Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-plzwj Total loading time: 0.304 Render date: 2022-05-21T04:16:39.121Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Culture all around? Contextualising anthropological expertise in European courtroom settings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 July 2016

Larissa Vetters*
Affiliation:
Law & Society Institute, Faculty of Law, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany. E-mail: vetters@rewi.hu-berlin.de.
Marie-Claire Foblets
Affiliation:
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Department of Law and Anthropology, Advokatenweg 36, 06114 Halle a/d Saale, Germany. E-mail: foblets@eth.mpg.de.

Abstract

This paper contributes to the debate on the role of anthropological expertise in the legal sphere by broadening the analytical field of vision. Rather than focusing on the anthropologist, his or her positionality, the epistemic status of anthropological knowledge or the ensuing ethical questions – as the other contributions to this themed section do – we turn the question around. Based on empirical data from a survey conducted among European judges on judiciary practice and sociocultural diversity, our focus here is on the question of how judges perceive, assess and accommodate sociocultural diversity in their daily decision-making. We furthermore investigate the conditions under which external expertise is called upon in specific legal settings and situations. We develop a conceptual argument for rethinking the role of anthropological knowledge and research in legal practice and argue for the need to pursue new forms of collaborative ethnography with judges that go beyond participant observation of their courtroom interactions. Working together with the judges who give decisions on cases, we claim, can provide scope for both critical reflection and applied problem-solving.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abu-Lughod, Lila (1991) ‘Writing Against Culture’ in Fox, Richard G. (ed.) Recapturing Anthropology – Working in the Present. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 137162.Google Scholar
Berkemann, Jörg (1998) ‘Verwaltungsprozeßrecht auf neuen Wegen’, Deutsches Verwaltungsblatt 9: 446461.Google Scholar
Bourdieu, Pierre (1987) ‘The Force of Law: Towards a Sociology of the Juridical Field’, The Hastings Law Journal 38: 805853.Google Scholar
Brumann, Christoph (1999) ‘Writing for Culture: Why a Successful Concept Should Not Be Discarded’, Current Anthropology 40(1): 127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Care, Geoffrey (2013) Migrants and the Courts: A Century of Trial and Error? Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Clermont, Kevin M. and Sherwin, Emily (2002) ‘A Comparative View of Standards of Proof’, American Journal of Comparative Law 50: 243276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clifford, James and Marcus, George E. (eds) (1986) Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press. Google Scholar
Conley, John M. and O'barr, William M. (1993) ‘Legal Anthropology Comes Home: A Brief History of the Ethnographic Study of Law’, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 27(1): 4164.Google Scholar
Cotterrell, Roger (1997) ‘The Concept of Legal Culture’ in Nelken, David (ed.) Comparing Legal Cultures. Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1331.Google Scholar
Demian, Melissa (2008) ‘Fictions of Intention in the “Cultural Defense”’, American Anthropologist 110(4): 432442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edmond, Gary (2004) ‘Thick Decisions: Expertise, Advocacy and Reasonableness in the Federal Court of Australia’, Oceania 74(3): 190230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edmond, Gary and Hamer, David (2012) ‘Evidence Law’, in Cane, Peter and Kritzer, Herbert M. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 652678.Google Scholar
Engel, Christoph (2009) ‘Preponderance of the Evidence versus Intime Conviction: A Behavioral Perspective on a Conflict between American and Continental European Law’, Vermont Law Review 33: 435467.Google Scholar
Foblets, Marie-Claire, Gaudreault-Desßiens, Jean-François and Rentein, Alison Dundes (eds) (2010) Cultural Diversity and the Law: State Responses from Around the World. Brussels: Bruylant.Google Scholar
Foblets, Marie-Claire and Yassari, Nadjma (eds) (2013) Legal Approaches to Cultural Diversity. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Google Scholar
Fransen, Caroline and Maes, An (2014) ‘De volle rechtsmachtbevoegdheid van de RvV (2011–2013)’, Tijdschrift voor Vreemdelingenrecht 1: 627.Google Scholar
