Livia Holden (PhD – School of Oriental and African Studies University of London) is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, where she leads the European Research Council’s funded project Cultural Expertise in Europe: What is it useful for? (EURO-EXPERT) and a project funded by Global Challenges Research Funds, UK Gender Sensitisation for Judicial Education in Pakistan. She is also tenured full professor at the university of Padua (on leave) and Research Associate at the Centre of History and Anthropology of Law (CHAD) at Paris Ouest. She is SCR Member and College Advisor at St Antony's College.
She regularly provides expert opinions for cases pertaining to immigration law, family law, and criminal law in the United Kingdom, United States and the Netherlands.
Prior to Oxford she was dean of the humanities and social sciences faculty and professor of anthropology at the Karakoram International University, professor of anthropology at Lahore University of Management Sciences, lecturer of international human rights and research fellow at the Socio-Legal Research Centre at Griffith University, research fellow at Freie University, and visiting professor at Humboldt University Berlin and INALCO Paris. She has been 2015/16 Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Nantes and 2016 Social Sciences Awardee by the Pakistan Inter-University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences. She holds affiliations with the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California Berkeley and Otago University.
Among her most significant publications see: Hindu Divorce (Ashgate 2008 and Routldge 2013), Cultural Expertise and Litigation (Routledge 2011 and 2013), and Legal Pluralism and Governance in South Asia and Diasporas (Journal of Legal Pluralism 2013 and Routledge 2015).
Among her most recent publications see: A Woman in Academia ... and what about the children? (Routledge 2018) and Women Judges in Pakistan (International Journal of the Legal Profession 2018).
Among her upcoming publications see: Cultural Expertise and Socio-Legal Studies, Special issue for Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Emerald 2019; and Law and Governance in Gilgit Baltistan, special issue for the Journal of South Asian History and Culture, 2019.
- This special issue of Studies in Law, Politics, and Society aims to foster a dialogue that is inclusive, constructive, and innovative in order to lay the basis for evaluating the usefulness and impact of cultural expertise in modern litigation. It investigates the scope of cultural expertise as a new socio-legal concept that broadly concerns the use of social sciences in connection with rights and the solution of conflicts. While the definition of cultural expertise is new, the conflicts it applies to are not, and these range from criminal law to civil law, including international human rights. In this special issue, socio-legal scientists with interdisciplinary backgrounds scrutinize the applicability of the notion of cultural expertise in Europe and the rest of the World. Cases include murder, female genital mutilation, earthquake claims, Islamic law, underage marriages, child custody, adoption, land rights, and asylum. The authors debate on a variety of themes, such as legal pluralism, ethnicity, causal determinism, reification of culture, and the “culturalization” of defendants. The volume concludes with an overview of the ethical implications of the definition of cultural expertise and suggestions for a way forward.I have been an academic in three continents and throughout six countries. The reoccurring question was: “… and what about the children?” People wanted to know what my children think about the life that we lead. I respond for the first time through a polyphonic narrative to share our experience as a family. I argue that the patriarchal expectations that negatively impacted on my life as mother and academician are linked with class. Hence, the apparent paradox between outdated gender expectations in the European middle class context and the uneventful combination of motherhood and career among the upper class in Pakistan.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09695958.2018.1490296Although the first appointment of women judges in Pakistan dates back to 1974, a significant appointment of female judges from 2009 onward has caused a jump in female representation to more than one third in family courts: a quiet move during the tumultuous years of the so-called Chaudhry Court. The challenge in this scenario was whether this change would only be temporary or whether it would also lead to substantial and accountable inclusion. This paper adopts mixed methods to scrutinize the extent of the adherence to the principle of gender equality in the judiciary as per international treaties to which Pakistan is signatory. It starts by retracing the historical steps of the appointment of female judges in Pakistan and then investigates the everyday interactions and preoccupations of women judges in their daily management of justice. The findings elucidate how the global agenda impacts local expectations and conceptualizations of gender representation within and beyond the state.Although the first appointment of women judges in Pakistan dates back to 1974, the significant appointment of “lady judges” in the past decade has caused a jump in female representation in the judiciary to more than one third in family courts – a quiet move that sends a message of adherence to the principle of gender equality as per the international treaties to which Pakistan is signatory. By investigating the everyday interactions and preoccupations of women judges in their daily management of justice, this paper explores the socio-legal reception of the human rights discourse from the perspective of the female judges. The challenge in this scenario is whether this change