A Momentary Glimpse of the Moon of the Bliss: A Conceptual Framework of Justice within the Semantic Tapestries of Legal Pluralism

Author:Mohammed Subhan Hussain
Position:Independent Scholar
Pages:425-444
SUMMARY

This paper examines the political-legal debates surrounding legal pluralism’s efficacy to counter injustice. Managing legal pluralism’s competing forces vis-à-vis a plurality-conscious framework has become increasingly challenging. Yet amidst unyielding state-centric etatism, reform-orientated activists yearn to glimpse the moon of bliss. This famous kahani (story) is simple: Little Krishna... (see full summary)

 
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e Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law
ISSN: 2338-7602; E-ISSN: 2338-770X
http://www.ijil.org
© 2019 e Institute for Migrant Rights Press
I would like to thank Tanja Herklotz and Sarah Holz for their encouragement, support, and
words of wisdom. is paper is dedicated to Professor Werner Menski. ough Emeritus now,
Professor Menski and his work instilled in me a spirit of curiosity, for which acknowledgment
is due.
a momEntary glimpsE of thE moon of Bliss:
a concepTUal Framework oF JUsTIce wIThIn The semanTIc
TapesTrIes oF legal plUralIsm
Mohammed Subhan Hussain
Independent Scholar
E-mail: hussain_subhan@outlook.com
is paper examines the political-legal debates surrounding legal pluralism’s e-
cacy to counter injustice. Managing legal pluralisms competing forces vis-à-vis a
plurality-conscious framework has become increasingly challenging. Yet amidst
unyielding state-centric etatism, reform-orientated activists yearn to glimpse the
moon of bliss. is famous kahani (story) is simple: Little Krishna demands the
moon as a toy. His mother, Yashoda, holds up a mirror so he sees the moon’s
reection in it and can play with it. Although pluralists yearn for the moon, the
modalities and scope of legal pluralism, within the lacunae of international law,
must be reassessed. Plurality-conscious justice is needed to overcome the myopia
that has characterized complex legal landscapes, enabling pluralists to glimpse
the moon of bliss, but never the full moon of justice.
Keywords: heterogeneous pluralities; hybridization; justice; legal pluralism; replica-
tion
VI Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law 425-44 (July 2019)
426
Hussain
e challenge today is the strengthening of this already functioning
participatory process, on which the pursuit of global justice will to a
great extent depend. It is not a negligible cause.1
INTRODUCTION
is paper seeks to establish that law is not a watertight entity captur-
ing the entirety of life, but rather an internally plural phenomenon,
evolving through situation-specic scrutiny and lived experiences.
Managing the competing forces of legal pluralism vis-à-vis a plurali-
ty-conscious framework has become an increasingly dynamic, inter-
nally vigilant, extremely liquid, and highly explosive process. Howev-
er, amidst unyielding state-centric etatism, reform-orientated activists
yearn for a momentary glimpse of the moon of bliss.2 While such “bliss”
denotes hope for a rational “glocalized” legal order, it leaves activists
“only to be irritated and disappointed when reality yields merely a mir-
ror image of what was desired.3 Although Mother Yashoda’s trick en-
ables Krishna to enjoy the comfort of a toy moon, it is reminiscent of
“a non-verbal strategy of diversity management, deeply relevant for the
global rhetoric of global justice.4 With competing forces of replication
(ocial law) and hybridization (living law) in some sense cultivating
myopia5 amidst justice centricity, the modalities and scope of legal
pluralism, within the lacunae of international law, must be reassessed.
What is a justice-based framework if the needs of individuals are dis-
regarded? Is it an impartial modus operandi intertwined with judicial
choreography, seeking to redress the oppressed, or as Professor Emeri-
1. A S, T I  J 410 (2009).
2. is famous kahani (story) is easily told: Little Krishna demands the moon as
a toy and his mother, Yashoda, cleverly holds up a mirror so that he sees the
moon’s reection in it and can play with it.
3. Werner Menski, Still Asking for the Moon? Opening Windows of Opportunity
for Better Justice in India, 49 V  R  Ü. 125-47, 125
(2016).
4. Id.
5. Joanne Connaghan, Law, Harm and Redress: A Feminist Perspective, 22 L.
S. 319-39, 319 (2002).

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