Friedman, Lawrence M. (1975) The Legal System: A Social Science Perspective. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Friedman, Lawrence M. (1997) ‘The Concept of Legal Culture: A Reply’ in Nelken, David (ed.) Comparing Legal Cultures. Aldershot: Dartmouth, 3339.Google Scholar
Friedman, Lawrence M. (2006) ‘The Place of Legal Culture in the Sociology of Law’ in Freeman, Michael (ed.) Law and Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 187199.Google Scholar
Gärditz, Klaus Ferdinand (2011) ‘Das Sonderverwaltungsprozessrecht des Asylverfahrens’ in Baumeister, Peter, Roth, Wolfgang and Ruthig, Peter (eds) Staat, Verwaltung, Rechtsschutz: Festschrift für Wolf Rüdiger Schenke zum 70: Geburtstag. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 689708.Google Scholar
Gibb, Robert and Good, Anthony (2014) ‘Interpretation, Translation and Intercultural Communication in Refugee Determination Procedures in the U.K. and France’, Language and Intercultural Communication 14(3): 385399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Good, Anthony (2007) Anthropology and Expertise in the Asylum Courts. New York: Routledge-Cavendish.Google Scholar
Grillo, Ralph, Ballard, Roger, Ferrari, Alessandro, Hoekema, André J., Maussen, Marcel and Shah, Prakash (2009) Legal Practice and Cultural Diversity. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Holden, Livia (ed.) (2011) Cultural Expertise and Litigation: Patterns, Conflicts, Narratives. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Holmes, Douglas and Marcus, George E. (2005) ‘Cultures of Expertise and the Management of Globalization: Toward the Refunctioning of Ethnography’ in Ong, Aihwa and Collier, Stephen J. (eds) Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Malden: Blackwell, 235252.Google Scholar
Holmes, Douglas and Marcus, George E. (2012) ‘Collaborative Imperatives: A Manifesto, of Sorts, for the Re-Imagination of the Classic Scene of Fieldwork Encounter’ in Konrad, Monica (ed.) Collaborators Collaborating: Counterparts in Anthropological Knowledge and International Research Relations. Oxford: Berghahn, 126143.Google Scholar
Islam, Gazi (2015) ‘Practitioners as Theorists: Para-Ethnography and the Collaborative Study of Contemporary Organizations’, Organizational Research Methods 18(2): 231251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karagiannis, Evangelos and Randeria, Shalini (2016) ‘Zwischen Begeisterung und Unbehagen. Ein anthropologischer Blick auf den Begriff Kultur’ in La Rosa, Sybille De, Schubert, Sophia and Zapf, Holger (eds) Transkulturelle Politische Theorie. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 6383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kymlicka, Will, Lernestedt, Claes and Matravers, Matt (eds) (2014) Criminal Law and Cultural Diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lawrance, Benjamin N. and Ruffer, Galya (2015) ‘Introduction: Witness to Persecution? Expertise, Testimony, and Consistency in Asylum Adjudication’ in Lawrance Benjamin N. and Galya Ruffer (eds) Adjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status: The Role of Witness, Expertise and Testimony. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lawrence, Sonia N. (2001) ‘Cultural (In)Sensitivity: The Dangers of a Simplistic Approach to Culture in the Courtroom’, Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 13(1): 107136.Google Scholar
Lynch, Michael E. (1997) ‘Preliminary Notes on Judges’ Work: The Judge as a Constituent of Courtroom Hearings’ in Travers, Max and Manzo, John F. (eds) Law in Action: Ethnomethodological and Conversation Analytic Approaches to Law. Aldershot: Ashgate, 99130.Google Scholar
Menski, Werner (2006) Comparative Law in a Global Context: The Legal Systems of Asia and Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Merry, Engle Sally (2010) ‘What Is Legal Culture? An Anthropological Perspective’, Journal of Comparative Law 5(2): 4058.Google Scholar
Mullen, Tom (2016) ‘Access to Justice in Administrative Law and Administrative Justice’ in Palmer, Ellie, Cornford, Tom, Guinchard, Audrey and Yseult, Marique (eds) Access to Justice: Beyond the Policies and Politics of Austerity. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 69103.Google Scholar
Nelken, David (2006) ‘Rethinking Legal Culture I’ in Freeman, Michael (ed.) Law and Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 200224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nolte, Georg (1994) ‘General Principles of German and European Administrative Law: A Comparison in Historical Perspective’, The Modern Law Review 57(2): 191212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ortloff, Karsten-Michael (2015) ‘Richterliche Frage und Erörterungspflicht’ in Schoch, Friedrich, Schneider, Jens-Peter and Bier, Wolfgang (eds) Verwaltungsgerichtsordnung. 29. Aufl. München: C.H. Beck, §104.Google Scholar
