International Courses on Legal Pluralism

International Courses on Legal Pluralism


The Commission on Legal Pluralism organises international courses on legal pluralism in which academics and practitioners become acquainted with a theoretical and methodological basis for the study of the co-existence of legal orders and the empirical and theoretical challenges this raises. Theoretical insights are applied to focused themes such as dispute management, natural resource management, human rights, justice and the rule of law, and gender issues. The courses are usually offered in connection with the international conferences organised by the CLP.

International Course on Legal Pluralism, Lisbon, Portugal, 9-12 July 2022

The Commission on Legal Pluralism in collaboration with the University of Lisbon Law School organised a course on legal pluralism 9-12 July 2022 before the Global Meeting on Law and Society in Lisbon, Portugal 13-16 July 2022. The 4-day course familiarised participants with current international debates and insights on socio-legal studies, theories, knowledge and methodologies of legal pluralism and offered a comparative perspective allowing them to rethink their own research and practical work.

Participants included doctoral candidates, academics and practitioners dealing with issues related to legal pluralism, informal justice systems and social justice in their academic or professional work. During this intensive training, the participants also had the opportunity to discuss their work and to build long-lasting intellectual connections with both other participants, and the instructors consisting of leading scholars in their fields, allowing participants to become part of a growing international network.

Topics covered in the course included:

-    Introduction to the concept of legal pluralism
-    Science, technology and governance
-    Governance, administration, and bureaucracy
-    Human-nature relations: legal pluralism, property and rights of nature
-    Traditional authority in contemporary societies
-    Epistemologies of the South and legal pluralism

The course included a half-day excursion to the Calouste Gulbenkian museum in Lisbon and a participants' research forum.

Selection, Tuition, and Funding

Our courses are open to students enrolled in a PhD programme, recent PhD graduates, more senior scholars who are relatively new to the field of legal pluralism, and practitioners working directly on one or more of the topics to be covered in the course. Participants must demonstrate a level of proficiency in English that allows them to read and actively discuss relevant academic literature. Selection is based on students’ motivation to join the course.

Participants are responsible for the cost of their airfare, accommodation, meals and local transportation. A limited number of tuition waivers are awarded to participants who demonstrate extreme financial need. In allocation of tuition waivers, priority is given to students coming from low- and middle-income countries. Depending on pending grant applications, some of the participants may be provided with free accommodation, local transportation and hospitality during the course.

Previous courses

Previous courses have been held in venues including Wellington (New Zealand), Accra (Ghana), Williamsburg (USA), Moscow (Russia), Chiang Mai (Thailand), Fredericton (Canada), Jakarta (Indonesia), Zurich (Switzerland), Cape Town (South Africa), Manchester (UK), Mumbai (India) and Ottawa (Canada).

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