Legal Pluralism

N. W. Barber

in The Constitutional State

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585014
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595318 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Constitutional Theory

Legal Pluralism

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This chapter advances a modest account of legal pluralism and its significance for states. It argues that a legal order can contain multiple rules of recognition that lead to the order containing multiple, unranked, legal sources. These rules of recognition are inconsistent, and there is the possibility that they will, in turn, identify inconsistent rules addressed to individuals. In addition, pluralist orders lack a legal mechanism able to resolve the inconsistency; there is no higher constitutional body that can resolve this dispute through adjudication or legislation. Consequently, pluralist legal orders contain a risk, which need not be realized, of constitutional crisis; of officials being compelled to choose between their loyalties to different public institutions.

Keywords: legal rules; recognition; legal pluralism; states

Chapter.  14515 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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