Phillips, Anne (2003) ‘When Culture Means Gender: Issues of Cultural Defence in the English Courts’, The Modern Law Review 66(4): 510531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pitschas, Rainer (ed.) (1999) Die Reform der Verwaltungsgerichtsbarkeit. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar
Rees, Tobias (2010) ‘To Open Up New Spaces of Thought: Anthropology BSC’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 16: 158163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Renteln, Alison Dundes (2002) ‘In defense of culture in the courtroom’ in Shweder, Richard A. (ed.) Engaging Cultural Differences. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 194215.Google Scholar
Renteln, Alison Dundes (2005) ‘The Use and Abuse of Cultural Defense’, Canadian Journal of Law and Society 20(1): 4767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Renteln, Alison Dundes (2010) ‘Raising Cultural Defenses’ in Ramirez, Linda Friedman (ed.) Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense, 3rd edn. Huntington: Juris Publishing, 769813.Google Scholar
Renteln, Alison Dundes (2014) ‘What Do We Have to Fear from the Cultural Defense?’ in Kymlicka, Will, Lernsestedt, Claes and Matravers, Matt (eds) Criminal Law and Cultural Diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 177204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Renteln, Alison Dundes and Foblets, Marie-Claire (2015) ‘Analyzing “Authenticity” in the Litigation of Cultural Claims: Reflections on the Role of Expertise’ in Levey, Geoffrey Brahm (ed.) Authenticity, Autonomy and Multiculturalism. New York: Routledge, 163183.Google Scholar
Riles, Anneliese (2006) ‘Anthropology, Human Rights, and Legal Knowledge: Culture in the Iron Cage’, American Anthropologist 108(1): 5665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rosen, Lawrence (1977) ‘The Anthropologist as Expert Witness’, American Anthropologist 79(3): 555578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ruggiu, Ilenia (2012) Il giudice antropologo: Costituzione e tecniche di composizione dei conflitti multiculturali. Milano: FrancoAngeli.Google Scholar
Scheffer, Thomas (2010) Adversarial Case-Making: An Ethnography of the English Crown Court. Amsterdam: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scheffer, Thomas, Hannken-Illjes, Kati and Kozin, Alexander (2009) ‘How Courts Know. Comparing English Crown Court, U.S.–American State Court, and German District Court’, Space & Culture 12(2): 183204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Silbey, Susan S. (2012) ‘J. Locke, op. cit.: Invocations of Law on Snowy Streets’ in Nelken, David (ed.) Using Legal Culture. London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 120152.Google Scholar
Staffans, Ida (2012) Evidence in European Asylum Procedures. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taruffo, Michele (2003) ‘Rethinking the Standard of Proof’, American Journal of Comparative Law 51: 659677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, Robert (2011) Administrative Justice and Asylum Appeals. London: Hart Publishing.Google Scholar
Thomas, Robert (2016) ‘Immigration and Access to Justice: A Critical Analysis of Recent Restrictions’ in Palmer, Ellie, Cornford, Tom, Guinchard, Audrey and Yseult, Marique (eds) Access to Justice: Beyond Policies and Politics of Austerity. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 105133.Google Scholar
Thuen, Trond (2004) ‘Anthropological Knowledge in the Courtroom: Conflicting Paradigms’, Social Anthropology 12(3): 265287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tiedemann, Paul (2015) Flüchtlingsrecht: Die materiellen und verfahrensrechtlichen Grundlagen. Heidelberg: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vogelaar, Femke (2013) ‘Protection Gap in de asielprocedure’, Tijdschrift voor Vreemdelingenrecht 1: 5566.Google Scholar
Vogelaar, Femke (2015) ‘Feitenvaststelling in asielzaken: de invloed van de jurisprudentie van het Hof van Justitie’, Tijdschrift voor Vreemdelingenrecht 3: 169183.Google Scholar
Volpp, Leti (1994) ‘(Mis)identifying Culture: Asian Women and the “Cultural Defense”’, Harvard Women's Law Journal 17: 57100.Google Scholar
5
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Culture all around? Contextualising anthropological expertise in European courtroom settings
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Culture all around? Contextualising anthropological expertise in European courtroom settings
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Culture all around? Contextualising anthropological expertise in European courtroom settings
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *