Archives par mot-clé : Socio-legal studies

Cultural expertise and socio-legal studies : Special issue of Studies in law, politics and society, vol. 78, 2019

This special issue of Studies in Law, Politics, and Society aims to foster a dialogue that is inclusive, constructive, and innovative in order to lay the basis for evaluating the usefulness and impact of cultural expertise in modern litigation. It investigates the scope of cultural expertise as a new socio-legal concept that broadly concerns the use of social sciences in connection with rights and the solution of conflicts. While the definition of cultural expertise is new, the conflicts it applies to are not, and these range from criminal law to civil law, including international human rights. In this special issue, socio-legal scientists with interdisciplinary backgrounds scrutinize the applicability of the notion of cultural expertise in Europe and the rest of the World. Cases include murder, female genital mutilation, earthquake claims, Islamic law, underage marriages, child custody, adoption, land rights, and asylum. The authors debate on a variety of themes, such as legal pluralism, ethnicity, causal determinism, reification of culture, and the “culturalization” of defendants. The volume concludes with an overview of the ethical implications of the definition of cultural expertise and suggestions for a way forward.

Introduction; Livia Holden

Part I. Cultural Expertise with(out) Cultural Experts

From Invisible to Visible: Locating Cultural Expertise in the Law Courts of Two Finnish Cities; Taina Cooke

Cultural Expertise in Italian Courts: Contexts, Cases and Issues; Antonello Ciccozzi and Giorgia Decarli

Part II. Sites of Cultural Expertise

Assessing Cultural Expertise in Portugal: Challenges and Opportunities; João Teixeira Lopes, Anabela Leão and Ligia Ferro

Cultural Expertise in Asylum Granting Procedure in Greece: Evaluating the Experiences and the Prospects; Helen Rethimiotaki

Part III. Comparative Perspectives on Cultural Expertise

Court Cases, Cultural Expertise, and FGM in Europe; Ruth Mestre and Sara Johnsdotter

Between Norms, Facts and Stereotypes: The Place of Culture and Ethnicity in Belgian and French Family Justice; Caroline Simon, Barbara Truffin and Anne Wyvekens

Part IV. Cultural Expertise in Non-European Contexts

Cultural Expertise in Australia: Colonial Laws, Customs, and Emergent Legal Pluralism; Ann Black

The Role and Use of Cultural Expertise in Litigation in South Africa. Can the Western World Learn Anything from a Mixed, Pluralistic Legal System? Christa Rautenbach

Part V. Suggestions for a Way Forward

Beyond Cultural Expert Witnessing: Toward an Integrated Definition of Cultural Expertise; Livia Holden

Format:Hardback ISBN:9781787695160
Published:28 Feb 2019
Publisher:Emerald Publishing
LimitedDimensions:216 pages – 152 x 229mm
Series:Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

Publisher’s website :

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

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

16th April 2018, University of Kent in Paris, 4 Rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris
Emilie Cloatre (Kent Law School)
Olivier Leclerc (CNRS/Centre de Recherches Critiques sur le Droit)

FranceUK workshop Programme and Call_16th April 2018

Call for contributions/registration

Context and purpose :
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 four 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, please visit:

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.

Draft Programme :
10.00-10.15 Welcome and introductions
Emilie Cloatre and Olivier Leclerc

10.15-11.30 Socio-legal studies: trends, histories and institutional challenges/opportunities
Professor Rosie Harding (University of Birmingham)
Dr Renaud Colson (Université de Nantes)

11.30-11.45 Coffee break

11.45-1.00 Social critiques and socio-legal studies: exploring the ‘socio’ of socio-legal studies/Penser la sociologie dans la sociologie du droit
Professor Emily Grabham (University of Kent)
Dr Rachel Vanneuville (CNRS/Laboratoire Triangle)

1.00-1.45 Lunch

1.45-3.00 Approaching the ‘legal’ in socio-legal studies/Penser le droit dans la sociologie du droit
Professor John Harrington (Cardiff University)
Professor Pierre Brunet (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

3.00-3.15 Coffee break

3.15-5.00 Sampling socio-legal studies: examples and new directions in contemporary scholarship
Short presentations by ECRs – please see call for contribution

5.00-5.30 Wrap-up and discussion
Emilie Cloatre/Olivier Leclerc

5.30-7.00 Drinks
7.30 Workshop dinner

This workshop is supported by the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), the Social Critiques of Law Research Group (SoCriL, Kent Law School) and the Centre de Recherches Critiques sur le Droit (CERCRID, UMR CNRS 5137, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne).