Category: ‘legal pluralism’

My two weeks at the ULB, Maison de Sciences Humaines

8 April 2017 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

Ik mocht de laatste twee weken van maart 2017 als ‘professeur invité’ fed13640-0ba5-418a-bd20-2f50f5d9b8a8-original werken op het Maison des Sciences Humaines van de Université Libre de Bruxelles. Zie hun website http://msh.ulb.ac.be. Het is een fantastische vrijplaats voor heel verschillende onderzoekers naar urbanisatie, East Asia, de Arabische wereld, en gender en seksualiteit.17388790_1121173508029346_5492226494380438154_o Ik vond naast het gewone werk, de seminars, een gastcollege en het Belgische bier ook tijd voor reflectie: welke onderzoeksprojecten waar de rechtspraak (ook) iets aan heeft, zijn interessant voor de komende jaren? Vast ook iets met culturele diversiteit … 🙂

You would probably never guess, but behind these doors0a94ca13-b623-4ea4-9c85-4c4300f3ba23-original is one of the most exciting institutions of the ULB, namely the Centre d’histoire du droit et d’anthropologie juridique (CHDAJ, http://chdaj.ulb.ac.be)! On 22 March 2017 we had a wonderful and interesting research seminar on « SELECTIVE MOBILISATION OF ‘CULTURE’ IN JUDICIAL SETTINGS ». Seminar_22march_Program&Venue-1[1] The seminar addressed the question of the mobilisation (or non-mobilisation) of the notions ‘culture’ and ‘cultural diversity’ by the different actors of the judicial system, specifically in family and youth justice. We had presentations by Caroline Simon (ULB), Olga Petintseva (UGhent), Anne Wyvekens (CNRS/ISP), Fabienne Brion (UCLouvain), and Livia Holden (Univ di Padua). We discussed institutional discourse, cultural expertise, routine practices of legal professionals, legal consciousness, interpretive spaces, legal cultural differences between the Netherlands, Flanders and Wallonia, and much more. We’ll try and have publications out in the near future, together with Barbara Truffin.

The Law faculty, and btw the whole of the ULB, has very diverse architecture. Here’s two photos to show that:
17636954_1128692497277447_8409080236508160963_o 17635349_1128692800610750_4016901464985044248_o

Another Dutch court on dissolution of Islamic marriage

4 September 2016 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

The Dutch civil court in the city of Eindhoven, formally the ‘Rechtbank Oost-Brabant’, ruled on 3 August 2016 that a shiite man should cooperate in the dissolution of his Islamic marriage. The court ruled that the man infringes the freedom of his wife to enter into a new relationship (his wife issued a tort action). The man initially refused the dissolution because he first wanted the mahr back. The court balanced his interest against the freedom of his wife, and ruled in her favour.

The case can be found (in Dutch) on rechtspraak.nl.

Dutch court on Muslim divorce

19 February 2016 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

On 6 January 2016 the court of Rotterdam ruled it could not force a Muslim husband to cooperate with an Islamic divorce. The court argues that it is up to the woman to freely abide by Islamic rules, and that the issue in question does not relate to the Dutch legal order. The request of the woman (to order the man to perform a talaq or to cooperate with khula) is turned down.

See decision in Dutch: Sharia huwelijk – rb over weigering van de man om mee te werken aan ontbinding van het huwelijk

Of course the decision reached the media. Machteld Zee comments on the case (her recent PhD is shown), but also ‘Femmes for Freedom’ and lawyer Channa Samkalden who argues that ‘non-compliance with religious norms may have civil consequences for women’. The Clara Wichmann Institute will start a legal procedure (a so called ‘proefproces’) to secure that an Islamic divorce in the future can be secured. See, in Dutch:
and

Indigenous Australians may soon lose ancestral land

1 October 2015 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

Every year in my Antrhopology of Law course at Erasmus Law School, a large part of my teaching is devoted to Australian Aboriginals and their concept of law. 

This post, on Al Jazeera, shows again how the Australian government is blind to alternatives to their types of interventions, and crushes indigenous communities. The idea of ‘one law for all’ leads to devastating consequences for some.

Part of the article:

“Since its closure, most of the children who lived there have not returned to school, and youth suicides – cited by the government as a reason to close the town – have increased.

A 2011 Amnesty report found that the mortality rate for Aboriginal people living in urban areas was far higher than those living on ancestral lands. Some of Oombulgurri’s former residents are now homeless.

While the future of Western Australia’s indigenous communities remains uncertain, Aboriginal community organisers say the closure of these communities will bring social chaos and looking back on past policies, this plan could augur yet another lost generation of indigenous Australians.”

For the whole article: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2015/09/indigenous-australians-lose-ancestral-land-150904105812729.html

Vids of the Religare seminar

10 October 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

Via this link you can watch the video’s recorded at the Religare Expert seminar on Unregistered Marriages and Alternative Dispute Resolution in European Legal Systems, held on 4 September 2012 in London. You can see the programme and then select the sessions and speakers you would like to hear.

new alevi cem evi

13 August 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

On Friday I had a meeting in the city of Huizen. The alevi community has been able over the last years to gatber enough energy and money to build their own meeting house from scratch. The building really is nice and large. The official opening will be on 27 October, with the mayor holding the opening speech. Really a great accomplishment for the Dutch alevis and a gain for Dutch culture.

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Youth café’s in Urk

13 May 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

Urk, the small town – once island – traditionally focused on sea fishing

 
Grotere kaart weergeven

was in the news today with so-called ‘jeugdhonken’ – places for the youth to meet and gather and have fun, but that more and more seem to function as café’s. Illegal café’s that is, because they operate without a license for selling beer and other alcoholics.

The national news showed an industrial area, where the young rent garage boxes for about € 400 a month and restyle them into ‘fancy places’ that probably look like the bars their parents visit.

Their arguments are ‘it is cheap and ‘gezellig’ and there is no fighting like in town’. There are regular visits from police and fire brigade, to check if safety is in order, not to close them down (!). Interestingly, mayor Jaap Kroon (Christian Democrats) is behind the youth. Only if it becomes too large and not a ‘friends meeting’ anymore, he would intervene, he said. And by the way, this is traditional Urk legal culture, as he referred to ‘the kotters [fishing boats] which in the past had always a double function of fishing boat and meeting and drinking place.’

Minister of Justice Donner and Shariah in The Netherlands

13 September 2006 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

Dutch minister of justice department Piet Hein Donner said that radical muslims must be able to have their own parliamentary representation. “Otherwise you might have a violent confrontation outside of democratic rules.”

According to Donner the introduction of shariah in The Netherlands is theoretically possible. “When two third of the Dutch people want it tomorrow, the possibility has to be open.” (Two third of the members of parliament is necessary to amend the Dutch Constitution.)

There were quite different reactions to the statements made by Donner. Some want Donner to withdraw his statements, others say even muslims in The Netherlands don’t want shariah, while still others think about prohibiting political parties which aim at introducing shariah.

Probably the most sober reactions come down to the point that it’s a purely hypothetical issue. Donner – jurist as he is – cannot but admit the possibility of amending the Dutch Constitution in favour of shariah. Like there’s also a theoretical possibility of, well, what is NOT theoretically possible?

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