Legal consciousness and administrative justice

David Cowan, Rosie Harding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter draws attention to the ways in which the study of legal consciousness can provide added depth to studies of administrative justice. Perhaps surprisingly, given the prevalence of the former, it has yet to have much impact on the field of administrative justice. Drawing attention to the state of the art in legal consciousness studies, as well as those studies which do explore the interaction between legal consciousness and administrative justice, the chapter considers the possibilities raised and issues which have been addressed. The chapter develops its argument about the significance of the interaction by analysing the Ken Loach film I, Daniel Blake, arguing that cultural artefacts themselves can hold clues as to legal consciousness. Through that analysis, the chapter explores themes of systemic injustice, resistance and justice seeking in the interactions between the film’s protagonist and the administrative machinery of the welfare state.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Administrative Justice
EditorsMarc Hertogh, Richard Kirkham, Robert Thomas, Joe Tomlinson
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190903091
ISBN (Print)9780190903084
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2022


  • legal consciousness
  • administrative justice
  • resistance
  • Daniel Blake
  • legality
  • injustice


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