Commission on Legal Pluralism

About this group

The Commission on Legal Pluralism was established in 1978 by the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), and affiliated with the International Association of Legal Science (IALS), on the initiative of professor G. van den Steenhoven, of the Institute of Folk Law, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Currently, more than 350 lawyers, anthropologists and other social scientists, representing all regions of the world and concerned with legal pluralism in both theory and practice, are participants in the activities of the Commission. The growth of the Commission reflects a growing awareness of the contemporary existence of legal plurality, not only in countries with indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, but also in the industrialised societies as such. The Commission's primary purpose is to further knowledge and understanding of legal pluralism, with a focus upon theoretical and practical problems resulting from the interaction of non-state law and state law.

Membership is open to anyone with a serious and substantial scholarly or practical commitment to or involvement in the field of legal pluralism. Those interested in joining are invited to communicate with the Executive Secretary Dr. Carolien Jacobs at

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Commission on Legal Pluralism

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