The Significance of Law in the Everyday Lives of Children and Families

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  • Source:
    Georgia Law Review, 1988/07/01, Vol: 22, p851
  • Additional Information
    • Author:
      Gary B. Melton
    • Abstract:
      I. DIRECTIONS FOR PSYCHOLEGAL STUDY A. Toward Social Science in Law In an editorial in Law and Human Behavior, 1 Michael Saks issued a warning to psycholegal scholars in which he suggested that the usefulness of our work is being limited by the range of topics that we have chosen to address. Trial process has been emphasized with minimal attention to the rich psychological issues throughout legal doctrine. Professor Saks summarized his editorial observations as follows: I have received many papers devoted to the study of eyewitness phenomena; more, in fact, than any other category. Yet the subject of eyewitnesses, will occupy at the most only a few hours of a law student's academic life; only a fraction of the thousands of annual pages in law reviews; can be only one of a large number of issues a judiciary committee will address itself to in a year's policy making. To be a field that studies law and human behavior is a grand and noble enterprise. To be the field that knows more than anyone would ever want to ask about a narrow assortment of issues is, to put it mildly, less grand. 2 Without meaning, as Professor Saks did not, to disparage eyewitness research specifically, I do intend this Article to develop a theme that is outside the mainstream of psycholegal scholarship but that is close to where I believe the mainstream should be. In particular, this Article is intended as a step toward a psychology of jurisprudence through ...
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