The Limits of Legal Pluralism

Crowe, Jonathan (2015) The Limits of Legal Pluralism. Griffith Law Review, 24 2: 314-331. doi:10.1080/10383441.2015.1048584

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Author Crowe, Jonathan
Title The Limits of Legal Pluralism
Journal name Griffith Law Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1038-3441
Publication date 2015-06-26
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10383441.2015.1048584
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 24
Issue 2
Start page 314
End page 331
Total pages 18
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher Taylor & Francis Australasia
Language eng
Abstract Sionaidh Douglas-Scott's book, Law after Modernity, outlines a sophisticated theory of legal pluralism. The book makes extensive use of artworks and other cultural images to draw out law's social meanings. I explore Douglas-Scott's comments on the relationship between art and law through reference to Michèle Le Doeuff's work on the philosophical imaginary. I then address her views on legal pluralism. Douglas-Scott argues that legal positivism's failure to adequately capture the complexity of contemporary legal orders makes legal pluralism preferable as a descriptive theory of law. However, she distances herself from claims that legal pluralism also offers a normatively desirable view of law, arguing that it needs to be supplemented by a theory of critical legal justice. Douglas-Scott shows a commendable awareness of legal pluralism's descriptive insights and its normative limits, but her account of critical legal justice remains highly tentative. What, then, lies in the unmapped terrain beyond the limits of legal pluralism? I suggest the answer lies in overcoming the central assumption shared by both legal positivism and legal pluralism: the idea of law as a product of human authority.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Tue, 08 Dec 2015, 02:15:42 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law