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Lawyers, Conflict and Transition (resubmission)
The project will explore the role of lawyers in transitions from violence or authoritarianism in Israel/Palestine, Cambodia, Chile, South Africa and Tunisia. The research will construct a bridgehead between transitional justice and the sociology of the legal professions. It will also draw upon a range of interdisciplinary literature, including comparative legal studies, historical institutionalism and social movement theory.
The aims of the project are:
- to develop a comparative perspective on the sociology of lawyering exploring lawyers as actors within and beyond the courtroom; to examine the intersection between lawyers and other key civil society, political and legal actors in social movements
- to explore the contribution of lawyers in shaping local and international understandings of the ‘rule of law’
- to interrogate the extent to which transitional contexts may be viewed as ‘exceptional’ from the experiences of settled democracies
- to chart the relevance (or not) of key themes on the relationship between law, lawyers and political and social change in such contexts, in particular legal culture, colonial and post-colonial lawyering and legal pluralism.
The project will draw from comparative legal methods and socio-legal traditions of empirical fieldwork in conducting 120 semi-structured interviews across the six field sites.