Small states differ considerably in their geography, history, political structures, legal systems and wealth. Nevertheless, because of their size, small states face a set of common challenges including vulnerability to external economic impacts such as changing trade regimes and limited ability to diversify economic activity; limited public and private sector capacity, including the legal and judicial infrastructure. A number of small states have experienced colonization and must accommodate the legacy of one or more forms of colonial law alongside the customary law of the indigenous people. Many small states are islands. These are particularly susceptible to environmental impacts such as natural disasters and climate change. Small states can also be flexible, adaptable, sites of social development and innovation, and have an influence in the world disproportionate to their size. 

The importance of research into small states is increasingly recognised by the global legal community . Small states are microcosms which allow us to study and gain insight into the challenges of big states. Their small size makes research easier and the testing of solutions more easily.  Small states, however, also have unique problems for which unique solutions must be designed.  For example, in a small state with a correspondingly-sized legal profession, ethical guidelines in regard to the appointment of judges have to take into account to the small size of the profession. 

The aim of this exciting and unique series is to be the essential compendium for every legal researcher interested in small states but also for practitioners and policy makers working in small state.