Accepted paper:

Everlasting roles of legal anthropology: from research on legal measure against domestic violence in Papua New Guinea


Jun Baba

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to consider the roles which legal anthropology plays in legislation and policy-making in Papua New Guinea, focusing on legal measure for dealing with domestic violence.

Paper long abstract:

Anthropological researches on society and culture had contributed to law reform and legal policy-making in Papua New Guinea (PNG). That was the reason why colonial legislation was improper to PNG societies which was culturally and linguistically diverse and different from western society. Even in post-colonial era, however, legal reformations which do not reflect cultural reality are still going on. One of them is legal measure (namely, protection order) for dealing with domestic violence (DV) which has been recently legislated. In this paper I intend firstly to show the discrepancy between protection order and cultural reality, and secondly to point out significant role of anthropological research on state law. In PNG, legal system for protection order against DV has been in force since 2009. This is identical to protection order system in developed countries because legislation process was led by Law and Justice Sector that was in strong corporation with Australian government. As a result, protection order confuses local sociality and perception. For example, the party and other kin regard the order as a forced divorce or something to take apart social relationship through which local people live. Without considering the socio-cultural context and habitus, legal measure against DV becomes a kind of violence to local society paradoxically. I conclude that monitoring state law is still an important role of legal anthropology all the more because legislation is colonialistic.

panel P101
The future of law and globalization with anthropologies