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The Constitutional State$
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Nick Barber

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199585014

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585014.001.0001

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Legal Pluralism

Legal Pluralism

Chapter:
(p.145) 9 Legal Pluralism
Source:
The Constitutional State
Author(s):

N. W. Barber

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585014.003.0009

This chapter advances a modest account of legal pluralism and its significance for states. It argues that a legal order can contain multiple rules of recognition that lead to the order containing multiple, unranked, legal sources. These rules of recognition are inconsistent, and there is the possibility that they will, in turn, identify inconsistent rules addressed to individuals. In addition, pluralist orders lack a legal mechanism able to resolve the inconsistency; there is no higher constitutional body that can resolve this dispute through adjudication or legislation. Consequently, pluralist legal orders contain a risk, which need not be realized, of constitutional crisis; of officials being compelled to choose between their loyalties to different public institutions.

Keywords:   legal rules, recognition, legal pluralism, states

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