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Court Cases, Cultural Expertise, and “Female Genital Mutilation” in Europe

Cultural Expertise and Socio-Legal Studies

ISBN: 978-1-78769-516-0, eISBN: 978-1-78769-515-3

Publication date: 28 February 2019


This chapter discusses adjudication, expertise, and cultural difference as it appears in criminal court cases concerning female genital cutting (FGM) in the EU, as reported in a 2015 comparative overview. It begins with the distinction between typical and atypical FGM cases; a distinction that connects court cases to the cultural realities of the practicing communities, suggesting that the lack of cultural knowledge can cause unnecessary suffering to families and/or individuals who wrongly undergo prosecution in alleged FGM cases. A contrario, the intervention of experts in FGM court cases could be a positive approach to assessing the legitimacy of public intervention in certain cases.




The original study was commissioned by the Directorate-General for Justice of the European Commission. Manuscript preparation was supported by the University of Valencia and Malmö University.


Mestre i Mestre, R.M. and Johnsdotter, S. (2019), "Court Cases, Cultural Expertise, and “Female Genital Mutilation” in Europe", Cultural Expertise and Socio-Legal Studies (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 78), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-112.



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