Editors’ Note

Published date01 December 2017
Date01 December 2017
Editors’ Note
Ahallmark of sociolegal work has been assessing how actors
anticipate what legal officials might do and how multiple officials
work with law across settings. People strategize or change tactics
where they can, find alternative venues for disputes, and draw
upon cultural meanings when caught in legal tangles.
The articles in this issue take insights from sociolegal studies
to interpret encounters with legal officials and to examine the
framing of key problems as legal issues. The range of topics and
methodologies is wide, but all of the authors engage with encounters
between legal processes, administrative practices, and normative
The article by Anette Bringedal Houge and Kjersti Lohne
takes up the topic of conflict-related sexual violence and the
criminal law fight against impunity. The authors examine central
imageries of victims and perpetrators across interstate diplomacy
and human rights advocacy to argue that such framing narrows
and contains political maneuverability in the face of the harms of
this sexual violence.
Florian Grisel’s contribution proposes an alternative narrative of
globalization in commercial arbitration. Grisel revisits the sociology
of international commercial arbitration, arguing that a critical trans-
formative period for international commercial arbitration took place
between the 1950s and 1970s, when a group of individuals, “secant
marginals,” emerged as leading arbitrators at the International
Chamber of Commerce. The cooperative (rather than competitive)
interface that resulted created the conditions necessary for the
emergence of a new transnational legal profession.
The study of legal pluralism has long raised questions about
where and how different legal systems protect people: customary
law can promise connection to community but that can obscure
problems for individuals. Even different historical legacies can
lead to similar issues, as Janine Ubink and Sindiso Mnisi Weeks
demonstrate in their analysis of how traditional courts dispense
justice in Malawi and South Africa.
Law & Society Review, Volume 51, Number 4 (2017)
C2017 Law and Society Association. All rights reserved.

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