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School of Law

SOLM289 Law is Plural: comparative law, legal pluralism, decoloniality

This module is not running for 2024-25 entry. Check our LLM and Diploma module list to see other related modules you could take.

Module description

When we speak of law, we regularly refer to one law only: usually our own law, sometimes supranational law. "What are the legal requirements for marriage?" usually means only "What are the requirements for marriage under English law, or international law, or some other law?"

But law in the world is not one, it is many. This matters in numerous situation: a contract partner is situated abroad and the question of the applicable law arises; a firm wants to determine in what country to establish a new subsidiary;  a Muslim couple in England wants to know whether its marriage is valid; an avocado farmer in Mexico feels the need to comply with European  labor requirements.

Several legal fields respond to law's plurality: comparative law analyzes differences and similarities as well as transplants between laws; conflict of laws designates which country's law applies; theories of legal pluralism help theorize law's plurality; decolonial theory assesses the power imbalances between Global North law and the Global South. Rather than viewing these fields as separate, the module uses a number of case studies to introduce them as parallel resposes to the challenges from law's plurality.

Applicable Groupings


15 Credits

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