From Legal Pluralism to Public Justification

8 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2014

Date Written: February 21, 2014


The paper offers an argument for a conception of legal pluralism, which has some substantive upshots and at least partly alleviates that legal pluralism may regress to rampant relativism. In particular, I will argue that law in its pluralist conception is inextricably linked to the requirement of public justification. This is not by way of appealing to any transcendental normative ideals but as a matter of entailment of the very practice of law. But, perhaps to the disappointment of many, this procedural requirement is the only practical consequence of the concept of law. For thicker, substantive limits to what law can do and for ways in which legal pluralism may be reduced in real contexts one will have to turn to the actual circumstances furnishing the law with content and a different kind of thinking about the law.

Keywords: legal pluralism, diversity and law, law and justification, concept of law

Suggested Citation

Melissaris, Emmanuel, From Legal Pluralism to Public Justification (February 21, 2014). Erasmus Law Review, Vol. 6, No. 3/4, 2013. Available at SSRN:

Emmanuel Melissaris (Contact Author)

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