One of the more important and interesting emerging trends involves the strong--and growing--interest in all things ELS from scholars based outside of the U.S. Evidence of this growing internationalization of ELS abounds and can be found in submissions to and publications in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, participation in the annual SELS conference, and the increased methodological sophistication demonstrated in papers by non-U.S. scholars circulating on SSRN. What I have consistently heard from an array of international scholars, however, are laments about the comparative paucity of ELS-related institutions outside of the U.S.
Consequently, developments on this final point warrant attention. In Brazil, under the leadership of Marcelo Guedes Nunes, The Brazilian Jurimetrics Association ("ABJ") is undertaking the critical task of developing a scholarly infrastructure to support ELS-related work in Brazil.
"The Brazilian Jurimetrics Association is a nonprofit organization gathering researchers in Law and Mathematics, which aims to investigate and promote the use of statistics and probability in the study of Law and its institutions. The ABJ has three main missions. The first is to gather and encourage researchers to investigate and describe the decision-making processes in which individual and specific norms are created. The second is to discipline Jurimetrics as a branch of legal knowledge, defining its premises, its fundamentals, concepts, and key relationships. The third is to collaborate with public and private entities’ strategic efforts to improve the mechanisms for judicial interpretation of laws through the development of laws and court management."
Having participated in the ABJ's Second Annual Brazilian Jurimetrics Conference I can attest to the first-rate empirical work undertaken by a growing number of outstanding scholars in Brazil. Anyone interested in the development of ELS work in a "BRIC" nation should learn about the ABJ (for those on Twitter: @abjurimetria).