Multicultural Jurisprudence

Comparative Perspectives on the Cultural Defence

Edited by: Marie-Claire Foblets, Alison Dundes Renteln

With individuals travelling across borders, societies have become more and more pluralistic. The result of increased migration is the interaction between cultural communities and, inevitably, clashes between state law and customary law. These cultural conflicts have given rise to a new multicultural jurisprudence. In this volume, scholars grapple with the immense challenges that judges are currently experiencing everywhere. To what the extent can and should courts accommodate litigants' requests by taking their cultural backgrounds into account? This collection brings together powerful examples of the cultural defense in many countries in Western Europe, North America, and elsewhere. It shows the ubiquity of this defense, contrary to the mistaken impression that it has been invoked principally in the US. The book makes the case for undertaking studies of the use of the cultural defense in jurisdictions all over the world ~where this has not been previously documented. Many of the essays concentrate on criminal cases, such as homicide in the context of honor crimes, provocation based on "loss of face," and witchcraft killings. Some essays deal with other areas of law, such as asylum jurisprudence, family law, and housing policy. They show in concrete cases how cultural claims have arisen and how legal systems wrestle with these arguments. Multicultural Jurisprudence persuasively demonstrates the need to reconsider the proper use of cultural evidence in legal proceedings. (Series: Onati International Series in Law and Society)


378 pages

Publication Date: 2/3/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781841138961

Available in other formats