC 2013 29(2), Socio-legality: an Odyssey of Ideas and Context) recounts the history of the Journal.

Law in Context retains its two traditional pillars—law and legal studies— but aligns these with questions of the 21st century by adding a new technological pillar, extending legal social enquiry to questions relating to ICT, AI & Law, the Internet of Things and Big Data analysis. These questions include those relating to intellectual property, security, open knowledge, open science, surveillance, and digital inclusion.

We are living in a digital context today. We are increasingly living in a hybrid space in between humans and machines. Thus, in addition to cognitive sciences—psychology, linguistics—and social sciences —anthropology, sociology, economics— the social dimension of law need to consider— and be considered from— a range of computer science disciplines, from complex systems, to Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning. 

Law in Context continues to strive to address traditional Law & Society issues as well as finding a new focus on social issues in a technology-driven society.