Informal Dispute Resolution among Roma, Jewish and Muslim Minorities - A Comparative Study

Summary

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Focus

This project aims to study the ways individuals belonging to Jewish, Muslim, and Roma populations in Sweden and the United Kingdom make use of informal dispute resolution mechanisms (alternative dispute resolutions). “Informal dispute resolution” in this context means “legal proceedings” or tribunals that are not sanctioned by state law relied upon by minority groups. Consequently, resolutions within this informal system are not binding for state authorities, but many of the legal challenges connected to the plurality of norms in contemporary European societies (such as Sweden and the UK) are articulated in these non-state dispute resolutions. The use of informal alternative dispute resolutions gives rise to complex legal issues within several fields of law. Basic human rights with regard to minority groups are at play, such as the equality between groups, but also the equality between individuals within groups. What does, for example, the special statutory protection provided by Swedish law for the Swedish national minorities, the Roma and Jews, mean and how do we interpret concepts such as freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience and religion with regard to the use of alternative dispute resolution (where minority groups solve internal conflicts by the use of regimes based on religious or ethnic considerations)? At the same time, civil law (such as family law, succession law, contract law, etc.), the law of procedure and criminal law need to be addressed in order to grasp the complex relationships between the formal and informal systems. In addition to analysing these issues, the project aims to be a starting point for further studies on the relationship between state law and minority practices, particularly in relation to broader questions such as the possibilities to build solidarity, national identity, social peace, and unity in culturally and normatively fragmented societies.

Keywords

Informell rättsskipning, Alternativa tvistlösningsmekanismer, Religiösa domstolar, Muslimer, Judar, Romer

Cooperating institutions

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Funding body

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Faculty of Law, Uppsala University

Associated researchers

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Members

Sayed, Mosa