Chapter

Centres of Law: Duties, Rights, and Jurisdictional Pluralism in Medieval India

Donald R. Davis

in Legalism

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199664269
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744686 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664269.003.0004
Centres of Law: Duties, Rights, and Jurisdictional Pluralism in Medieval India

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This chapter addresses the following question: how do we incorporate again a language and a sentiment of duty into legal discourse and the law without sacrificing the many gains and benefits of a robust rhetoric of rights? It proposes an answer to this question through comparison, by examining a legal tradition that emphasizes duties before rights. The culture of Hindu law in medieval India is examined for cues about how to rethink legal pluralism when a duties-based legal tradition forms the centre of legal thought and practice. Speaking of medieval Hindu law carries the distinct advantage of working in a basically prejudice-free zone of legal history, since few scholars come to it with either conception or preconception.

Keywords: duty; legal discourse; law; rights; hindu law; legal pluralism

Chapter.  13180 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law ; History of Law

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