The Struggle for Law: Some Dilemmas of Cultural Legality
International Journal of Law in Context, Vol. 4, 2009
Second Annual International Journal of Law in Context Lecture, Georgetown University, Washington DC, January 2008
21 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2009 Last revised: 10 Apr 2016
Date Written: March 4, 2009
What general challenges are posed for legal thought by multiculturalism? Until relatively recently, modern jurists (as contrasted with sociolegal scholars) have not devoted much attention to cultural diversity as an issue for legal theory, or to asking general theoretical questions about law's relation to culture. This paper considers why and how this situation of neglect is changing. It reviews major recent encounters in legal thought with the concept of culture, and the development of a new 'jurisprudence of difference'. It advocates a focus on 'community' and 'communication' in legal theory in addressing multicultural challenges for regulation, and illustrates how this approach may relate to judicial practice and the communication processes of the courtroom.
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