Sanne Taekema (Erasmus University Rotterdam), ‘Exploring the concept of interlegality: From local to transnational legal orders’ (6 June 2018)

Wednesday, 6 June 2018, from 2 pm to 4 pm, Porthania P545 (Faculty room).

A generally recognized feature of the modern legal world is the existence of multiple bodies of law, which co-exist, interact and conflict in various ways. The concept of interlegality generates a specific perspective on this phenomenon, seeing it as a process of mixing elements of different legal orders to create a new legal order. Speaking of interlegality then leads to a consideration of different legal orders between which linkages appear. In this paper, the main question is how to understand the concept of ‘legal order’ in light of interlegality.

Interlegality is used as an analytical tool by socio-legal scholars, especially in legal anthopology. The term also appears in transnational legal theory. However, these uses of interlegality seem to presuppose different notions of legal order. In this paper, a view of legal order as a system is contrasted with legal order as an interactional practice. An argument is made that the plurality and tension highlighted by interlegality are problematic in a systemic view of legal order, and can be accounted for in an interactional  view. However, taking the interactional view to its limits may lead to a collapse of the notion of order altogether. This paper considers how an interactional view may incorporate elements of systemic order in order to do justice to interlegality in local and transnational contexts. Examples will be discussed in which the local and the transnational touch, such as the impact of human rights law on city governance and local support for transnational regulatory schemes.


Sanne Taekema is Professor of Jurisprudence at the Department of Sociology, Theory and Methodology, Erasmus School of Law. Her research addresses various themes in legal philosophy and methodology, including the rule of law, especially in a transnational context, general issues of legal theory, particularly the role of values in jurisprudence and legal pragmatism, methodology of legal and interdisciplinary research, and law and literature. She is Director of the research programme Rethinking the Rule of Law in an Era of Globalisation, Privatisation and Multiculturalisation and leads the research project Integrating Normative and Functional Approaches to the Rule of Law and Human Rights (INFAR). She is one of the editors-in-chief of the journal Law and Method. She has published widely on theoretical and socio-legal issues, including two edited collections Facts and Norms in Law. Interdisciplinary Reflections on Legal Method (Edward Elgar, 2016; co-edited with B. van Klink & W.H.J. de Been) and Law and Method. On Interdisciplinary Research into Law (Mohr Siebeck, 2011; co-edited with B. van Klink).

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