chapter  11
13 Pages

Culture as a Juristic Issue

ByRoger Cotterrell

What general challenges are posed for legal thought by multiculturalism? Until relatively recently, most modern jurists (as contrasted with sociolegal scholars) have not devoted much attention to cultural diversity as an issue for legal theory or to asking general theoretical questions about law’s relation to culture. This chapter considers why and how this situation of neglect is changing. It reviews major recent encounters in legal thought with the concept of culture and the development of a new ‘jurisprudence of difference’. It advocates a focus on ‘community’ and ‘communication’ in legal theory in addressing multicultural challenges for regulation and illustrates how this approach may relate to judicial practice and the communication processes of the courtroom.