Accepted paper:

Family dispute and plural legal practices involving young people with a migrant background: A case study in Belgium

Author:

Kim Lecoyer (Ghent University)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation looks at the ways families with a migrant background in Belgium resort to non-state normative frameworks and mechanisms of dispute settlement in the domain of family law, with a special focus on children and young people.

Paper long abstract:

Unofficial legal pluralism in multicultural western liberal democracies, although a source of popular controversy, remains a largely under researched topic in socio-legal field studies, especially with regard to young people and/or children. This presentation explores the ways families with a migrant background in Belgium resort to non-state normative frameworks and mechanisms of dispute settlement in the domain of family law, a domain where minority values and practices may not always coincide with those of the state. In particular, the paper focusses on children and young people in family dispute resolution processes, both as potential 'right holders at risk' and as transformative actors navigating through and constructing socio-legal fields and norms. Examples of family dispute contexts involving young people include disputes regarding partner choice, dating and sexual behaviour, educational choices and values, as well as (other) situations where differing perspectives of the best interest of the child may enter into conflict, possibly in conjunction with (non-voluntary) state intervention.

panel G39
Makers, brokers, breakers: children and young people in legally plural worlds (IUAES Commission on Legal Pluralism)