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This article introduces an online collection of pieces on mixed legal systems in the European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance. The articles are derived from the Third International Congress of the World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the summer of 2011.

In: European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance

The extraordinary legal and normative hybridity (“hybridity”) of the Mediterranean region was produced in a complex history of conquest, colonisation, and social and legal diffusion across shifting and porous boundaries. Its various legal traditions, past and present, include the Anglo-British, canonical, continental, Islamic, Ottoman, Roman, socialist, and Talmudic traditions as well as various other customary and trans-territorial traditions. This plurality of official or state laws is complemented and further complicated by an equally diverse and dynamic normative pluralism. Studies of hybridity have, however, been isolated, sporadic, and too often framed within narrow jurisdictional and disciplinary constraints. This paper briefly outlines an emerging research project, the Mediterranean Hybridity Project, on the legalities, both state laws and other meaningful normative orders, in the Mediterranean. Rooted in established comparative methods and employing the conceptual vocabulary of the social sciences, a questionnaire will guide the production of reports that attempt to capture the hybridity of the jurisdictions/locales studied. It is our hope that the published reports and their analysis will generate more accurate, useful, and accessible accounts of Mediterranean hybridity than existing taxonomies, models, and methods. Developed by the Juris Diversitas group, the Project will build on a ‘new rapproachement’ between comparatists and social scientists. In particular, it will draw on the analysis of (i) the legal hybridity of, “mixed legal systems,” where diverse state laws emerge from different legal traditions and (ii) the normative hybridity of so-called, “legal,” or, “normative pluralism.” The former acknowledges a legal world of great variety and complexity; the latter posits an essential dialectic between state law and other meaningful, non-state normative orders. Recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and beyond suggest how useful greater knowledge of Mediterranean hybridity might be.

In: European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance