Dr. Emily Whewell
Emily Whewell

Phone: +49 (69) 789 78 - 144
Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 - 169

Research Focus Area

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Conflict Regulation

Conflict is not just a constant challenge for the law but also a key to access its history, because it reveals the normative options that the parties to the conflict realised. Local conditions and traditions as well as pragmatic contexts and the decisive authority of the law – that is, the living law – can be revealed through conflict. Consequently, it provides unique insight into the normative foundations of a society in the form of particular sources of law (legislation, customs, etc.) that have long been the exclusive province of research in legal history. A society’s means of conflict regulation are an important research object in their own right, today more than ever, because each society develops its own repertoire whose form is contingent but not arbitrary. As in the Research Focus Area of Multinormativity, it is sensible to assume that state judicial systems are increasingly seen as just one option among many diverse conflict regulation procedures. And just as many speak of ‘legal pluralism’, the term ‘judicial pluralism’ is gaining traction, and the two are directly related. The diversity ranges from various forms of mediation and arbitration to the classical juridical procedures of decision and sentencing at local and global levels. Legal history is well acquainted with the diversity of conflict regulation procedures; indeed, they are practically the historical norm. The relation between ecclesiastical and state justice systems, complex mechanisms of conflict regulation in imperial structures with their overlapping jurisdictions, criminal law, criminal prosecution, procedural law, the significance of cultural diversity for justice systems and the creative freedom of regulated self-regulation in periods when the judicial monopoly is still being established are themes treated by many projects at the Institute. The Research Focus Area Conflict Regulation should help to simultaneously connect the legal and historical expertise at the Institute with theories and models of jurisprudence, the humanities and social sciences while also striving for a better understanding of legal history by observing and writing it from the perspective of conflict.

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