22 March 2010

Gaudreault-DesBiens on legal and cultural diversity in Canada

The abstract of Jean-François Gaudreault-DesBiens (University of Montreal - Centre de recherche en droit public), 'The State Management of Legal and Cultural Diversity in Canada' has been released on SSRN. The article is included in J-F Gaudreault-Desbiens and A Dundes Renteln (eds), Cultural diversity and law: state responses from around the world (2009). The abstract reads:

This paper provides a contextual and critical overview of how legal and cultural diversity is managed by the state in Canada. It particularly seeks to provide an account of how the state manages its interactions with other normative systems, when and only when it deems appropriate to formally interact with them, be it to merely acknowledge their existence, to influence their evolution, or to neutralize their effects.

The first part examines the genesis of the legal and cultural encounters that are still shaping Canada today. A particular attention is paid to the interactions, historical and current, between the legal traditions that co-exist in Canada. As such, its focus is mostly on state attempts at orchestrating sources of legal pluralism. The second part looks at the relative influence of different sources of law in the management of cultural diversity in Canada. After a brief examination of the treatment and impact of international law, the focus shifts to the central role that constitutional law plays in Canada as a tool for macro-managing cultural diversity. Then, some particular statutory techniques used to micro-manage particular issues are analyzed. A brief third part finally examines some particularly interesting features of the legal theorization of pluralism in Canada.

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