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Law and AnthropologyCurrent Legal Issues Volume 12$
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Michael Freeman and David Napier

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580910.001.0001

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From Tribal Tibet: The Significance of the Legal Form

From Tribal Tibet: The Significance of the Legal Form

Chapter:
(p.143) 6 From Tribal Tibet: The Significance of the Legal Form
Source:
Law and Anthropology
Author(s):

Fernanda Pirie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580910.003.0006

This chapter analyzes a legal code found among nomadic pastoralists in eastern Tibet. This code consists of directions and prescriptions relating to different areas of tribal life and specifies compensation payments to be made after a death or injury. Its provisions diverge significantly, however, from the practices of mediation that actually take place among these tribes. It is argued that the expressive nature of its content is more significant than its instrumental value. Its provisions represent a type of civilization to which the Tibetan tribes and their leaders aspired. The legal form is, for them, a means of linking social norms and practices to a supervening moral order and, as such, the code can be regarded as significant, quite apart from any impact it has upon legal practices.

Keywords:   legal code, nomadic pastoralists, eastern Tibet, Tibetan tribes

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