Led Up the Tribunal Path? Employment Disputes, Legal Consciousness and Trust in the Protection of Law

Authors

  • Eleanor Joanne Kirk University of Strathclyde
  • Nicole Busby University of Strathclyde

Keywords:

employment disputes, tribunals, false consciousness, legal consciousness, hegemony

Abstract

This article explores legal consciousness through a consideration of the trust that workers extend to employment law to protect them, and how they react when their expectations are frustrated, tracing evolving legal dispositions and reflections upon the boundaries of legality. Clients of Citizens Advice Bureaux were case-tracked as they attempted to resolve work-related disputes. Generally participants trusted employment law to be there for them, rarely anticipating the limits and conditionality of various rights, or the considerable difficulties that can accompany their enforcement. Frustrated expectations were met with varying degrees of acceptance and fatalism, with the redirection of grievances towards collectivised dissent or activism being exceptionally rare. People tend to engage with employment law in ways that legitimate institutions and reaffirm a system that, for a variety of reasons, offers weak protection and enforcement.

Este artículo explora la conciencia jurídica, y, para ello, toma en consideración la confianza que depositan los trabajadores en que la legislación laboral los proteja, y cómo reaccionan cuando sus expectativas se ven frustradas, rastreando las disposiciones legales en desarrollo y sus reflejos sobre los límites de la legalidad. Se siguieron los casos de algunos clientes de las Oficinas de Asesoramiento a los Ciudadanos que intentaban solucionar conflictos laborales. En general, los participantes confiaban en que la ley del trabajo los protegiera, y rara vez preveían las limitaciones y condicionamientos de diversos derechos o las dificultades de su cumplimiento. Las expectativas frustradas generaban diversos grados de aceptación y fatalismo; la canalización de las quejas hacia la disensión colectiva o el activismo se daba de forma excepcionalmente rara. La gente tiende a comprometerse con la legislación laboral en formas que legitiman a las instituciones y que reafirman un sistema débil para ofrecer protección.

DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3057968

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Author Biography

Eleanor Joanne Kirk, University of Strathclyde

Research Associate

School of Law

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Published

27-03-2017

How to Cite

Kirk, E. J. and Busby, N. (2017) “Led Up the Tribunal Path? Employment Disputes, Legal Consciousness and Trust in the Protection of Law”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 7(7), pp. 1397–1420. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/868 (Accessed: 14 April 2024).