Law and Ethnic Plurality

Socio-Legal Perspectives


The large-scale establishment of ethnic minorities and diasporic communities in Europe has gained the attention of social science scholars for a number of decades now. However, legal interest in this field has remained relatively underdeveloped, and few scholars have addressed emerging legal issues to any significant degree. This collection of contributions by leading writers in the field of ethnic migration and diaspora studies therefore provides some important interdisciplinary perspectives of how ethnic/diasporic minorities in British and European contexts interact with the official legal system. This volume makes a significant contribution in assessing the role of law in current debates on the integration of ethnic and religious minorities of migrant origin in the EU. The chapters derive from papers first delivered at a lecture series on ‘Cultural Diversity and Law’ at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. The contributors’ disciplinary interests range across law, anthropology, sociology, geography and political theory, and each one addresses the issues within his or her field of study by adopting approaches that place law within its wider social and political context. The topics covered range from a number of ‘public’ and ‘private’ law issues as well as the more conceptual realms of jurisprudence. They include marriage laws, approaches to dispute resolution, the role of courts and juries in the criminal justice system, drugs policies and the criminalisation of minorities, free speech and blasphemy, planning laws and the construction of religious buildings, composition of the judiciary, the normative foundations of cultural diversity in law, and integration and law. The compilation should therefore attract an interest beyond its core readership in law, making legal issues accessible to a whole range of students and policy makers within the social sciences.

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List of contributors; Introduction: Socio-Legal Perspectives on Ethnic Diversity Prakash Shah; On Cultural Diversity: The Importance of Normative Foundations for Legal Responses Meena Bhamra; Immigration, Diversity and Integration: The Limits of EU Law Valsamis Mitsilegas; Changes in Drugs Policy and Practice: Implications for the Black Community Anita Kalunta-Crumpton; Common Law and Common Sense: Juries, Justice and the Challenge of Ethnic Plurality Roger Ballard; Artistic Licence, Free Speech and Religious Sensibilities in a Multicultural Society Ralph Grillo; Planning Law and Mosque Development: The Politics of Religion and Residence in Birmingham Richard Gale; Alternative Dispute Resolution in a Diasporic Muslim Community in Britain Mohamed Keshavjee; Rituals of Recognition: Ethnic Minority Marriages in British Legal Systems Prakash Shah; Ethnicity and the Senior Judiciary in England and Wales Tahir Abbas; Index.
This book will attract a core of readers among academic lawyers and should also be relevant to a range of governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental institutions especially in the UK and the EU. Within law, the material will be attractive to those interested in socio-legal studies, the sociology and anthropology of law, critical legal studies, family law, race relations and anti-discrimination law, migration law, criminal law and criminology, EU law, jurisprudence, law and social theory and legal pluralism. It should also attract a wider range of academic readers in other disciplines notably anthropology and sociology, social policy, race, ethnic, migration and diaspora studies, politics, cultural and gender studies, geography and religious studies. Geographically, the core market will be the UK and EU, although North America and Australasia will also be strong markets. The book will primarily act as an academic reference text for research and teaching on courses covering the areas outlined above. It will also be relevant to policy makers and campaigners planning or advocating legal reform.
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