Legal research methodology

Legal Research Methodology


  • Study a particular subject.
  • Gather information on something.
  • Research word comes from a French word ‘Recerch’ means ‘to search or to seek.
  • Research means adding something to the existing knowledge. It can be updating, alteration, adding, subtraction, deleting the previous knowledge.
  • According to Dr. P. Young, It is a scientific undertaking aiming to-
    • Discover new facts.
    • Verity of old facts.
    • Analyze their sequences.
    • Inter-relationship.
    • Casual explanation.
    • Develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories.
  • According to Manheim, ‘research is the careful, delegate and exhaustive investigation of a specific subject matter which has the aim to advance mankind knowledge’.
  • Carford says, ‘Research is the systematic and redefine takes of thinking and employing specialized tools and procedure to obtain and adequate solution of the problem.

Objectives of Research

  • For general legation.
  • Research may be use contraction theory.
  • To acquire new insights into existing facts.
  • Knowledge may be used for construction of theory in the practice of act.
  • To determine the characteristic of a particular object, situation or group.
  • To taste hypothesis of a causal relationship between the object.
  • To separate fact from speculation
  • To extend or verify knowledge. 

Importance of Research

The Research aims to find out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered so far (Verify the existing facts).

Motivation of Research

  • Desire to face the challenges in solving the unsolved.
  • Desire to incur and willingness to know about new things.
  • To get intellectual joy in solving the issues.
  • Helpful for the betterment of society.
  • Help government in formulating policies.
  • To bring change in the way society thinks.
  • To get respect.

Legal Research

  • Legal Research is that branch of knowledge that deals with the principles of law and legal institutes. It is the study of the relationship between the world of law and the world that law wants to govern. 
  • It also studies social, legal and other aspects. It also includes systematic investigation or problems and matter concerns with the law, such as codes, acts, constitution, etc.

Significance of Legal Research

Law is the essential instrument of social change. The significance of Research is based on justice, equity, and good conscience. Some of the consciences are:

  • It helps the government in formatting relevant laws to pursue its economic and social policies.
  • It helps in solving various operational and planning problems related to the business industry and tax.
  • It helps the courts/court in solving the problem.
  • It helps the legal practitioners/lawyers in taking decisions as to how they should take the situation in hand.
  • It brings legal awareness to society.

Hudson Maxim: All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than confidence; it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention.

Objectives of legal Research

  • To find the gap in the law and find the steps to overcome them.
  • To discover new facts.
  • To test and verify old facts.
  • To analysis the truth into a new theoretical framework.
  •  To examine the consequence of new facts or new principles of law or judicial decisions.
  • To develop new legal research tools or applied tools of other disciplines in the area of law.
  • To propound a new legal concept.
  • To analyze the law and legal institutions from the point of view of history.
  • To ascertain the merits and demerits of the old law.
  • To ascertain the relationship between the judiciary, legislature and give suggestions regarding the same.
  • To develop the principles of interpretation for critical examination of statues.

Research Approach

There are three types of research approach:

Qualitative Research ApproachQuantitative research approachPragmatic Approach
It is concerned with subjective assessment of attitude, opinion and behavior. It is about recording and analyzing the meaning the significance of human behavior and emotions.  

This Research is not based on pre-decided hypotheses but is clear as to but problems they want to explore. The data is collected in text form by observation and interaction with participants. They give freedom to people to express themselves.  

Ex. Interview, Research on a historical subject.

It usually involves collecting and converting data into numerical form to make statistical calculations, and a conclusion could be drawn.  

We may use it to find the relation between different things [co-relation and regression]. In this, the researcher takes great care to avoid their views, behavior or attitude, affecting the result.

These are three types:

Inferential: Research is a form of the database from which the relationship of the population can be studied or inferred.

Experimental: It is characterized by the greater control over the research environment, and some variables are manipulated to observe their effect on other variables.

Simulation: Construction of artificial environment from which one can generate relative data and information.  

It is a mixed-method and includes methods that appear best suited to the Research. In this, the researcher can use any method and procedure typically associated with Qualitative and Quantitative forms. Ex. Interview and data collection.


Types of Research

DescriptiveAnalyticalAppliedFundamentalQualitative/ Non-empirical/DoctrinalQuantitative/ empirical/ Non-doctrinalConceptual researchOthers  
Research involves services or facts finding inquiry in different kinds. The primary purpose of the Research is to describe the state of affairs as it exists at present. Research often uses the term ‘ex post facto’ Research for descriptive studies in social science and business. Ex. Research op preference of people while shopping.

The researcher has to use facts and information already available and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material. Ex. research on any legal issue like critically analyzing law commission reports, analyzing the doctrine of basic structure.

This Research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem faced by society or business organizations. The aim is to discover solutions for practical problems. This Research identifies social, economic or political trends that may affect a particular institution.
Ex. Marketing research, policy implementation of odd and even cars in Delhi and rule regarding pollution control.


The Research is mainly concerned with generalization and with the formation of a theory. IT is gathering knowledge for knowledge sake. Ex. Research concerning human behavior carried on to generalize human behavior research related to mathematics.

It is concerned with Qualitative pronominal. It aims to discover underline motives and desires. It is also called opinion research. It is designed to find out how people think or what they think about a particular subject.
Ex. Research article 21 right to life.

It is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It applies to Phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity. It realizes on experience or observation alone. It is data-based Research, coming with a conclusion and can be verified by observation or experiment.

It is the Research related to some abstract ideas or theory. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones. Ex: Corporate social responsibility, the pure theory of law.

One time research: Research for a particular period only.              Ex: Even or odd cars. Longitudinal: Research that continues for a long time. Clinical: Researchers involves case study method or indebt approach of a particular subject to reach basic cases and relations.            
 Ex: Study of the behavior of criminals.


Difference between Doctrinal (traditional) and Non-Doctrinal (empirical)

Doctrinal Research Non-Doctrinal Research  
It is concern with legal prepositions and doctrines.    It is concerned with institutions and relation between societies.  
Sources of data are articles, journals, commission reports, AIR, various court decisions.  Sources of data are less, and mostly new techniques have been used.
Most of the material is available in the library.The library may not very active for such kind of resources.  
The scope is narrower since it is the study of what the doctrine or authority says.It has a wider scope.  
No need to give the training to collect and use sources.  Training is needed to use new techniques in the Research.
Fieldwork is not needed, and library references are enough.  Fieldwork is the essential part of this Research.
 It is concerned with documents.  It tries to find out the effect of legal decisions upon society; therefore, mere importance is given to society and people.  

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also
Back to top button
Hey, wait!

Before you go, Subscribe to our Newsletter.