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SOSC 1375 (193)
Lecture

Legal Pluralism

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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 1375
Professor
Kerry Taylor
Semester
Summer

Description
Review – 5/21/2013 • Indigenous law – storytelling – legal pluralism • All of us have our own ideas of about what law is. • Law is kind of big system of ideas so it’s a way of thinking, way of seeing the world, and what it does often is that It contains some very rigid ideas of about who we are in society • Ofvol – our legal system is supposed to be value free, not based on any one particular world view, supposed to be neutral, objective and iunbias. Creating a fair system that works to promote and protect justice, it does this by trying to treat everybody as if they are exactly the same. • Offficla version of law – idea representation of what its supposed to do. • Law – judges, lawyers, csi agents, regular people – big complex system of ideas • Who might like the official version of law? • Perhaps the people who created the system – judges, lawyers, etc. • Question whether the official version of law works for those outside the dominant group, does it work for everybody in society? • Those who created and structured our legal system really often continued to benefit from the way it works. Its possible the way our legal system works pushes people to the margins of society and keeps them from enjoying the same benefits, power, protection as the dominant group. • If people out there and worried about big things in our society like racism, sexism, class based inquality, then you are gonna start to see areas where you can say the official version of law may not quite totally cut it. • Official version of law says one you come into the door you are all equal. Not everybody comes to the room in the same situation. This could lead to strange results. • Put law and society together, study their interaction, how theyre dynamic related to one another. • Articles: how often law is either unable to think about and to recognize peoples differences. It has trouble when it realizes that we are not all the same. System of law also has trouble hearing stories how our socity is structured in a way where there are hierachys and inqualitys. First hint that maybe our legal system is built upon some values. These values don’t exists out in the open. Run below the surface. Hard to see. • Incremental change • Bringing hidden transcrips to light • How does this person think things are going in society? What issues are they concerned with? Do they want radical change? • Depending on who you are, youll have a sense of whether law is fair and just • How and why law is complex and complicated and contradictory • Indigenous law – storytelling – pluralism • Aboriginal people were sobrant – self determining people – as a group nobody needed to tell them how to run their affairs – had a fully functioning culture, languages and institutions. However based on some very racist ideas about what civilization should look like and how a society should be run, ideas about religion, ideas that revolved around desire to control land or resources. European settlers used the law to make aboriginal people invisible. Our system of law stepped in as an authority in all of their authorities, told them they were unable to look after themselves. Our legal system said that the aboriginal way of life didn’t count as real in Canada, wasn’t something considered to be valuable. • The indian act – very coercive piece of legislation took over their life. They could not legally practice their means of substancinse. Their spiritual beliefs were criminal. Overall they had to listen to Canadian authorities or face the consequences. Ex. Fined or put in jail. • Law told us then a particular story about Canada. told us a very skewed picture of what is happening in Canada. it not only decreased actual numbers of aboriginal people but forced them to give up their ways of thinking and practicing life. • What we see is our legal system attacking the aboriginal way of life • Is the Canadian legal system value free? • Does our legal system leave room for groups to have different ideas about how to live their life. • Does our legal system allow everyone to practice their beliefs, not all the time. • European Canadians wanted to establish that they had complete control of Canadian land and resources. They were very powerful because they had force to do this, military, police power etc. • Use law In a systematic way • European Canadians using force that their system of law was the only one that existed in Canada. aboriginal communities continue to exists but lack of opportunity and educations. • Social legal critique says poverty, environmental degragation is dependency created by law. • So authoritative that many of us might think that these conditions are just a fact of life for first nations people. It’s the fault of the first nations people that the yare in this position – we find fault with them instead of law and society that
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