Law & Society Review

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  • Justice, Emotion, and Belonging: Legal Consciousness in a Taiwanese Family Conflict

    This case study of a family conflict in Taiwan explores how legal consciousness is emotionally driven, intersubjective, and dependent on relational factors that are deeply connected to an individual's perception of the self–other relationship and affinity therein. As the members of the Lee family negotiated emotionally on issues involving elder care and inheritance, their adoption of law was at times absent, at others influential, but always shaped by certain Chinese concepts such as zìjǐrén (自己人), which constitute the emotional complex of belonging in Taiwan. This cultural patterning identifies a person as included, accepted, and respected by the group and when in conflict, is the driving force behind a disputants' pursuit of an identity that places them on moral high ground as a form of justice. Rather than depending on rational decision making or legal norms, their legal consciousness was determined by the sense of self, rectitude, emotion, and subjectivity.

  • Cascades of Violence: War, Crime and Peacebuilding Across South Asia. By John Braithwaite and Bina D'Costa. Canberra: ANU Press, 2018.
  • Access to Justice and Human Security: Cultural Contradictions in Rural South Africa. By Sindiso Mnisi Weeks. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  • Moving Children through Private International Law: Institutions and the Enactment of Ethics

    This article examines how the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co‐operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) plays a central role in justifying the institution of legal adoption. The Hague Adoption Convention has often been regarded as a response to the challenges that the “global situation” brings to adoption practice. Based on private international law, the agreement contains protocols and norms to ensure the protection of the child in intercountry adoption. In the article, I propose that the Hague Convention can be understood as a “transparency device”; a complex assemblage working in pursuit of global “good governance.” The device, however, also operates as justification within the institutional domain, allowing adoption agencies to make distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate adoptions. Idemonstrate how the logic of transparency disguises as much as it promises to reveal. While the doctrine's aim is to validate adoptability and combat trafficking, it also helps to mainstream Euro‐American adoption knowledge to other parts of the world.

  • Across the Sloping Meadow Floor: An Empirical Analysis of Preremoval Detention of Noncitizens

    In many countries, the law permits state authorities to detain noncitizens before deportation. Typically judicial decisions about preremoval detention must be made within a short period of time during which deportable noncitizens are held in police premises, and depending on the country detention may last just one month (e.g., France) or up to 18 months (the Netherlands). While previous research has explored various dimensions of noncitizen detention including the legal procedure, health consequences, the condition of detention centers, and the lives of deportable noncitizens, the empirical assessment of the determinants of decisions on preremoval detention are largely unexplored. Using data from court proceedings of police petitions of detention in Spain and a quantitative strategy, in this article we undertake an empirical analysis of noncitizen detention combining personal background of deportable noncitizens, legal factors of the case, and the behavior of different actors involved in the procedure. To do it, we fit models that take into account variation occurred at judicial district levels. Results indicate, on the one hand, that relevant actors involved in the procedure use different informational cues to decide on cases. On the other hand, the role of prosecutors and attorneys during hearings proves also relevant to predict detention.

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  • Relational Legal Consciousness of U.S. Citizenship: Privilege, Responsibility, Guilt, and Love in Latino Mixed‐Status Families

    Based on interviews with 100 members of mixed‐status families in Los Angeles, California, this article analyzes how U.S. citizen children practice and understand citizenship in the context of punitive laws targeting their loved ones. Participants' narratives of citizenship as privilege, responsibility, and guilt reveal that despite normative conceptions of citizenship as a universally equal status, citizenship intersects with key social markers to determine the contours and inequalities of substantive citizenship. Specifically, U.S. citizens in mixed‐status families make sense of their juridical category when they navigate unrealistic aspirations from relatives, maintain silence about undocumented family members' legal status, manage their fear of family separation through deportation, and take on financial and logistical responsibilities prematurely to help relatives. In each of these ways, family proves to be a key site for the social and relational production of citizenship.

  • Adjudicating Executive Privilege: Federal Administrative Agencies and Deliberative Process Privilege Claims in U.S. District Courts

    Government transparency is a key component of democratic accountability. The U.S. Congress and the president have created multiple legislative avenues to facilitate executive branch transparency with the public. However, when the executive branch withholds requested information from the public, the federal judiciary has the power to determine whether agencies must release documents and information to requestors. When enforcing standards of executive branch transparency, judges must balance concerns of executive autonomy and judicial intrusion into administrative decisionmaking. While much judicial scholarship focuses on the decisionmaking on high courts, in the U.S. context, federal district courts play a key role in adjudicating transparency disputes. In this article, I examine case outcomes in disputes involving agency claims of deliberative process privilege over internal agency documents litigated between 1994 and 2004. I find that U.S. federal district courts largely defer to administrative agencies in transparency disputes. However, factors such as agency structure and the congruence between judicial and administrative agency policy preferences influence whether federal judges require executive branch officials to release requested information.

  • Compensation and Compliance: Sources of Public Acceptance of the U.K. Supreme Court's Brexit Decision

    The perception that a high court's decision is binding and final is a crucial prerequisite for its ability to settle political conflicts. Under what conditions are citizens more likely to accept controversial judicial rulings? Mass acceptance is determined, in part, by how rulings are framed during public debate. This paper takes a broad view of the strategies and actors that influence the discursive environment surrounding judgments, calling attention to hitherto unexamined determinants of mass acceptance. We theorize that third parties can boost acceptance by pledging compliance, and that courts can moderate opposition by compensating losers. We also look at how populist attacks on judiciaries, common in contemporary democracies, affect acceptance. We test these propositions using a survey experiment conducted in the aftermath of the UK Supreme Court's Brexit decision, the most salient judgment handed down by this court to date. The paper moves the literature on courts and public opinion beyond the United States, and presents evidence backing largely untested assumptions at the heart of models of judicial behavior regarding the benefits of crafting rulings with an eye on the preferences of key audiences.

  • Co‐Editors' Note

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