will only be formal or whether it will also lead to substantial and accountable justice. The findings here additionally elucidate how the global agenda impacts local expectations and conceptualizations of rights within and beyond the state.Legal Pluralism and Governance in South Asia and the Diasporas contributes to the already heated debate about legal pluralism and the ontology of law by shifting the attention toward the relationship between what is treated as law and its impact on governance at the fora of dispute resolution. This book addresses sensitive issues such as gender rights and alternative dispute resolution in India, Hindu and Muslim personal laws in South Asia and in Europe, cross-border white violence, the change to Islamic legal traditions under Western domination, women’s inheritance in Pakistan and in the disputed territory of Gilgit Baltistan, indigenous rights and resistance at the India-Bangladesh border, and customary laws of nomadic groups in India. The authors deploy a variety of views that point at the pros and cons of legal pluralism and also integrates its opponents. They show how constructions of identity, religion, and power have historically informed the conceptualisation of secularism which may be an ideal, sometimes able to provide for perceptions of accountable governance, but also generating dividing worldviews. This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07329113.2013.781447This paper explores social actors’ arguments regarding daughters’ inheritance, their use in court, and the implications of legal pluralism on governance in Pakistan. It scrutinizes the notion of custom, non-state law, and positive law as crucial dynamics that shed light on the ways social actors make sense of power and governance. In Foucauldian terms, this paper deals with the formation of statements – their temporalization and their becoming but in particular sheds light on the potential logics of the perpetuation of gender discrimination in inheritance laws. This paper suggests that the everyday arguments that play a role in the elaboration of the story told to the courts and received by the judge have the role of actants. Within the framework of proceedings it is possible to isolate the micro-units on which the legal discourse is elaborated either for state- or non-state jurisdiction, or for both of them, not necessarily seen as antagonistic places, and not necessarily seen within a framework of justice and injustice. This paper concludes that notwithstanding polarized discourses on centralized and decentralized governance, everyday practices of law in Pakistan tend rather to perpetuate non-state law together with positive law as continuous and concomitant interlegalities in and beyond the state instead of exclusive and conflicting sources of legitimacy.This is the OA version. Three version lengths (29, 54, and 75 min.) in Urdu and English with English subtitles available at vimeo.com/ondemand/ladyjudgesofpakistanThis documentary film follows legal proceedings in the law courts presided over by women-judges in the four provinces of Pakistan. Shot in observational style and developed on the basis of collaborative relationships, it weaves together court proceedings, personal narratives, and glimpses of everyday life. While the main action flows through the multi-sited management of justice, the interactions among the litigants, defendants, lawyers, clerics, and police offer insights in the socio-legal context that the women judges are grappling with in Pakistan.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07329113.2013.782228Cultural Expertise and Litigation addresses the role of social scientists as a source of expert evidence, and is a product of their experiences and observations of cases involving litigants of South Asian origin. What is meant in court by "culture," "custom" and "law"? How are these concepts understood by witnesses, advocates, judges and litigants? How far are cross-cultural understandings facilitated - or obscured - in the process? What strategies are adopted? And which ones turn out to be successful in court? How is cultural understanding – and misunderstanding – produced in these circumstances? And how, moreover, do the decisions in these cases not only reflect, but impact, upon the law and the legal procedure? Cultural Expertise and Litigation addresses these questions, as it elicits the patterns, conflicts and narratives that characterize the legal role of social scientists in a variety of de facto plural settings – including immigration and asylum law, family law, citizenship law and criminal law.This study investigates the place of Hindu divorce in the Indian legal system and considers whether it offers a way out of a matrimonial crisis situation for women. Using the narratives of the social actors involved, it poses questions about the relationship between traditional jurisdictions located in rural areas and the larger legal culture of towns and cities in India, and also in the UK and USA. The multidisciplinary approach draws on research from the social sciences, feminist and legal studies and will be of interest to students and scholars of law, anthropology and sociology.DOI: 10.1007/s11196-006-9041-x
Expert wtinessing and cultural expertise, law and governance, legal pluralism, gender and judging, judicial education, state- and non-state jurisdiction, ADR, Islamic law, Hindu law, anthropology of human rights, documentary filmmaking, mixed research methods
News articles for Livia Holden
Events organised by Livia Holden
18 Feb 2019
Monday - 11:30AM
Cultural expertise in Italy. Some new considerations stemming from fieldwork
SpeakerDr. Giorgia Decarli
Speaker AffiliationLecturer - Introduction to African Legal Pluralism Department of Law, University of Trento. Lecturer - Cultural Anthropology Department of Human Sciences, University of Verona
VenueCSLS Seminar Room