Barbara Havelková
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford

What and How to Write: a Defence of Legal Scholarly Outputs

Jurisprudence 6/2016 Section: Articles Page: 11-17

Keywords: Legal genres; types of legal publication; scholarly output; academic writing

Abstract: The essay discusses different types of legal publications, their aims and characteristics, reflecting in particular the differences between the Czech and Anglo-American context. It identifies four main types of legal publication: commentary, textbook, scholarly output in the form of an article or a monograph, and a think piece. The third type, scholarly output, which is the typical and most important type of publication for a legal academic in the Anglo-American context, is not as common in the Czech Republic and it often has different characteristics. Notably, it rarely contains a narrowly defined research question, a discussion of methodology, and a clearly stated position or opinion of the author. This different approach has its reasons, among them the missing continuity of open and free legal scholarship due to forty years of communism. This makes the Czech emphasis on ‘mapping’ and compilation both understandable and, to some extent, justified. The essay nonetheless argues for a greater emphasis on narrowly focused, deeper, and methodologically rigorous analyses of law in the form of articles and monographs.