Werner Menski


Taking a legally pluralist stance which reflects global socio-legal reality, this article first identifies signficant mental blockages for legal scholars in theorising legal pluralism. It then argues that a socially responsible approach to law teaching, not only in India, cannot ignore society, culture and competing value systems. If law is everywhere dynamic and internally plural, even if not immediately visible, acknowledging pluralisms becomes necessarily a highly dynamic activity, comparable to the challenges of kiteflying. One wrong move, and the subtle structure crashes. Unless law teaching takes pluralism seriously, legal education will empower only a few privileged actors, capable to manipulate law and its multiple power-related uses. Socially conscious approaches to law teaching must problematise that while we need law to avoid chaos, everywhere it risks constant exploitation and misappropriation. Improved teaching about legalpluralism and choice making in Indian law schools offers hope, but many challenges remain.

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