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About the BAR

The Berlin Working Group on Socio-legal Studies (Berliner Arbeitskreis Rechtswirklichkeit - BAR) was founded October 2001 by a small group of young lawyers and social scientists who did not feel that their socio-legal research interests were adequately represented within their own disciplines, and who felt the need for more interdisciplinary socio-legal research and projects in Germany than currently exist.

Partly inspired by the activities of the Law and Society Association, which offers events for young scholars such as the Graduate Student Workshop during its Annual Meetings, the BAR specifically addresses Master's students, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers and tries to offer a communication platform for their socio-legal research. The BAR cooperates with the existing socio-legal academic community and intends to supplement their work and activities. It runs a Germany-wide email-list and organizes monthly meetings with lectures in Berlin.

In 2003, the BAR organized a socio-legal graduate student conference, which was followed by a young scholars' conference in 2005 attended by over 120 participants.  For the organization  of  these conferences, the BAR was supported, amongst others, by the Max-Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (where the conferences took place), by the Association for Law and Society (Vereinigung für Rechtssoziologie), the Sociology of Law Section of the German Sociological Association (Sektion Rechtssoziologie in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie), the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ), and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

The BAR consists of an organizational core group in Berlin, associated members in Germany and several other countries , and  other members who have joined our E-Mail-List and / or have chosen to join this internet portal. The BAR  is not an academic organization or interest group. Instead, we aim at creating a  network of scholars and practitioners who look beyond black-letter law to explore the various interconnections between law and society.