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This chapter explores expert witnessing in anthropology and the raison d’être of cultural expertise as an integrated socio-legal concept that accounts for the contribution…
This chapter explores expert witnessing in anthropology and the raison d’être of cultural expertise as an integrated socio-legal concept that accounts for the contribution of social sciences to the resolution of disputes and the protection of human rights. The first section of this chapter provides a short historical outline of the occurrence and reception of anthropological expertise as expert witnessing. The second section surveys the theoretical reflections on anthropologists’ engagement with law. The third section explores the potential for anthropological expertise as a broader socio-legal notion in the common law and civil law legal systems. The chapter concludes with the opportunity and raison d’être of cultural expertise grounded on a skeptical approach to culture. It suggests that expert witnessing has been viewed mainly from a technical perspective of applied social sciences, which was necessary to set the legal framework of cultural experts’ engagement with law, but had the consequence of entrenching the impossibility of a comprehensive study of anthropological expert witnessing. While this chapter adopts a skeptical approach to culture, it also argues the advantages of an interdisciplinary approach that leads to an integrated definition of cultural expertise.
This chapter explores the multiple boundaries traversed and accompanying acts of translation entailed in the provision of expertise by anthropologists. The chapter begins…
This chapter explores the multiple boundaries traversed and accompanying acts of translation entailed in the provision of expertise by anthropologists. The chapter begins with an overview of the asylum process, the criteria constituting persecution, and a description of the bureaucracy and procedures by which asylum is determined. The role of expert witness is then introduced with a focus on the rules of federal evidence that paved the way for greater anthropological involvement in the provision of expertise. The next section reviews some of the extant ethnographic literature to date on the asylum process, highlighting the role of dissonance as a recurrent theme in two different respects: the dissonance that occurs between the asylum applicant and the legal setting, and the dissonance that is created between the asylee and his or her body in the aftermath of trauma. The crafting of the affidavit is then analyzed to illustrate the boundary crossings and acts of translation involved in the appraisal and understanding of asylum, including the traversal of difference in scale, temporality, and the construction of social reality, particularly those espoused by anthropology and law. I suggest that contributing to the protection of human rights through the provision of expert witness is a necessary and mutually beneficial collaboration whereby anthropological evidence, insight, and knowledge provide positive content to legal rights. I conclude that anthropologists are uniquely well qualified in the interlocution of persecution, likening the provision of expertise to fieldwork, as a series of border crossings and acts of translation.
British colonization of Australia had lasting consequences for Australia’s legal system. Although designed as a “one law for all system” based on the English common law…
British colonization of Australia had lasting consequences for Australia’s legal system. Although designed as a “one law for all system” based on the English common law, the reality was, and is, that there have always been people regulating their lives according to their own distinctive culture and religion. Recognition of de facto legal pluralism, has only recently given rise to instances of de jure legal recognition. The latter necessitated a role for cultural expertise in a range of legal cases. The first considered is how social science expertise was employed in redressing the dispossession of the continent’s first peoples: indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. The landmark case of Mabo No 2 laid the legal ground for native title land ownership which fueled a demand for cultural experts in indigenous traditions, laws, and customs. The second aspect is Australia’s response to recent immigration from non-European nations, including from Muslim countries. Many Muslims continue to regulate their interpersonal relationships exclusively, or partially, by principles of Islamic law and their “homeland” culture. This is particularly evident in family matters and the prism for exploring the nascent role for cultural expertise is through post-divorce parenting orders. The third issue is the extent to which a court can accept an accused’s cultural practice or religious belief as a defense to a criminal act or omission. In all three, who is a “cultural expert” can be contentious. While cultural expertise in indigenous matters is well established, the role for cultural experts in the resolution of family disputes and criminal cases is just emerging.
This chapter contributes to a corpus of legal–anthropological studies concerning the role of cultural experts in legal institutions. It begins by identifying the reasons…
This chapter contributes to a corpus of legal–anthropological studies concerning the role of cultural experts in legal institutions. It begins by identifying the reasons behind the fragile collaboration between Italian courts and cultural experts and outlining some of the consequences of this relationship. It then presents a collection of cases involving cultural experts including a focus on the L’Aquila trial recounted from first-hand experience by Antonello Ciccozzi, the anthropologist who acted as expert consultant. The conclusions attempt to summarize the “state of the art” of cultural expertise in Italian courts today and call for greater collaboration between law and anthropology as a means of guaranteeing a fair trial.
Despite the existence of a variety of approaches to the understanding of behavioral and managerial ethics in organizations and business relationships generally, knowledge…
Despite the existence of a variety of approaches to the understanding of behavioral and managerial ethics in organizations and business relationships generally, knowledge of organizing systems for fidelity remains in its infancy. We use halakha, or Jewish law, as a model, together with the literature in sociology, economic anthropology, and economics on what it termed “middleman minorities,” and on what we have termed the Landa Problem, the problem of identifying a trustworthy economic exchange partner, to explore this issue.
