Anthropology of Law & Legal Pluralism
The course will cover old and new forms of empirical, real life legal pluralism, as well as ways in which such pluralism occasionally has been recognized by official, state law, producing a legal phenomenon: formal legal pluralism. This latter pluralism implies collective, or “group” rights for distinct communities or peoples, like indigenous peoples. Attention will be paid to the ways in which the relations between state law and “local law” are regulated by so called internal conflict rules and how these rules (if put into practice) affect the local life of the distinct communities and even sometimes frustrate their recognition. Particularly in the field of land rights we meet a striking plurality of local, unofficial, and official ways of regulation. Research will be presented to illustrate this plurality and to discuss the complex interaction between local and national regulatory regimes. In European countries judges, public administrators and school teachers sometimes take cultural differences into account when confronted with claims based on legal sensibilities of people belonging to immigrant communities. Examples will be presented partly drawing on official court cases but also on studies of the practice of e.g. child protection agencies. Whatever the official position of local (non state) legal institutions, as a matter of fact elements of official law and aspects of non state law mutually affect each other. This is called interlegality. Case studies will be presented to study ways and conditions of this interaction.