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Ethnologie française 2018, n° 1 (Justices ultramarines)

Présentation de l’éditeur


La question des spécificités locales et culturelles intervient-elle dans le fonctionnement de la justice française ? Ce dossier ouvre le débat à partir du cas des populations « indigènes » de l’Outre-mer contemporain – Amérindiens et Noirs marrons de Guyane, Mahorais de Mayotte, Kanak de Nouvelle-Calédonie, insulaires de Polynésie et de Wallis-et-Futuna.
Les différents travaux rassemblés ici privilégient la méthode ethnographique pour saisir « sur le vif » la manière dont l’État français tente au quotidien de prendre en charge et d’administrer la diversité culturelle et locale dans ces contextes (post)coloniaux variés. Huit des onze articles du dossier décrivent ainsi des situations contemporaines singulières de confrontation et d’interaction entre agents du système judiciaire et justiciables originaires de ces cinq collectivités.
Les trois derniers articles offrent vis-à-vis de ces justices ultramarines des points de comparaison historiques – sur la trajectoire du droit colonial dans l’empire français – et géographiques – d’une part sur la justice familiale en France métropolitaine, d’autre part sur le traitement des justiciables autochtones mapuche par l’appareil judiciaire au Chili.



Editeurs invités : Natacha Gagné, Stéphanie Guyon et Benoît Trépied

Introduction. Cultures à la barre. Regards croisés sur la justice civile outre-mer
Natacha Gagné, Stéphanie Guyon et Benoît Trépied

Coutume et citoyenneté, des colonies aux collectivités d’outre-mer. Le point de vue du droit
Yerri Urban

Que faire des cadis de la République ? Enquête sur la reconfiguration de l’institution cadiale à Mayotte
Myriam Hachimi-Alaoui et Élise Lemercier

Les familles face au nouveau droit local à Mayotte. Continuité, adaptation et redéfinition des pratiques
Sophie Blanchy

Le sang, le nom, la coutume. Controverses judiciaires sur la paternité kanak en Nouvelle-Calédonie
Benoît Trépied

Genre, justice et indemnisation des victimes de statut coutumier kanak
Christine Salomon

Droit coutumier et loi républicaine dans une collectivité d’outre-mer française (Wallis-et-Futuna)
Françoise Douaire-Marsaudon

Ethnographie de l’État aux confins de la République. Le dispositif de l’audience et la justice foraine en Polynésie française
Natacha Gagné

Passer devant le juge aux affaires familiales ? Intermédiaires de la justice et alternatives au tribunal à Saint-Laurent du Maroni (Guyane)
Stéphanie Guyon

« La carte n’est pas le territoire » ! Coutume, droit et nationalité plurielle en Guyane
Catherine Benoît

« Faut s’adapter aux cultures, Maître ! » La racialisation des publics de la justice familiale en France métropolitaine
Céline Bessière, Émilie Biland, Abigail Bourguignon, Sibylle Gollac, Muriel Mille et Hélène Steinmetz

Juridicité autochtone et différence culturelle. Quand les juges débattent de la culture dans des affaires de violences familiales en contexte communautaire mapuche (Chili)
Fabien Le Bonniec



Le mariage entre le passé et le présent dans les sociétés dans les sociétés d’Afrique du Nord-Sahara [une conférence présentée par Tassadit Yacine]Pierre Bourdieu


Lectures sur le thème

Ethnologie française , Vol. 157 , 192 pages.  24€

Dr Emilie Cloatre : Law, Knowledges and the Making of ‘Modern Healthcare’

Dr Emilie Cloatre‘s 5-year Wellcome Investigator Award (2017-2022) aims to explore the regulation of traditional and alternative medicines, using case studies from Europe and Africa: France and England; Ghana and Senegal; Mauritius and La Reunion.

This 5-year Wellcome Investigator Award (2017-2022) aims to explore the regulation of traditional and alternative medicines, in Europe and Africa. It will interrogate both the historical and socio-cultural context of current regulatory systems, and their effects on local practices.

