Wednesday, January 26, 2011


CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Living Realities of Legal Pluralism’

The Jubilee Congress of the Commission on Legal Pluralism will be held at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 8-10 September, 2011. The commission has issued a call for papers on the theme of “Living Realities of Legal Pluralism”.

The disciplines of anthropology and law have long recognized the existence of other law-like phenomena than those created and maintained by national governments. The Commission on Legal Pluralism was established in 1981 for the purpose of investigating ‘folk law’ and the interactions taking place between legal systems that often originated under colonialism. In the years since its founding, the Commission has held fifteen international conferences and branched into topics including religious law, property law, project law, global law, the study of dispute resolution, and governance. It has interacted with indigenous, ethnic and social groups, and given voice to practitioners. Most of all, it has striven to further knowledge and understanding on ‘living realities of legal pluralism’.

This jubilee congress will highlight the state-of-the-art in legal pluralism studies, looking back on the achievements of thirty years, and looking ahead to developments in the coming decades. It brings together a range of international scholars from many countries, and academics and practitioners from the southern African region, who are grappling with the realities of plural law.

The conference distinguishes six sub-themes that stand at the interface of past and present. These include:

  1. Reappraising legal pluralism – models and practices
  2. Governance and the politics of order: negotiating legitimacy
  3. Property relations
  4. Human rights and development
  5. Law, custom and religion
  6. Legal Pluralism, Science, and Technology

More information (pdf).

Deadline: February 15, 2011


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