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Understanding legal research in the built environment.

Mante, Joseph



Emmanuel Manu

Julius Akoia


Legal research is often misunderstood by many a researcher in the built environment, especially beginners. Its role as a suitable research approach employing both primary and secondary sources of data to arrive at logically sound outcomes is often undervalued or even mischaracterised as a tool for preliminary enquiry. These misconceptions stem from lack of understanding of the province of legal research in the built environment and the procedures involved. This chapter seeks to dispel this misunderstanding by explaining the scope and the procedures involved in legal research. Doctrinal legal research is a dominant aspect of legal research. In its basic form, it is about locating, describing, interpreting and systematising legal principles and concepts, with the legal system as a conceptual framework. The resources for this exercise are primary data (legislations) and secondary data (e.g. law reports, legal commentaries and other law literature) and the outcomes are supported and based on sound reasoning.


MANTE, J. 2021. Understanding legal research in the built environment. In Manu, E. and Akotia, J. (eds.) Secondary research methods in the built environment. Abingdon: Routledge [online], chapter 8, pages 106-116. Available from:

Acceptance Date Aug 13, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 11, 2021
Publication Date Dec 31, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 31, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 12, 2022
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 106-116
Book Title Secondary research methods in the built environment
Chapter Number 8
ISBN 9780367429881; 9780367429874
Keywords Construction law; Contract law; Commercial law; Dispute resolution; Built environment; Architecture; Construction
Public URL


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