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School of Law

New book published: 'Family, Religion and Law: Cultural Encounters in Europe' co-edited by Dr Prakash Shah


Family, Religion and Law: Cultural Encounters in Europe has been published by Ashgate. Edited by Dr Prakash Shah, Queen Mary University of London, Marie-Claire Foblets, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, and Mathias Rohe, University Erlangen-Nürnberg, this collection, emerging from the work of the European RELIGARE research consortium, discusses how official legal systems do and should respond to the reality of a plurality of family types and origins within their jurisdictions. It further examines the challenges that arise for practitioners, including lawyers and judges, when faced with such plurality. Focusing on empirical research, the volume presents legal and sociological data of unprecedented comparative depth. It also includes a discussion of how members of minority families respond to the need to organise their legal relationships, and to resolve their disputes in the shadow of official legal systems which differ from those of their familial and communal traditions. The work invites reflection, and demonstrates the urgency and complexity of the questions regarding the search for justice in the field of family life in Europe today.

Dr Prakash Shah is Reader in Culture and Law at Queen Mary and Director of GLOCUL: The Centre for Culture and Law

Endorsements for the book

In twenty-first century Europe, the recognition and fair treatment of diversity in law is central to realising justice yet remains a daunting challenge for legal systems. This impressive collection does not claim to offer a comprehensive solution but persuasively shows how the best approaches combine knowledge, openness and sensitivity with a firm grasp of principle.’ Helena Wray, Middlesex University, UK 

Each chapter of this book is an intelligent and sensitive reminder of the principle according to which justice is not equality but treating differently what is different.’ Carlos Gómez Martínez, President of the Court of Appeal of the Balearic Islands and Former Director of the Spanish Judicial School 

Family, Religion and Law: Cultural Encounters in Europe offers a most timely, rich and much needed body of comparative work which presents discerning insights into the challenges of legal pluralism and the ways in which cultural and religious minorities in a range of European contexts navigate the legal system. This book fills a critical gap in current research, offering lawyers, academics, judges, parliamentarians and many others, unique and critical insights into the key questions they ought to be asking.’ Puja Kapai, Associate Professor of Law, Director of the Center for Comparative and Public Law, The University of Hong Kong



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