2245 Laws and rights in a plural word: challenges and debates on legal pluralism and interlegality in the 21st century II

Centro de Estudos Sociais

Room: C4.07


Chair: Sara Araújo, Centro de Estudos Sociais - UC

Lívia Gimenes Dias da Fonseca | Universidade de Brasília

Decolonial feminism and the struggle for rights in an intercultural perspective




The present work seeks to reflect on the understanding of the concept of decolonial feminism as an expression of the struggle for women's rights in an intercultural perspective. The proposal of a decolonial feminism seeks to break with the colonialities of power, knowledge, being and gender, so that the voice of women have an engagement from their place of speech, but in an intercultural relationship of multiple dialogues diversity as a practice of building notions about freedom. The senses of freedom are what underlie the rights of women if we start from the concept constructed by the theoretical line “The Right found in the street” for which the Law is an expression of the social struggles for the end of realities of oppression.

Marisa Ramos Gonçalves | Centro de Estudos Sociais, Coimbra

Maria Paula Meneses | Centro de Estudos Sociais, Coimbra

Sara Araújo | Centro de Estudos Sociais, Coimbra

“Sé mak tesi lia?”— Interlegalidade e Hibridismo dos Sistemas de Justiça em Timor-Leste




As concepções de direitos e justiça de Timor-Leste são construídas a partir de elementos locais e da história do país, bem como pelas experiências de modernidade e de ligação a outros pontos do mundo e ao contacto intenso recente com as organizações internacionais. Os sistemas de governação e de justiça pré-coloniais, denominados por "kultura" ou "lisan", assentes na crença nos ancestrais, permaneceram centrais na sociedade timorense.
Esta apresentação analisa os resultados de um estudo sobre o mapeamento das estruturas de resolução de conflitos no país, que consistiu na realização de entrevistas semiestruturadas sobre os sistemas de justiça presentes em cada contexto. Tendo-se identificado que a maior parte dos conflitos são resolvidos fora do sistema judicial formal, procurou-se compreender a articulação entre as esferas da família alargada ("Uma Lisan"), das lideranças comunitárias, das agências do Estado e das organizações da sociedade civil nacionais e internacionais nos processos de mediação e resolução de conflitos.
À semelhança de outros países, em Timor-Leste existe um forte pluralismo jurídico, dentro e fora do Estado, uma realidade que reflete a existência de uma rede de justiças à qual a maioria da população timorense recorre, denominadas na literatura por justiças informais, tradicionais, costumeiras, formas alternativas de resolução de conflitos, de proximidade ou locais. Será trazida para esta análise uma discussão sobre o "tarabandu", um exemplo de mecanismos de justiça híbrido resultante do contacto com várias culturas sociojurídicas, e o seu uso instrumental quer pelo Estado quer pelas organizações da sociedade civil e organizações internacionais.
As percepções dos vários actores e estruturas sobre os conceitos de justiça e processos normativos revelaram a importância de um diálogo mais intenso entre o Estado e as comunidades, de forma a abrir caminho a um acesso mais alargado da população a uma rede de sistemas de justiça que responda às suas necessidades.

Marta Patrício | CEI-IUL

The dynamics and intersections between law and the customary in Mossurize: a case study on legal pluralism




