Doctrinal Research in Law Field

Sk Jahangir Ali, Asst.Prof., Baurghat Law College

Basically research means investigation of the new thing and new thing means first-hand experience. Doctrinal research in law field indicates arranging, ordering and analysis of the legal structure, legal frame work and case laws to search out the new thing by extensive surveying of legal literature but without any field work.

Need of the Doctrinal Research

 To solve the legal problem with a new output within a short period of time with less expenses by closely examining and analyzing the legal doctrine, legal framework and case laws in a logical, systematic and scientific way .


Who is the Researcher?

In in the medical field the doctors and in the science field the scientists are the researchers. In the law field the judges, advocates, academicians and students are the researchers.


Research Laboratory

In the field of science for a research it needs research laboratory. But in the field of law for doctrinal research it needs only sound law library to do the table work.


Mode of Citation

Citation is very important for good research. Basically the researchers in the law field use to apply particular system of citation. Citation indicates the authority, authentication and the source of information.  The learner may follow any particular mode of citation like (1) Blue Book Mode of Citation, (2) MLA Citation and (3) ILI Citation. When the researcher taking any proposition of the work of other, the researcher must cite the work of other to show the sources for authenticity and for further study of the subsequent researchers. By citing the proposition the researcher also acknowledging the work of the other.


Every citation has its uniform style. For the easy understanding here is little a bit the focus of the Blue Book Mode of Citation. For broad understanding of any mode of citation, the learner should go through thoroughly any mode of the citation. The below mentioned citation is applicable as footnote.


Blue Book Mode of Citation


  • 1.      Book Published by a Single Publisher:


1.Author in capital letter, 2.Title of the book in capital letter 3. Page number 4. Edition with year






  1. 1.      Law Review Article


  1. 1.      The authors’ name full as it appears in the article, 2.The title of the article or headline (italicized),3.Volume number of the law review 4.The abbreviated name of the law review 5.The page number of the article’s first page  and 6.The law review’s year of publication.


Dan L. Burk & Julie E. Cohen, Fair Use Infrastructure for Rights Management Systems, 15 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 41 (2001)


Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 YALE L.J. 733, 737-38 (1964).


  1. 2.      Newspaper Article:

1. Author, 2.title in italic, 3 name of publication in capital,, and page


Ari L. Goldman, O’Connor Warns Politicians Risk Excommunication over Abortion, N.Y. TIMES, June 15, 1990, at A1.


Steven Greenhouse, Democrats Drop Key Part of Bill to Assist Unions, N.Y. TIMES, July 17, 2009, at A1


  1. 3.      Case:
    1. 1.      Name of the parties in italic, 2.volume number. number 4.year of decision in first bracket


Brown v. Helvering, 291 U.S. 193 (1934)


  1. 4.      Internet Document:


1) Author’s name, 2) Title in italic 3) Date of publication in first bracket, and 4) URL


Deborah L. Harrison, Victim of Human Trafficking or Victim of Research?(Sep.,2006),


Emily Bazelon, In Defense of the New Judicial Activists, Slate (Aug. 9,2010),


Research Process


Step 1: Identifying the research area-The researcher has to choose a topic for the research.


Step 2: Introduction-The researcher will write the general introduction of the selected topic.


Step 3: Objective of the study -The researcher will discuss the objective of the study by highlighting the special reason to choose this topic for the research. The researcher should also highlight the present legal structure and its lacunas to take in hand this area for the study.


Step 4: Limitation of the study-The researcher should mention the limitation of the study.


Step 5: Research question-The researcher should formulate the logical research questions which he is searching.


Step 6: The researcher should formulate hypothesis which means general assumption and proposed explanation of a phenomenon .The researcher may prove his hypothesis or disprove it.


Step 7: Research Methodology-The researcher should discuss the research method.


Step 8: Survey of literature-The researcher must do extensive survey of the literature to establish


Step 9: Chapterization : The researcher has the freedom to establish his research chapter wise.


Step 10: Recommendation-Lastly the researcher should draw the recommendation and conclusion of his study


After completion of the research the researcher keeps the bibliography.