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Dispute settlement among the Nigerian Igbo in Antwerp

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Legal pluralism, Dispute settlement, Igbo, Antwerp
Auteurs Filip Reyntjens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This is a case study in ‘new legal pluralism’ which is interested in the operation of plural legal orders in countries of the global North. It considers the way in which the Nigerian Igbo living in Antwerp, Belgium settle their disputes. It first presents the Antwerp Igbo’s organisation in a Union possessing a constitution with precise legal stipulations. It then finds that the Igbo take the law with them from their home region into a diasporic community. Next it looks into the concrete organisation of dispute settlement and presents five cases as exemplars. It then discusses the advantages and drawbacks of applying Igbo law and justice, the issue of women’s rights, and the plurality and flexibility of the system. The conclusion underscores the fact that legal pluralism is a universal empirical reality.


Filip Reyntjens
Filip Reyntjens is Emeritus hoogleraar bij het Instituut voor Ontwikkelingsbeleid aan de Universiteit Antwerpen.
Praktijk

Securing legal certainty within a multilevel regulatory space

Evidence from the regulatory practice of marketing authorisation of medical devices in Europe

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2012
Trefwoorden legal certainty, multilevel regulation, regulatory space
Auteurs Nupur Chowdhury
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    One of the primary functions of law is to ensure that the legal structure governing all social relations is predictable, coherent, consistent and applicable. All these characteristics of law are referred to as legal certainty. In traditional approaches to legal certainty, law is regarded as a hierarchic system of rules characterised by stability, clarity, predictability, uniformity, calculable enforcement, publicity and predictability.1xWeber 1925, p. 68. Others like Llewellyn have underlined the importance of appellate courts in ensuring legal certainty by filling up gaps in the law.2xLlewellyn 1960. Also see, Stinchcombe 1999. Such traditional approaches to legal certainty were developed within the context of national legal orders, in which rule making, rule enforcement and rule adjudication authority vested within public actors functioning as representatives of the state.

Noten

  • 1 Weber 1925, p. 68.

  • 2 Llewellyn 1960. Also see, Stinchcombe 1999.


Nupur Chowdhury
Nupur Chowdhury is doctoral fellow at the Law and Regulation Group, School of Management and Governance, University of Twente.

    This paper presents a reflection on the theoretical work on the social working of law of the past two decades. It is argued that early assumptions, that legal models were becoming increasingly globalised, creating an increasingly uniform body of law, have not come true. The global spread of neo-capitalism has not only given rise to de-juridification, it has also engendered juridification in which ever more sectors of social life, from small scale to global, are being colonised by law. This development is initiated from above and below in equal measure, and concerns not only the law of nation states, but also law created by other actors, including religious law of various provenance. The paper argues that great progress has been made in understanding how transnational law is generated and how law is transnationalised, but that the ways in which these processes work when actors actually use this transnationalised law in contexts of legal pluralism are not yet adequately understood. The paper presents a perspective on transnationalisation of law that is grounded in space, a perspective that may aid our understanding of the social working of law in transnational contexts. The first section provides a brief survey of some of the main academic approaches to processes of transnationalisation. The second section addresses the issue of location and considers what happens in settings where actors use transnationalising law. The conclusions discuss the value of transnational space and transnational legal space as concepts for the analysis of transnationalising law.


Keebet von Benda-Beckmann
Keebet von Benda-Beckmann is head of the Project Group Legal Pluralism at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. She also holds honorary chairs in social anthropology and legal pluralism at the Universities of Leipzig and Halle. She has carried out research on dispute management, social security, natural resources in West Sumatra, the Moluccas, and in the Netherlands. She has been conducting field research on the effects of decentralisation and reforms of local government in West Sumatra since the fall of the Suharto regime. She has widely published on dispute management, resources, social security, and on theoretical issues of legal pluralism.
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