You are on page 1of 2

Michael Daniel A.

Ferrer
JD 1-2

IJ Kroeze wrote an article1 which was entitled Legal Research Methodology


and the dream of Interdisciplinary. It tries to examine the law as a subject if it
will fit in three kinds of methodology: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and
transdisciplinary (MIT). He started by rising a question if law can be considered
as science. To define science, he presents plenty of thinkers who attempted to
illustrate what science is and distinguish it from other disciples. Then he chose
Karl Poppers idea about the falsification of a theory to know if a discipline can
be considered as scientific. Thus, for the law to be regarded as scientific, legal
research needs an approach of falsifying the oracles of legal truth, such as
courts, legislatures and so forth, to be considered as science. Afterwards, he
presented the two epistemological divisions of science - rational and empirical.
The question here is in what division we shall include the law; and he answers
this by saying the method of empirical research is far from what does the law
have as the graphs, data sets, questionnaires, laboratory experiments and
computer models is as foreign to legal researchers. So, he concluded on saying
that Law is...very much of a humanities discipline. Now, the problem arises
as to what type of humanities discipline is law? He concludes by saying law is
a hermeneutic and professional discipline because normal legal research (in
the Kuhnian sense) will always consider the history, philosophy, comparative
perspective and socio-political circumstances of any specific problem. Then,
going to the authors main problem which is pointing what methodology does
the law has? He introduced the MIT research methods or Multi-, Inter-,
Transdisciplinary. According to him, multidisciplinary research means that
scientists from a multiplicity of disciplines look at the same
phenomenon/problem. For the Interdisciplinary research, it is when a single
1 IJ Kroeze, Legal Research Methodology and the Dream of Interdisciplinarity, Potchefstroom
Electronic Law Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2013. Accessed June 19, 2016

Michael Daniel A. Ferrer


JD 1-2

researcher is a disciplinary expert in more than one discipline and he/she uses
the methodology of both to address a problem Lastly, transdisciplinary
research is the route of merging two disciplines, which then leads to a new set
of disciplinary rules and conventions. So, the question now is where the law
fits in? For him, multidisciplinary is not only possible in law [but] it is
something legal researchers regularly do, have done and will continue to do for
the reason that legal issues and problems will always and necessarily require
looking at socio-political and economic factors. While in the method of
transdisciplinary, he said that we have actually two example for this, legal
history and legal philosophy. So, we can take from here that law is possible
with transdisciplinary. However, as the title of his article suggests,
interdisciplinary is a dream in legal research and unfit for law because the very
nature of its subject as a professional discipline. Lawyers are trained to think
like lawyers and not equipped to do the kind of research that is undertaken in
the natural and social sciences.