LEGALPL - Legal Pluralism in the Portuguese Empire (18th-20th centuries)
Call for Papers | Deadline: 20th December

The research project Legal Pluralism in the Portuguese Empire (18th-20th centuries) (LEGALPL) studies the encounter between Portuguese and Indigenous legal orders in the territories that Portugal colonized during the selected period. Funded by the Portuguese National Foundation for Science and Technology, it is hosted by the Research Centre on Law and Society (CEDIS) of NOVA Law School, in partnership with the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) of the University of Lisbon.

Since October 2018, LEGALPL’s interdisciplinary team has sought to determine how the indigenous legal orders and/or legal systems that the Portuguese Empire encompassed were classified and interacted with the Portuguese order. Furthermore, the team members tried to ascertain how colonizers and colonized related to these different legal orders and systems and how the colonial encounter impacted both the Portuguese and the populations of local origin. This investigation led to a deeper understanding of legal pluralism in the Portuguese Empire, based on the study of the doctrinal texts of the colonial elites, the social practices of colonial administrators, and those of their subjects.

The team’s work was guided by key concepts such as “jurisdiction” (António Hespanha, Lauren Benton), “legal reception”, “legal pluralism” (Santi Romani, Sally Merry), “multi-normativity” (Thomas Duve) and “interlegality” (Boaventura Sousa Santos, Armando Marques Guedes). LEGALPL has focused on Angola (19th – 20th centuries), Brazil (18th – 19th centuries); Goa (18th – 19th centuries); Mozambique (19th – 20th centuries); Guinea-Bissau (19th – 20th centuries); and East Timor (19th – 20th centuries).


Call for Papers

To further LEGALPL’s goal of providing the academic community and the public a stimulating debate about the different legal plural configurations of the Portuguese Empire, this call for papers invites submissions to be presented at the project’s final conference, which will take place at the NOVA Law School of the NOVA University of Lisbon, from 11 to 12 April 2021. The conference will be in-person, but online will be an option.

Submissions in English, Portuguese and Spanish are welcome until 20 December 2021.


For more information, click below:

Call for Papers – Legal Pluralism in the Portuguese Empire (18th – 20th centuries)