S.U. Kouwagam is guest researcher at Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, Leiden Law SchoolProfile page
The nature of my research is participant observation and applying comparative law from detailed knowledge of legal procedures in multiple jurisdictions. The methods I have been using for my research are in four parts: participant observation, legal analysis ( particularly analysis of courts’ databases and systematic case analysis), interviews, and applying reflexivity in analysing my findings.
Before switching to socio-legal scholarship, I came from years of legal practice. My previous ‘peers' in the world of legal practice became my research subjects, and consequently, myself along with it, or at least I have to analyze the actions I performed while being the practitioner. I think that reflexivity is an important skill, not only to be a good sociologist, but also to be an ethical legal professional. I will be glad to share my experiences on how to perform the four-part method above, the possible challenges in the field, and how to overcome them.