Second 2022 Thematic: ‘Law and Economics’
The UNSW Law Journal is currently welcoming submissions for Issue 45(3). The Issue will comprise of both a thematic component and a general component. The topic for the thematic component is ‘Law and Economics’.
Despite being lauded by Professor Bruce Ackerman of the Yale Law School as ‘the most important development in legal scholarship of the twentieth century’, the law and economics movement in Australia has not flourished beyond the traditionally accepted fields of antitrust, corporate, and taxation law. This is regrettable given that the impact of an economic analysis of law extends beyond academia to the practice of law and implementation of public policy. The fact that law and economics provided the intellectual foundations to the deregulation movements in the 1970s and reforms to criminal sentencing in the United States federal courts attests to the significance of this methodological paradigm.
The value an economic analysis offers is to provide a scientific theory that can predict the effects of legal sanctions on behaviour. To achieve this, economists have developed empirically sound methodologies (statistics and econometrics) and mathematically precise theories (price theory and game theory) to provide a quantitative assessment. Recent advances in behavioural economics and cognitive sciences have also offered a theory as to how people respond to changes in law. Importantly, economics specifies a normative standard for evaluating law and policy: efficiency. Research into fields like nudge theory and search heuristics can provide insights to policymakers about how to encourage and discourage a range of behaviours to achieve economically efficient outcomes. Quantitative reasoning and empirical research are the bread and butter of an economist and tools which lawyers can learn from to enrich their understandings of the behavioural consequences of the law. Issue 45(3) thus aims to enliven discussions in the Australian legal landscape about the value of law and economics.
The submission deadline for the thematic Issue 45(3) is 4 February 2022, with publication of Issue 45(3) set for late September 2022. Articles must be between 7,000 and 13,000 words in length (excluding footnotes). The style guide for the Journal is the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, as supplemented by the latest edition of the Journal’s ‘Additions’. Please visit our submissions page here for further submissions guidelines and to submit.
 Thomas Ulen and Robert Cooter, Law and Economics (Addison-Wesley, 3rd ed, 2000) 2.
 Ibid 3.