Reading Law Spatially

Antonia Layard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

12 Citations (Scopus)
270 Downloads (Pure)


Legal geography holds great promise for socio-legal scholars interested in the processes of spatial governance and the world around us. This chapter outlines how legal geographical research can use understandings of space to demonstrate how law can be read spatially and what this achieves. There is no single way to do legal geography; scholars have emphasized the importance of provincialism and diversity for both intellectual and ideological reasons. While empirical and phenomenological research have so far predominated in legal geographical work, this chapter shows how critical legal analysis that engages with geography’s conceptual core can enrich both our understanding of law and law’s place in the world. Approaching legal geography methodologically, this chapter will set out the cross-discipline’s scope and tensions, outlining a method of reading law spatially, applying this to the English and Welsh 1999 case of DPP v Jones about a protest on the highway. The chapter concludes with a call for expansion in the scholarly imagination and a recognition of intellectual debts to feminist and critical race legal scholars in expanding our understandings of how we could read law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Socio-Legal Theory and Methods
EditorsNaomi Creutzfeldt, Marc Mason, Kirsten McConnachie
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780429952814
ISBN (Print)ISBN 9781138592902
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019


  • Legal Geography
  • Methodology
  • Methods
  • Socio-Legal


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