As millions worldwide rely on traditional and alternative medicines for their everyday healthcare, the question of how to regulate such practices is high on policy agendas. Such regulation engages fundamental issues, including: the balancing of patient safety and autonomy of choice; the conciliation of traditional cultural practices with the demands of modern medical standards; social justice and access to health; the socio-cultural and postcolonial shaping of medicine. However, we lack evidence of the relative benefits, limitations and effects of particular regulatory frameworks on such policy concerns.

This project aims to address this pressing gap in knowledge. It will do so through a socio-legal exploration of the regulation of traditional and alternative medicines in two regions where policy conversations have been particularly intense, and current regulatory systems remarkably varied (Europe and Africa). The project’s key goals are to: critically assess the effects of contrasting regulatory frameworks on traditional and alternative medical practices, and their position in public health systems; consider how regulation can address the challenges raised by traditional and alternative medicines in a fair, effective and sustainable manner; and foster new conversations across academia and policy on relevant experiences, strategies and ways-forward.

The project will focus strategically on six case studies in Europe and Africa, organized in three sub-regional strands, that illustrate most vividly key policy-debates while giving significant scope for addressing broader conceptual questions: France and England; Ghana and Senegal; Mauritius and La Reunion.

To know more :

Socio-legal studies/sociologie du droit: methods, traditions, theories in France and the UK


This workshop stems from several observations: first, that socio-legal scholarship as a whole is strongly influenced by both institutional contexts and local scholarly traditions, which has led it to adopt very varied forms across jurisdictions. Second, that this diversity is both an interesting object of study to understand the possibilities and forms of socio-legal research and critique, and an obstacle to some cross-jurisdictional conversations. Third, that this is particularly noticeable and interesting in the context of France and the UK. While socio-legal studies have significantly developed over the past few decades, both in the UK and (though arguably to a lesser extent) in France, cross-channel conversations across relevant communities have remained limited. In addition, the forms that socio-legal scholarship has adopted in those two contexts are strikingly different (see: Renaud Colson, Stewart Field, “Socio-legal Studies in France: Beyond the Law Faculty”, Journal of Law and Society, vol. 43, no. 2, 2016, p. 285-311).

Although various bridges and connections have been made – through common projects, borrowing of ideas, methods or theories, or occasional encounters at conferences or within topic-specific contexts – there has historically been limited efforts to engage more broadly the growing socio-legal communities in France and the UK. Such conversations on a broader scale, however, could be highly interesting at several levels. In spite of shared aspirations, UK socio-legal studies and its French equivalents have developed in very different ways, sharing some theoretical and methodological traditions, while differing in many others. In addition, the institutional settings in which each movement has developed are in stark contrast, which in turn has certainly influenced the shape of scholarship itself. Reflecting on those different contexts, and their influences is useful in a context of continuous pressure on the development and maintenance of interdisciplinary legal scholarship, both in research and teaching.

In this workshop, we want to reflect on those different trajectories, and what they have to tell us about ‘socio-legal studies in context’, but also aim to bring together this scholarly diversity in order to explore ways forward, in terms of collaborations, and in terms of methodological and conceptual explorations.
Therefore, this workshop positions itself both as a first step towards a broader set of discussions and as a significant opportunity to reflect on the impact on our own traditions on the forms of knowledge produced.

The workshop has three key aims:

1) To reflect on how different institutional contexts and traditions have shaped socio-legal thought and scholarship in France and the UK
2) To bring together contrasting approaches developed by those traditions
3) To foster future exchange and research across communities in France and the UK and facilitate new collaborations

The workshop will be held in English.

Format/call for contributions

The workshop will to be based around 4 sessions. In the first three sessions, short papers will be given by keynote speakers, followed by longer questions, discussions and exchange.

For the final session, we would like to invite contributions from early career scholars (including PhD students), in the form of very brief presentations of 8-10 mins, offering an overview of a project, with particular attention the methodological/conceptual approach adopted. An abstract of 200 words should be submitted by email to by the 8th December 2017. We will endeavour to respond by the 15th December.


