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A platform of expertise in ‘Law and Society’, created at UNIL

10 June 2024
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The Interfaculty Initiative on Law and Society (IDES), created by the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and the Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Administration of the University of Lausanne (UNIL) was created to establish strong links with societal actors involved in the legal and judicial system by promoting collaborative research.

The initiative brings together a network of researchers from UNIL and other academic institutions. The interdisciplinary approach promoted by the IDES draws on various disciplines and fields of research: law, sociology, political science, anthropology, gender studies, psychology, criminology, forensic sciences etc., analysing the relationships between law and society.

Any researcher who is part of the UNIL academic community can become a member of IDES, which also seeks to welcome researchers working in other Higher Education institutions or academic entities", explains Sophie Weerts, Professor of Public Law and Regulation (FDCA).

Building links 

Establishing strong links with societal actors involved in the legal and judicial system is also part of the aims of IDES, that carries out different types of activities such as animation of collaborative research networks by theme, for actors in the judicial and politico-administrative chain, academic conferences, as well as a doctoral school on 'Law and Society' methodologies and the development of international partnerships.

We aim to strengthen exchanges and collaborations with professional and institutional legal actors in Switzerland and internationally. We will notably develop partnerships with comparable research networks in Europe and the United States", details Eléonore Lépinard, Professor of Gender Studies (SSP). 


From an interdisciplinary perspective, researchers in the field of 'Law and Society' seek to understand how law, as a normative system, interacts with and is shaped by social norms, values, institutions, and social and political actors. The first conference of the Swiss "Law & Society" Network, gathering 300 researchers at UNIL, demonstrated the interest and need to institutionalise this dynamic field of research within the Swiss context.

Find out more from the original story, in French

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