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Title: What is law? : Unveiling a subjective legal pluralism
Author: Jackson, Amy Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 8622
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2012
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The present thesis explores inter alia how the relationship between the state, groups and their members is framed in the legal imagination. Legal pluralism is an analytical tool used to discuss the operation, interaction and conflicts between 'normative orders' (a term which describes the systematic rules of social associations). Martha-Marie Kleinhans and Roderick Macdona1d posit an image of law and society (called 'critical legal pluralism') that locates law in human imagination, captured in people's narrative accounts. One criticism of their approach is that it establishes an indeterminate conception of legality. To explore the criticism, this thesis investigates two research questions: how is it useful for socio-1ega1 scholars to locate law within the human imagination? And, can socio-1ega1 researchers capture and document subjective 1aw(s)? The aim is to unveil (or reveal) whether a subjective legal pluralist approach is useful, or even possible, for socio-1ega1 scholars to undertake by using the practice of veiling (the wearing of a hijab, jilbab, niqab or burqa) as a case study. A critical analysis of the leading House of Lords' judgment in R (on the application of Begum) v Headteacher and Governors of Denbigh High School [2007] 1 AC. 100 provides an opportunity to examine the reasons for and against accommodating the practice in Britain. Although some scholars highlight the importance of acknowledging the inter-woven relationship between cultural and religious groups and their members, they do not suggest how the relationship can be captured in law, outside of the liberal rights-based framework. This is the first study to put forward a subjective legal pluralist approach to the practice. As the particular reasons why women wear a veil can only be assumed, the findings from an empirical study provide insight to one crucial question: do women who live in Britain and wear a veil experience the practice as law? iv
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available