Comparative law and hybrid legal traditions (2010)
Mediterranean Legal Hybridity (2011, a special issue of the Journal for Civil Law Studies)


On Euro-Mediterranean Laws and Norms

Managing Committee:

• Seán Patrick Donlan (Limerick)
• Baudouin Dupret (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France) and Centre Jacques-Berque (Morocco)
• Nir Kedar (Bar-Ilan)
• Olivier Moréteau (Louisiana State)
• Esin Örücü (Glasgow)
Moussa Abu Ramadan (Carmel Academic Center)

Brief Description:

The extraordinary legal-normative complexity of the Euro-Mediterranean region was produced in a long history of conquest, colonisation, and social and legal diffusion across shifting and porous cultural and political boundaries. But studies of this ‘hybridity’ have been isolated, sporadic, and too often framed within narrow jurisdictional and disciplinary constraints. The Mediterranean Hybridity Project, an initiative of Juris Diversitas, seeks to address this lacuna through the development of a collaborative trans-disciplinary network of experts from law, anthropology, geography, history, sociology, etc. The Project began at a conference in Malta in 2010 and was developed in subsequent meetings in Sicily, Malta, and Morocco.

The project methodology marries conceptual and empirical models from the legal and social sciences to investigate the (i) diverse state laws (including those of customary and religious origin) and (ii) lived non-state norms (especially ‘non-state justice systems’). The primary goal will be the generation of in-depth accounts of these official and unofficial ‘legalities’ in practice across the region and a cross-cultural analysis of those reports. Additional publications and electronic resources may be produced. Ideally, the project will progress over a period of a few years through meetings, colloquia and conferences. In the final year, the reports will be completed and a comprehensive analysis of the results prepared. Finally, a major international conference will be organised to publicise the project, the network, the resulting reports, and the database.

Numerous conceptual and practical benefits will result from a better understanding of how justice is achieved in practice both within and beyond the institutions of the state, before and after the events of the ‘Arab Spring’. This information will provide an empirically grounded approach to issues of law and policy and assist the work of academics, practitioners, policy-makers, and civil society organisations and the wider community. The project could also make vital contributions to current Euro-Mediterranean debates on, eg, commerce, the environment, human rights, migration, and security. And, while rooted in a case study of the Euro-Mediterranean region, the information generated is important to an increasingly complex and polyjural Europe. It might even provide a model for research elsewhere around the globe.

See also Donlan, 'The Mediterranean Hybridity Project: Crossing the Boundaries of Law and Culture' (2011) 4 Journal of Civil Law Studies 355.


Managing Committee:

• Seán Patrick Donlan (Limerick)
• Alessio Lo Giudice (Catania)
• Margaret Martin (Western Ontario)

Brief Description:

Following a method familiar to comparatists, the project will explore legal philosophy in a number of legal traditions. Selected Reporters will complete reports examining legal philosophy in the appropriate jurisdictional contexts: historical, comparative, and social. Reporters will use a common questionnaire prepared by the Managing Committee and designed to produce a concise, but thick description of the legal traditions studied.

This project is related to The concept of 'law' in context conference. A collection of articles from, or inspired by, the conference--Concepts of law: comparative, jurisprudential, and social science perspectives--will be published with Ashgate as part of the new Juris Diversitas Book Series.

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