LIRC is known for its leading edge interdisciplinary research in law, social sciences and the humanities. Approaching research from an interdisciplinary perspective involves breaking down the boundaries of traditional disciplines, particularly that of law, in the interests of producing fresh insights and knowledges. Our methodologies assume that knowledge about the law is inseparable from a range of sometimes competing or conflicting discourses such as philosophy, religion, history, feminism and critical theory, art, theatre, media, cultural studies, sociology, government and politics.
Two key aspects of our research are social justice and public interest litigation, often with an emphasis on law's relationship with vulnerability and pluralism. Social justice projects seek to transform the law and redress social injustices, with real world impacts such as improved protection for women survivors of domestic violence, measures to reduce economic inequality, legal reform to recognise indigenous knowledges and fairer treatment for asylum seekers, consistent with international human rights norms. Public interest litigation refers to litigation intended to benefit the public interest, usually by contributing to systemic legal and societal change in areas where the law is not serving the interests of justice.
LIRC is organised around six research themes.