To register for the conference, A small fee of £50 will be requested for registration for participants other than speakers.
We may be able to offer limited financial support for ECRs for travels or accommodation. If you would need such support in order to attend the conference, please let us know as soon as possible.


BOOK : Oikonomia, Divorce and Remarriage in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, by Kevin SCHEMBRI

Title: Oikonomia, Divorce and Remarriage in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition

Author: Kevin SCHEMBRI

Publisher: Orientalia Christiana & Valore Italiano

Series: Kanonika (vol. 23)

Year: 2017

About the book:

How do the Eastern Orthodox Churches understand the mystery of marriage? On what grounds do these Churches concede ecclesiastical divorce and tolerate a new marriage? What is oikonomia and how is it invoked in the Orthodox East? Is the Orthodox position compatible with the Catholic approach to the indissolubility of marriage? Over the last decades, these questions were the subject of numerous studies. This volume builds on this research and attempts to offer a comprehensive systematic answer to these questions. By doing so, it adds to the already rich tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and presents the Western Churches with a valuable resource in their pursuit of ecumenical dialogue, in their dealing with the ever-growing reality of mixed marriages, and in their ministry to the divorced and remarried members of their faithful. Published as volume 23 in the series Kanonika, this study forms part of the various projects launched by the Pontifical Oriental Institute during its centenary celebrations.

About the author:

Kevin Schembri is a lecturer in canon law and coordinator of two master programmes at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Malta. He holds a licentiate in sacred theology from that university, and a licentiate and doctorate in canon law (with specialisation in canonical jurisprudence) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is a Catholic priest and serves as promoter of justice and defender of the bond for the Archdiocese of Malta.

For more info:

Call for papers : Commission on Legal Pluralism. Conference Ninth Multidisciplinary Network of Researchers on Indigenous Peoples, EMPI IX

Call for Papers – Conference Ninth Multidisciplinary Network of Researchers on Indigenous Peoples, EMPI IX

Dear colleagues,

This Call for Papers be interesting for some of you: International Conference Ninth Multidisciplinary Meeting on Indigenous Peoples (EMPI IX) “Territories in dispute: epistemologies, resistances, spiritualities and rights”. University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University Middelburg, the Netherlands, 30/31 May – 1 June 2018.

Paper proposals (max. 300 words) in English or Spanish should be submitted by email at up to the end of April 2018.

For detailed information, see the call for papers attached to this email.

EMPI IX Circular English

Book : Le chemin, le geste et la parole. De la norme autochtone au droit coutumier kanak, by Régis Lafargue


Parution : 12/2017
Editeur : Dalloz
ISBN : 978-2-2471-7177-4
Site de l’éditeur

Présentation de l’éditeur

Ce livre traite de façon complète et inédite du statut coutumier kanak en Nouvelle-Calédonie et expose le passage de la normativité autochtone à ce droit coutumier kanak, élaboré par des juridictions biculturelles à partir de coutumes autochtones.

Il présente tout d’abord la façon dont se construit ce statut personnel, l’organisation et le régime des terres, puis l’organisation familiale avec l’énoncé des devoirs qui incombent aux divers membres de cette société. Enfin, en conclusion, sont évoqués les droits des victimes de statut coutumier dans une société qui valorise les solidarités, sans pour autant sacrifier la réhabilitation sociale de la victime d’infractions pénales.

L’auteur offre au lecteur le fruit de son expérience de terrain en Nouvelle-Calédonie (2011-2015) en réunissant dans un seul ouvrage 48 décisions marquantes commentées, pour comprendre un système novateur entre norme autochtone et système juridique global, ainsi qu’une confrontation du contenu des décisions « coutumières » avec le contenu de la charte du peuple kanak qui rappelle les principes qui structurent la société kanake.


