EURO-EXPERT focuses on cultural expertise reformulated as the special knowledge that enables socio-legal scholars, experts in laws and cultures, or, more generally speaking, cultural mediators - the so-called cultural brokers-, to locate and describe relevant facts in light of the particular background of the claimants and litigants and for the use of the decision-making authority. EURO-EXPERT collects both quantitative and qualitative data for answering the following question:  Cultural Expertise in Europe: What is it useful for?  EURO-EXPERT addresses the demand for new instruments for conflict resolution that strive for substantive justice in multicultural and diverse societies. 

 

Publications

  • Livia Holden (ed), Cultural Expertise and Litigation: Patterns, Conflicts, Narratives (Routledge 2011)
    Cultural 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.
  • Livia Holden, Cultural Expertise and Socio-Legal Studies (Emerald, Austin Sarat Series 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.
  • Livia Holden, Cultural Expertise: an Emergent Concept and Evolving Practices (Laws 2019)
    This Special Issue focuses on the contemporary evolution and variation of cultural expertise as an emergent concept providing a conceptual umbrella to a variety of evolving practices, which all include the use of the special knowledge of social sciences for the resolution of conflicts. It surveys the application of cultural expertise in the legal process with an unprecedented span of fields going from ethnopsychiatry to the recognition of the rights of autochthone minorities including linguistic expertise, historical expertise in situations of transitional justice, and post-colonial reformulation of cultural rights. The stress of this Special Issue is on the development and change of culture-related expert witnessing over recent times, culture-related adjudication, and resolution of disputes, criminal litigation, and other kinds of court and out-of-court procedures. This Special Issue offers descriptions of judicial practices involving experts of local laws and customs and surveys of the most frequent fields of expert witnessing that are related with culture; interrogates who the experts are; their links with local communities and also with the courts and the state power and politics; how cultural expert witnessing has been received by judges; how cultural expertise has developed across the sister disciplines of history and psychiatry; and eventually, it asks whether academic truth and legal truth are commensurable across time and space. This special issue is an output of the project titled “Cultural Expertise in Europe: What is it useful for?” (EURO-EXPERT) funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under H2020-EU.1.1. programme (ERC grant agreement no. 681814), Principal Investigator: Livia Holden.
    ISBN: ISSN 2075-471X

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