1 J.L. & Cts. 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/jlawct1 and id is 1 raw text is: 








Introducing the Journal of Law

and Courts




Welcome  to the very first issue of the Journal of Law and Courts. Here and in all the
issues to follow, we hope you will find article after article that broadens your knowl-
edge, deepens your understanding, and raises exciting new questions as to law and legal
actors across a vast geographic, temporal, and theoretical range.
   JLC  aims to publish articles that are simultaneously of very high quality and great
substantive interest, with the goal of helping to combat intellectual isolation and
fragmentation. At a time when most of us too often read and write for scholars whose
work  looks like our own and find ourselves unable to keep up with the ideas and
findings of scholars who share important concerns with us but come at them from
different perspectives, it is essential that we have a single forum where readers know
they can find articles that range across the entire intellectual spectrum of law and courts
scholarship and where  authors understand that they have a responsibility to write
articles that people outside their circle will want to read. JLC intends to be that forum.
   Every journal must make decisions of emphasis. We might think of the ideal article
as a flawlessly conceived and executed, beautifully written study of an issue of major
substantive importance that causes us to look at the world differently. But very few
such articles exist in the real world. When almost all scholarship necessarily has im-
portant limitations, how much weight should be given to different desiderata?
   It is our sense that many peer-reviewed journals today place the most weight on
execution and clarity of results (in empirical findings or argument). This undoubtedly
promotes scholarly rigor across the board. Still, if too many journals give primary em-
phasis to execution and results, then substantive importance and originality in theory,
argument, and research design can end up being devalued, with unhealthy consequences
for scholarship. With this view in mind, our intention is to have JLC lean slightly in
the other direction. Even the most impressively executed study will not find a home
in JLC if we do not feel confident that it would be regarded as substantively impor-
tant and original by a large number of readers. On the other hand, if we believe that a
well-executed paper raises important issues and addresses them creatively and persua-
sively, we will be inclined to publish it even in the face of reasonable disagreements
about  its conclusions, in the expectation that scholars who have doubts will be
stimulated to do work in response and that the end result will be greater and more
secure knowledge and  understanding.
   Whatever  your discipline and your approach to the study of law and courts, we
hope that you agree with these aims and, even if not, that you find reading JLC a

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