Legal pluralism is not new, not in Europe nor elsewhere in the world. It is also not new in the Social Sciences, as shown by a wide range of works from different academic fields (Anthropology, Sociology, Law) during the second half of the 20th century (such as Starr&Collier 1989, Merry 1988, Griffiths 1986, Benda-Beckmann 1997), and also by more recent debates (such as Isser 2011, Kyed et al 2012, Tamanaha 2012). If we take it by itself, legal pluralism is not problematic – considering that we live in “heterogeneous states”, and in times marked by “interlegality” and “legal hybridization” (Santos 2003). In fact, legal pluralism is the coexistence of the rule of law with, among others, social norms or customs, being the latter an expression of cultural pluralism, celebrated by the international community, for instance, in article 2 of UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001). In my PhD research I looked at legal pluralism in Mossurize, a Mozambican borderland rural district in the south of Manica province. Either by this geographic location, or either by its history of resistance to external invaders, in Mossurize prevails the sense of distance towards the central state and people experience distrust, resilience and impermeability to anything that comes from “outside”. Drawn from empirical data gathered during fieldwork, this paper will show how legal pluralism in Mossurize influences the representations and meanings of justice, and which practices the social actors reproduce in conflict solving situations (to restore social harmony and cohesion as soon as possible). In what concerns conflict resolution, these populations rely heavily in the "traditional" or community institutions, which solve problems by applying vaNdau customary law or with resort to “common sense rules”. In such a context, where state judicial institutions operate in a (still) incipient form (and which is not an African specificity), it is increasingly necessary to understand how the coexistence of several courts (judicial and customary) influences people’s perception(s) of law and rights. It is also important to assess if people’s own agency makes them mobilize the customary within or beyond the limits imposed by the state law. All of this is relevant to understand what can be the (possible) repercussions of legal pluralism practices for the rule of law, for a state-building project and for a state’s own sovereignty.

Luisa Acabado | CES

Crossroads and meanings of law and rights in Guinea-Bissau




The aim of this paper is to analyse the role international cooperation discourses on justice play or may play in terms of mobilization of law and rights by vulnerable people in Guinea-Bissau by shedding light on the underlying conceptual and ideological genealogies of their strategies and assessing their positive and negative effects.
It argues that international cooperation strategies for the justice system are essential to understand the ways in which discourses and practices of law and rights are mobilised in Guinea-Bissau. These strategies shape the running non-formal justice systems, and their patterns of heterogeneity and hybridization, as well as the fragile and inoperative formal justice system given its quasi-total dependence from external aid.
This paper will hence draft an overview of the main challenges affecting mobilization of law and rights by vulnerable people, particularly those living in the most remote area; analyse the role played by key international cooperation actors and their strategies for the justice sector in Guinea-Bissau, following the end of the 1998-1999 armed conflict; and finally assess their impact within the range of possibilities for the enhancement of justice and mobilization of law and rights. It will particularly address how these strategies deal with the relation between state and non-state legal orders and how do they promote or instead defy a potential dichotomy opposing the urban/modern/legal space and the rural/traditional/backwards space.
Based on the analysis of the modes of conception and production of international cooperation strategies for the justice sector, this paper addresses essential debates to understand how justice discourses might become meaningful and help shaping everyday lives or providing emancipatory tools for vulnerable people, particularly in Guinea-Bissau. 

Tomas Ledvinka | Charles University, Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences

James M. Donovan | University of Kentucky

Unsettled law, anxious legal modernity: negotiating non-state law in the international civil trials in Europe




Along with what belongings they can carry, migrants and refugees (or just foreign citizens) bring their laws, cultures and contextually specific experiences (feuds, state failures) in some form to their host countries. Thus, the increased mobility of persons and their social and legal relationships represents a specific context for encounters between legal cultures, which, apart from the interactions of different ways of legal thinking, also comprises the representations of the law as culture in the Western legal framework. Various migrants´ identities include law as a dimension which belongs to the specific collectives (tribes, religious communities) beyond the nation-state, rather than to the State. In contrast to the continental notion of Law as a dimension of the State, some of those legal systems are classified as "legal systems based on reciprocity" (Rosen, 2000) or "egalitarian legal systems." Encounters of hosting countries´ authorities with such legal otherness unsettle the authorities´ notion of the State and generates an anxiety about their understanding of the Law. Drawing on particular empirical cases (of using foreign law) and focusing on the disquiet of hosting state´s legal authorities, the paper attempts to verify or disprove several hypothesis about legal modernity (Latour, 1991) in the unusual settings of international civil trials held at European courts. The paper also attempts to (somewhat implicitly) demonstrate how a multimethod approach can be employed for the study of modern law in the practical context.



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