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The term ‘method’ denotes the way in which something is done while methodology implies the philosophy and science behind the same. Research Methodology may be a standard, process or way of doing research. Aspects such as investigation, description, philosophy and the scientific approach are included under it in a wide sense. It is a science of studying how research is done scientifically.


  1. Selection of Research Problem Formulation of Hypothesis
  2. Actual attack on the problem:-
  • Collection of Data (selection methods and tools)
  • Analysis a Data (editing, coding and tabulation)
  • Interpretation and processing of Data
  • Formulation a conclusion
  • Writing a research report


Legal Research Methodology may be applicable for interpretation or analysis of codes; Acts, Rules etc. or to compare laws of different countries, or to compare more than two municipal laws of the nation, know the consequences an implementation of the law, or effects of that law on the society. The methodology legal studies involve their own rules. Thus a separate study of a legal methodology is required.

Two Main Heads can categorize the sources of legal research, i.e Legal & Non-Legal Sources

  • Legal Sources:

a) Primary authority of law — Law is constituted by primary authorities. Bodies like the Judiciary, the Legislature, and administrative agencies. E.g., Cases, Statutes, Regulations, Codes etc. declared by primary authorities are the best legal source.

b) Secondary authority of law — Commentary of Non-Governmental bodies comes under this category. Reports, Journals, Legal Treaties, Encyclopaedias, Dictionaries etc.

  • Non-Legal Sources:

To get supporting information legal researcher takes help from non-legal sources such as life style of people, memories, experience, etc.

Studying a system of values are the main methods used: Initially, the values from which laws are derived are studies.  For example to understand the object of Dowry Prohibitions Act, you have to know the values of Indian society and family. Study the practice of law: Practical applicability is important in law. To know, does the practice follow the principles of law? Researcher can study the practice of law by analysing the law.

Study the normative character:

To study the legal discourse, scholars should learn the enactment, statute etc. For example, the Indian Penal Code, Civil Procedure Code.

Study the procedural validity:

Scholar can study the procedure followed by the legislature and also validity of procedure, given under the particular Act. For example study of procedure of declaration of emergency.

Compare the international and municipal law:

International law provides or recommended minimum standard for municipal laws. By comparing both the laws, researcher can suggest the changes in municipal laws.

 Legal impact analysis:

To record and explain how a particular law works within a particular society, Legal Impact Analysis is the best procedure. This method is also effective to examine the effect of law on the people or society. Before the commencement of the new statutes or by introducing new laws we can change the old law by analysing impact of old laws on people.


Research can be elaborately categorized as:

A) Educational Research

Data related to education is systematically collected and analysed. It can be further categorized into

  • Fundamental Research — This research aims at the achievement of knowledge and truth. Basic Research is concerned with the theoretical aspect and not concerned with the utility result of any research work. In legal field, it is used to verify the old established principles and laws. The same is alos known as basic research.
  • Applied Research — Just opposite to fundamental research, applied research is concerned with the solution of practical problem; where basic research discovers principles and laws, applied research discovers their applications in order to solve some social problem.
  • Action Research — When a basis of diagnosing problem and collecting proving or disapproving hypothesis besides others experience forms the research, it is known as action research. Eg.: A teacher conducts action research to improve teaching skill or art.

B) Doctrinal Or Traditional Or Non-Empirical Legal Research- 

Legal prepositions guide the way of researching and the researcher looks into a law on a particular issue. It is concerned with analysis of the legal doctrine and how it has been developed and applied. The topics involve in such research are limited or restricted. Focal point of most of them is on the nature of law; the theories behind particular substantive areas of law, such as constitutional law, criminal law, torts or contract; political or legal authority; the nature of rights, duty, liability, justice etc. The theories of legal interpretation and legal reasoning are also used by the researcher. Concepts of law are examined by the researcher in doctrinal work. This type of research is also known as pure.


  1. Title
  2. Objectives of the study
  3. Formulation of Hypothesis
  4. Methodology
  5. Selection of sample
  6. Sources of Data
  7. Data Collection
  8. Analysis and Interpretation of Data
  9. Verification of Findings
  10. Conceptualization



  • Deductive Method– The method of studying a phenomenon by taking some assumptions and deducting conclusion from these assumptions is known as a deductive method. Deduction is a process of reasoning from general to particular or from the universe to individual, from given premises to necessary conclusions. Deduction is also known as analytical, abstract and a priori method. An example of a deductive argument:

All flowers have fragrance, Rose is a flower. Therefore, rose has fragrance.

  • Inductive Method– Induction is a process of reasoning from particular case to whole group of cases, from specific instances to general rules. It is also called a historical or empirical. Generalization is made after the analysis a data. Inductive reasoning starts from facts which a generalization is inferred.


Reform-Oriented Research – It is characterised by the evaluation of existing rules and recommendation of any required changes.

Theoretical Research: Such research involves an understanding of the conceptual bases of legal principles and of the combined effects a range of rules and procedures that touch on a particular area of activity.

By Maahi Mayuri

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