From Tribal Tibet: The Significance of the Legal Form

Fernanda Pirie

in Law and Anthropology

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199580910
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723025 | DOI:

Series: Current Legal Issues

 From Tribal Tibet: The Significance of the Legal Form

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This chapter analyzes a legal code found among nomadic pastoralists in eastern Tibet. This code consists of directions and prescriptions relating to different areas of tribal life and specifies compensation payments to be made after a death or injury. Its provisions diverge significantly, however, from the practices of mediation that actually take place among these tribes. It is argued that the expressive nature of its content is more significant than its instrumental value. Its provisions represent a type of civilization to which the Tibetan tribes and their leaders aspired. The legal form is, for them, a means of linking social norms and practices to a supervening moral order and, as such, the code can be regarded as significant, quite apart from any impact it has upon legal practices.

Keywords: legal code; nomadic pastoralists; eastern Tibet; Tibetan tribes

Chapter.  10524 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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