The article contrasts the differing explanations for trustworthy behavior in these literatures, focusing on the widely referenced work of Avner Greif on the Jewish Maghribi merchants of the eleventh century. We challenge Greif’s argument that cheating among the Magribi was managed chiefly via a rational, self-interested reputational sanctioning system in the closed group of traders. Greif largely ignores a more compelling if potentially complementary argument, which we believe also finds support among the documentary evidence of the Cairo Geniza as reported by Goitein: that the behavior of the Maghribi reflected their deep beliefs and commitment to Jewish law, halakha.
Applying insights from this analysis, we present an explicit theory of heroic marginality, the production of extreme precautionary behaviors to ensure service to the principal.
Generalizing from the case of halakha, the article proposes the construct of a deep code, identifying five defining characteristics of such a code, and suggests that deep codes may act as facilitators of compliance. We also offer speculation on design features employing deep codes that may increase the likelihood of production of behaviors consistent with terminal values of the community.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the shortfalls of the legal definition of corruption in Zimbabwe.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the shortfalls of the legal definition of corruption in Zimbabwe.
Defining corruption is a universal challenge. Thus, in reviewing Zimbabwes definition, this paper also draws on other common law system jurisdictions based on English traditions and Sharia law to make a comparative analysis. The paper also takes a multi-disciplinary approach that transcend fields of law and anthropology.
Although criminal law can be used as the normative basis in the fight against corruption, it can also be used by the powerful to shield themselves from corruption, through its indeterminacy and interpretation. Be this as it may, real and firm law can assist in curbing the vice.
The paper’s purview is limited both in terms of subject and scope. Although it starts by considering the definition of corruption to get a broad overview of this subject, it mainly focuses on the meaning of two popular concepts that are popularly identified with our understanding of corruption – abuse of power and public office.
The paper tries to establish a framework for understanding and curbing corruption through the use of statutory law.
This chapter argues that the crimmigration system is a social control apparatus that disproportionately punishes and racializes Latino immigrants, with important implications for research on assimilation.
We support our argument with research in sociology, geography, political science, anthropology, criminology, and law.
This chapter outlines how two spheres of the US legal system – immigration law and criminal law – have converged into a crimmigration system that punishes Latinos and their descendants. Migration scholars have historically relied on theories of assimilation to explain the fate of immigrants and their descendants. In today’s era of immigration enforcement, we argue that it is critically important for scholars to consider how the crimmigration system racializes Latinos, defines them as undeserving of national membership, and hardens racial boundaries.
By bringing together research on international migration, race, crimmigration, and assimilation, this chapter integrates various substantive areas that are not often in conversation with one another.
The paper first, indicates the references made by Greek legal order to different kind of cultural experts. Adopting a broader sociolegal definition of cultural expertise…
The paper first, indicates the references made by Greek legal order to different kind of cultural experts. Adopting a broader sociolegal definition of cultural expertise, it also refers to “cultural mediator,” a notion which has been introduced by the European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals which launched the first educational programs for their training in Greece. The so-called cultural mediators should facilitate communication between third-country nationals and Greek Administration, the respect of their rights and thus in long term their integration. Secondly, the chapter exposes the experiences made by Asylum Service employees and lawyers of NGOs involved in the granting or refusing asylum proceedings. It will try to show how cultural mediation for asylum seekers works in action by exploring how do lawyers and officers involved in the process of asylum granting describe it. They also give their opinion about the training prerequisites for someone to work as a mediator and they refer to some common topics why cultural experts are mostly needed. Thirdly, the chapter presents the joint arguments of Greek anthropological theory and the political theory about EU regarding the importance of the effort to understand, to respect, and to integrate the culturally and politically different refugees. Cultural expertise may help Greek State and Society in learning how to respect the principle of equality and difference. At the same time, it may serve as a venue to solidify EU as a multiethnic political community and a cosmopolitan legal order.
Norberto Bobbio's Birth Centenary was celebrated in Turin in October 2009. This article acknowledges an important 20th century legal philosopher whose work is yet to be…
Norberto Bobbio's Birth Centenary was celebrated in Turin in October 2009. This article acknowledges an important 20th century legal philosopher whose work is yet to be fully appreciated in the Anglo-American context. A short introduction is followed by an overview of his works in English, and intellectual profile. Relevant excerpts aim to convey some understanding of his legal scholarship. Three exemplars of his contribution to law: jurisprudence, legal sociology and the general theory of law are discussed. It is argued that a Bobbian lens can be usefully employed to consider some of the pressing 21st century legal-political and social issues.