I. Aux sources institutionnelles et constitutionnelles du statut personnel
La place croissante du droit coutumier dans l’organisation juridique de la Nouvelle-Calédonie
Les règles spécifiques de procédure
Les institutions coutumières

II. Le droit kanak
La terre et le clan
Le mariage par enregistrement et sa dissolution dans un contexte d’alliance interclanique
L’avenir du clan : la filiation, le statut et l’intérêt de l’enfant

III.  Aux limites du droit civil et du droit pénal

L’Esprit du droit , 300 pages.  40€

Ablavsky on Original Meanings of « Indian Tribes »

Gregory Ablavsky, Stanford Law School, has posted « With the Indian Tribes »: Race, Citizenship, and Original Constitutional Meanings, which is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review.

Under black-letter law declared in Morton v. Mancari, federal classifications of individuals as “Indian” based on membership in a federally recognized tribe rely on a political, not a racial, distinction, and so are generally subject only to rational-basis review. But the Supreme Court recently questioned this long-standing dichotomy, resulting in renewed challenges arguing that, because tribal membership usually requires Native ancestry, such classifications are race-based.

The term “Indian” appears twice in the original U.S. Constitution. A large and important scholarly literature has developed arguing that this specific constitutional inclusion of “Indian tribes” mitigates equal protection concerns. Missing from these discussions, however, is much consideration of these terms’ meaning at the time of the Constitution’s adoption. Most scholars have concluded that there is a lack of evidence on this point—a “gap” in the historical record.

This Essay uses legal, intellectual, and cultural history to close that “gap” and reconstruct the historical meanings of “tribe” and “Indian” in the late eighteenth century. Rather than a single “original meaning,” it finds duality: Anglo-Americans of the time also alternated between referring to Native communities as “nations,” which connoted equality, and “tribes,” which conveyed Natives’ purported uncivilized status. They also defined “Indians” both in racial terms, as non-white, and in jurisdictional terms, as non-citizens.

These contrasting meanings, I argue, have potentially important doctrinal implications for current debates in Indian law, depending on the interpretive approach applied. Although the term “tribe” had at times derogatory connotations, its use in the Constitution bolsters arguments emphasizing the significance of Native descent and arguably weakens current attacks on Native sovereignty based on invidious legal distinctions among Native communities. Similarly, there is convincing evidence to read “Indian” in the Constitution in political terms, justifying Morton’s dichotomy. But interpreting “Indian” as a “racial” category also provides little solace to Indian law’s critics, since it fundamentally undermines their insistence on a colorblind Constitution.

IDAES, UNSAM invita a la charla: La invisibilización de un crimen: feminicidios en contextos indígenas en Chiapas.

La Universidad Nacional de San Martín y Instituto de Altos Estudios Sociales invitan a la charla: La invisibilización de un crimen: feminicidios en contextos indígenas en Chiapas.

Impartida por la Dra. Perla Orquídea Fragoso Lugo, catedrática CONACYT/ CESMECA-UNICACH, México.

El Jueves 30 de noviembre a las 18:00hrs.

En Sede Edificio Volta

Av. R. S. Peña 832, piso 6, CABA

Aula 605



Important announcement: New location and date for the next biennial course and conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism: 17-24 August 2018, Ottawa, Canada

In March, the Executive Body of the Commission on Legal Pluralism decided to postpone and relocate the course and conference planned for August 2017 in Syracuse, NY. This decision was taken in response to worries over the US government’s travel ban and the increased hostility to Muslims and other visitors to the United States at immigration and customs.

The University of Ottawa has graciously offered to host the Legal Pluralism conference and course in August of 2018. The conference will take place from 22 to 24 August 2018, as usual preceded by our course from 17 to 20 August. Please mark these dates in your calendar!

The theme of the conference ‘Citizenship, Legal Pluralism and Governance in the Age of Globalization’ remains unchanged. Please find here a renewed call for panels, which is open until 31 October 2017. While all accepted panels are of course very welcome again, we need everyone to re-submit their panels to confirm they want to partake in the 2018 conference. We also invite new panel proposals.

