Skip Navigation

Read articles selected by ILJ's editor for free

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Industrial Law Journal in 2011, we've made a number of papers from the journal freely available for a limited time. These papers were hand-picked by the editor for their significance to the field.

“Since the first appearance of the Industrial Law Journal in 1971, labour law has become more significant and extensive as a legal field. This has also been a period when values associated with labour law – freedom of association and inter-group solidarity – have been called into question as a result of the rise of neoliberal policies and the effects of economic and technological change. The articles chosen to mark the Journal’s 40th anniversary (with apologies to the authors of the many excellent works not selected) reflect these trends. To read them now is to get a sense of the historical context of debates which critically shaped the course of British labour law, for example over industrial democracy (Kahn-Freund, 1977, Wedderburn and Davies, 1977) and the rise of individual employment rights against a background of economic restructuring (Hepple, 1981; Fredman, 1997). They illustrate the changing nature of labour law research, as it became more interdisciplinary (Collins, 1997; Barmes and Ashtiany, 2003) and comparative (Freedland and Countouris, 2008; Finkin, 2008). They show scholars revisiting the theoretical foundations and core institutions of the field in order to locate their role and function in an increasingly market-driven economy and polity (Supiot, 2000; Ewing, 2005).

They reassert democratic values against the philosophy ‘which knows of few employment laws except those that protect property and the market’ (Wedderburn, 1989: 37). Finally, they emphasise the historical continuity of a discipline shaped by the confrontation between legal method and social change over the course of the last hundred years (Kahn-Freund, 1979).” – Simon Deakin