The Modern Law Review

Cover image for Vol. 79 Issue 3

Edited By: Julia Black

Impact Factor: 0.645

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 71/143 (Law)

Online ISSN: 1468-2230

Virtual Issues

The Modern Law Review is pleased to offer the following virtual issues:





In honour of Professor Simon Roberts, who sadly died in 2014, the MLR Committee is publishing a special issue on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and legal pluralism, two core areas of Simon’s scholarship. This special issue contains three articles by Simon. Two of these articles are on ADR and the third is his 2005 Chorley lecture on legal pluralism. These articles are followed by a further seven MLR articles which are influenced by and relate to Simon’s work in these areas. This selection includes the 20th and the 35th Chorley lectures by Professors Galanter and Koskenniemi respectively. This range of articles, published between 1983 and 2007, demonstrates the scale and impact of Simon’s work. In putting together this special issue, we have made our selection from articles published in the MLR.  We have also included Simon’s obituary. These articles are presented in chronological order (within Parts 1 and 2) and they are free for you to view without a subscription.

Professor Simon Roberts, Obituary

Part 1: A selection of Modern Law Review articles by Simon Roberts:
Mediation in Family Disputes

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Civil Justice: An Unresolved Relationship

After Government? On Representing Law without the State

Part 2: A selection of MLR articles influenced by Simon Roberts’ work:
Confidentiality in Mediation of Matrimonial Disputes
J. McCrory

Evaluating Alternative Dispute Resolution: Measuring the Impact of Family Conciliation on Costs
A. Ogus, M. Jones-Lee et al,

The Oldest Social Science? The Epistemic Properties of the Common Law Tradition
W.T. Murphy

Law Abounding: Legalisation Around the North Atlantic
M. Galanter

Lawyer Negotiations: Theories and Realities−What We Learn From Mediation
C. Menkel-Meadow

Lawyers and Arbitration: The Juridification of Construction Disputes
J. Flood & A. Caiger

Fate of Public International Law: Between Techniques and Politics
Martti Koskenniemi


The Editorial at the beginning of the first issue of The Modern Law Review in 1937 made it abundantly clear that topics such as labour law (or industrial law as it was then known) would be a central concern of the MLR.  ‘The REVIEW deals with the law as it functions in society …[including] those branches of scientific study in which law is an important but not the only factor [such as] the problem of how far the mass of industrial legislation actually affects the lives of the industrial population whose social and economic condition it is intended to protect. A founding member of the editorial committee was Otto Kahn-Freund, who in many respects also founded the modern study of labour law in the United Kingdom.  Previously a labour law judge in the Weimar republic, he fled Germany in response to persecution by the Nazis after his judgment regarding claims for unfair dismissal in the ‘radio case’.  Our virtual issue opens with the first English translation of that pivotal judgment in the Berlin labour court in 1933, followed by an expert commentary provided by Professor Mückenberger.  That judgment turned out to be a historical turning point, because following that judgment Kahn-Freund was effectively dismissed.  He came to London and retrained in the common at the London School of Economics.  As a young lecturer, Kahn-Freund introduced the modern contextual approach to the study of labour law and nurtured its development in the pages of The Modern Law Review.  The following selection of articles that have appeared in the Review is a representative sample of that legacy.

One Last Demonstration of Judicial Independence: Otto Kahn-Freund’s Judgment in the “Radio Case”
U. Mückenberger

Collective Agreements Under War Legislation
O. Kahn-Freund

Industrial Law and the Labour-Only Sub-Contract
G. de N. Clark

Employee Representation on Company Boards and Participation in Corporate Planning
P.L. Davies

A Not So Golden Formula: In Contemplation or Furtherance of a Trade Dispute in 1982
Bob Simpson

Ascription of Legal Responsibility to Groups in Complex Economic Organisations
Hugh Collins

The Social Charter in Britain: Labour Law and Labour Courts?
Lord Wedderburn

Human Rights and Unfair Dismissal: Private Acts in Public Spaces
V Mantouvalou

Otto Kahn-Freund and Collective Laissez-Faire: An Edifice without a Keystone?
R. Dukes

Labour Law in a Service World
E. Albin


We are pleased to offer a selection of articles published in The Modern Law Review on International Legal Scholarship. These articles are all freely available for you to read.


The Disintegration of European Civilisation and the Future of International Law: Some Observations on the Social Foundations of Law

Recognition of Insurgents as a De Facto Government

The Foundations of the Authority of International Law and the Problem of Enforcement Images and Models in the World Court: The Individual Opinions in the North Sea Continental Shelf Cases

The Bhopal case: Controlling Ultrahazardous Industrial Activities Undertaken by Foreign Investors
P.T. Muchlinksi

New World Order or Old?The Invasion of Kuwait and the Rule of Law
Christopher Greenwood

’The Lady Doth Protest Too Much’ Kosovo, and the Turn to Ethics in International Law
Martti Koskenniemi

International Law: A Discipline of Crisis
Hilary Charlesworth


A complete set of back issues of The Modern Law Review pre-1997 is now freely available on our website. To celebrate this welcome development we offer here a collection of some of the significant articles that have published in the MLR on legal scholarship. In a sense, every piece published in the journal is about legal scholarship, but the articles collected here are some of the best examples of where scholars have reflected on the topic explicitly and in an overarching and critical way.

There are also two possible and not inconsistent ways at looking at the value of collecting these articles together. One is to see these pieces as geological substrata in which ideas have become fossilized. Reading through such issues thus provides insight into the linear evolutionary progression of legal scholarship. A second way to understand the value of these articles is to start with the assumption that legal scholarship is constantly struggling with the same set of intellectual challenges and thus these articles provide a valuable resource in thinking about current issues. Thus the purposes of the Journal set out in the original circular for The Modern Law Review are just as important now as they were then.

Overall, what this selection makes clear is that having these back issues on line is a very real scholarly resource. It is hoped that this virtual issue will be the first of many that will make clear what Glasser noted in 1987 - the Review ‘has contained an extraordinary range of material, maintaining the very highest critical standards’.

Editorial and Prefatory Note

Radicals and Refugees: The Foundation of the Modern Law Review and English Legal Scholarship

An Anniversary Preface

Roberts and Murphy

The Nature of Legal Scholarship
D. Feldman

On the Uses and Misuses of Comparative Law
O. Kahn Freund

Bentham and the Demystification of the Law
H.L.A Hart

Legal Analysis as Institutional Imagination
R. Unger