Before any discussion on research problem we must go through what the word research means its etymology tells that it comes from the old French containing “re”+ ” cerchier” which means to re look into things which have already been looked into. The oxford dictionary says the word research means as a noun the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions or as a verb to systematically investigate. With the renaissance the origin of research can be found with revolutionary and radical challenges to fixed and rigid conventional scientific, sociological and legal systems of the world which has later shaped the society as we know or see it today. So as the need of research arises one need to have thought or felt the problem in first place. But the work of the researcher is a step further which is to find problem first and then to formulate it so that it becomes successptile to research. Without the formulation the research problem is just whim desire and eagerness it is only after the formulation that the problem becomes the ground for a proper hypothesis. As Metron would say “it is rather difficult to find a problem than to slove it”. Thus proper knowledge as to the formuation of research problem is vital because it is the centre to the research itself. It is around the research problem that the whole tale of research is sung When it comes to legal research problem other than relying on the discipline for sources such as statutes conventions, judicial pronouncements law journals etc while concerning itselves with nuances and queries related to law it is also a research problem mostly conncted with sociology as effects of law are to be seen on behavior of societies or inviduals which a society is comprised of. Through this paper I have attempted to explore the technical idea about research problem while throwing some light on research problem in general.
Legal Research problem
The word problem comes form the greek word proballein which means anything put forward or a question for solution. It is the ability to inquire or investigate within an individual. Even though a person who has done a lot of literature review if lacks the inherent quality of being inquisitive or eager than it will be a difficult task for him to raise the unfound or unvisited difficulties or drawbacks or inconsistencies but this is not to say that above all in my opinion literature review enchances one’s expertise and ability to question. If someone has never experienced anything in the first place it will be impossible for him to ask question regarding that inexperienced arena
R. S. woodsworth says research problem is a situation for which have no ready or successful responses. He is trying to say that if a situation occurs for which w have neither any response by instinct nor by already acquired habits. Research problems in the legal field have helped in formulating law while firstly pointing out the inconsistencies in the legal system as is done by the law commission’s reviews and reports in India, secondly by bringing into focus the areas where regulation or restrictions of law is needed by studying it systematically and thirdly by reinforcing and further adding extensions to a particular statute or authority in question to smoothen its rough edges and keeping the dynamism of statutes or constitutional provisions alive and not letting it suffer stagnancy and rot. Legal research problem is not just limited to academics only it is pervasive in branches of the administrative and legal system. When in the courtroom in Indian judiciary a provision is interpreted either constitutional or legal, judge at tims to interpret the law as for examples as been recently done in the final 377 verdict have to do research on their part automatically then they ll need to identify and formulate a proper legal problem then only it can be answered. Many times jurist have seen to paraphrase questions put forth by either lower judiciary or in appeals or petitions etc by interested party in order to have an answer in the best legal manner and approach a sociological problem though connected is not a legal research problem although sociological problems can be converted into the legal problem by propery formulating it. Now a legal researcher need to also be equip with various process involved in legal research problem which also talks about the environment that favours or are directly or indirectly resposibe for the generation of a research problem which is told in the next section
Criteria for Selection of a Research Problem
Legal research problem are further seen bing dichotomized into doctrinal and non doctrinal forms. The basic difference between two is that former is related to theoretical strictly a library doctrine dependent problem while latter has two variables one is legal and is social economical etc. the latter is concerned with impact or relation of law with other power equations of the society
Sources of a research problem
A general inclusive list is given below of the general sources of legal research problem as given by various thinkers
1. Personal suffering: for example a lawyer or acmedician or a legal researcher faces suffering on the personal level either because of inconsisitencies of law or discrimination or ignorance it might push to strive for a query solving which he would be able to give his theory based on his hyptheiseis. Example if the researcher is faced with corruption and negligence in the municipal corporation it could be his effort to put an end to it by bringing out lack of technical errors responsible for it.
2. Practical issues: MC Mehta a champion of PIL asciated with environmental pollution has realized the practical effects of the rampant, pevasive and uncontrolled environmental pollution thus he felt necessary to to remedy for which he must have pushed himself to the literature concert both scientific and legal field associated with the problem and then eventually come out with a legal query.
3. Past research: Past researches to begin with have dealt with some form of problem which had formulated at the time that research started and thus later with a hypothesis, solved. Now a novel researcher because of having known or read that past research might feel curious to either deal with some inconsistencies he has seen or adding new extension. A research paper criticizing the other previously arrived conclusion in the existing research papers or theories exist because some research in past has been done.
4. Research funding agencies: research funding agencies for both doctrinal and non doctrinal research is problem. As rearchers also need some source of earning to win their daily bread and to live a life of dignity. Lack of funding agencies have always resulted as a backdrop to legal research problems