Prior to the conference, we will organise an international course, covering theories, knowledge and methodologies of legal pluralism. Accepted candidates for the course in Syracuse will also be contacted about their participation in the 2018 course. Additional interested candidates can apply until 1 November 2017. If you are interested in learning more about the course, please have a look here!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at We are hoping to see many of you in Ottawa in August of 2018!

November 2017 Issue: Vol. 40(2) of PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review

The November 2017 issue of PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review (Volume 40, Issue 2) is now available. If you missed the May 2017 issue, you can catch up; it’s free to access!

The current issue features 10 original articles. In their editorial introduction, Heath Cabot and William Garriott write:

We ended our last introduction by restating our commitment to keeping PoLAR a place where anthropological work is brought to bear on the issues of the day. Of course, how one speaks to the present moment “anthropologically” remains hotly contested. But one distinguishing feature of our journal is its insistence on speaking to current issues and events from the particularities of specific times and places. This emphasis on place and time-centered contextualization gives anthropological work its specific texture, and it allows it to speak to current events with a unique voice and perspective.

In the United States, where we (the editors) live, political fights continue to rage over immigration, borders, government accountability, institutional responsiveness and efficacy, social media, surveillance technologies… the list goes on. There is no shortage of opinion on these topics. In shorter supply are scholarly takes that engage with complexity, turn to overlooked contexts for comparative perspective, and make room for the unexpected.

The articles in this issue provide such perspective. They address topics that are both timely and enduring. These include migration, borders, and the state (Yeh, Alpes); issues of identity in legal institutions (Lambert, Sapignoli, He, Li, and Feng); the unanticipated impact of policies designed to help the vulnerable (Ramsay, Vanderhurst); and the role technologies—electronic, bureaucratic—play in mediating relations between citizens and the state (Adunbi, Larson, Summers and Baiocchi). Five of the articles in this issue (Sapignoli, Vanderhurst, Adunbi, Ramsay, Alpes) center on the African continent and global or transnational links formed through displacement, legal frameworks, and extractive economies. They showcase the exciting new political and legal scholarship emerging from this rich and contested region. Articles centered on China, Mexico, the United States, and East Central Europe comprise the rest of the issue. They demonstrate the power of comparison to highlight the similarities and disjunctures that abide across discrete locales.

Read collectively, then, the articles in this issue give testament to the continued relevance of anthropological scholarship. They provide a fresh perspective on the concerns of the day while addressing the enduring questions of legal and political anthropology.


Conférence du Pr. Pierre Etienne Kenfack – Droits écrits et droits coutumiers en Afrique noire aujourd’hui

Cycle de conférences de l’Ecole de droit de la Sorbonne
Droits écrits et droits coutumiers en Afrique noire aujourd’hui

Résumé :

La question des rapports entre les droits écrits et les droits coutumiers en Afrique date de l’époque coloniale. A l’origine c’était des rapports de hiérarchie consistant à faire cohabiter les deux droits, mais en dénigrant les droits traditionnels avec pour objectif , à plus ou moins brève échéance leur remplacement par les droits écrits d’origine européenne.

Poursuivie après les indépendances avec la règle de la succession d’États et la multiplication des lois écrites, cet objectif s’est heurtée à une résistance discrète mais omniprésente des droits traditionnels, avec parfois des situations claires d’application des solutions de droit traditionnel au détriment des règles écrites.

Il est donc important, au-delà d’un bilan, d’interroger l’état actuel des rapports entre les droits écrits et les droits traditionnels dans les Etats d’Afrique noire et surtout d’en tirer des conséquences en terme de processus de production du droit ayant des chances de s’appliquer effectivement dans un espace juridique donné.

Mercredi 22 Novembre 2017
15 – 16 h
Salle 1
Centre Panthéon
12, place du Panthéon
75005 Paris

Conférencier : Pierre Etienne Kenfack , Université de Yaoundé II (Cameroun)