The project Legal pluralism in Belgium (Beplulex) aims to generate solid empirical knowledge on unofficial legal practices in the field of family law amongst relevant migrant communities in Belgium.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Eva Brems
Researcher: Kim Lecoyer
Sponsored by Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) (2011-2015) under the programme Society and Future
The increasingly multicultural make-up of the Belgian society confronts the state and its institutions with the challenge of unofficial legal pluralism, i.e. the co-existence, alongside state justice, of non-state normative frameworks and mechanisms of dispute resolution that are based on cultural and/or religious traditions. However, the nature and the forms of this kind of unofficial legal pluralism are not or not sufficiently documented yet. In order to fill this important knowledge gap, the “Beplulex” research project, which is funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office and conducted by the Human Rights Centre, Ghent University in collaboration with the Centre d’histoire du droit et d’anthropologie juridique, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), aims to generate solid empirical knowledge on unofficial legal practices in the field of family law amongst relevant migrant communities in Belgium (Moroccan, Turkish, Pakistani and Congolese). The research goal is to better understand ‘pathways to non-state justice’, to analyse these in the light of human rights and to identify policy options for Belgian policy makers to deal with unofficial legal pluralism.
The research team organizes an international closing conference “Legal Pluralism and Human Rights within Family Disputes in Europe” in Ghent on 26 and 27 October 2015. More information can be found on the conference web page.