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A Momentary Glimpse of the Moon of Bliss: A Conceptual Framework of Justice within the Semantic Tapestries of Legal Pluralism [Republished Peer-Reviewed Version]

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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
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  Te Indonesian Journal o International & Comparative Law ISSN: 2338-7602; E-ISSN: 2338-770Xhttp://www.ijil.org© 2019 Te Institute or Migrant Rights Press I would like to thank anja Herklotz and Sarah Holz or their encouragement, support, and words o wisdom. Tis paper is dedicated to Proessor Werner Menski. Tough Emeritus now, Proessor Menski and his work instilled in me a spirit o curiosity, or which acknowledgment is due. A M OMENTARY  G LIMPSE   OF   THE  M OON   OF  B LISS : A C ONCEPTUAL  F RAMEWORK   OF  J USTICE   WITHIN   THE  S EMANTIC  T APESTRIES   OF  L EGAL  P LURALISM Mohammed Subhan Hussain Independent Scholar  E-mail: hussain_subhan@outlook.com Tis paper examines the political-legal debates surrounding legal pluralism’s effi-cacy 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. Tis 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 reflection 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     V   I   I   n    d   o   n   e   s   i   a   n   J   o   u   r   n   a    l   o    f   I   n   t   e   r   n   a   t   i   o   n   a    l   &    C   o   m   p   a   r   a   t   i   v   e   L   a   w   4   2   5  -   4   4    (   J   u    l   y   2   0   1   9    ) 426 Hussain Te 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 Tis paper seeks to establish that law is not a watertight entity captur-ing the entirety o lie, but rather an internally plural phenomenon, evolving through situation-speci󿬁c scrutiny and lived experiences. Managing the competing orces o legal pluralism vis-à-vis a plurali-ty-conscious ramework has become an increasingly dynamic, inter-nally vigilant, extremely liquid, and highly explosive process. Howev-er, amidst unyielding state-centric etatism, reorm-orientated activists yearn or a momentary glimpse of the moon of bliss. 2   While such “bliss” denotes hope or a rational “glocalized” legal order, it leaves activists “only to be irritated and disappointed when reality yields merely a mir-ror image o what was desired.” 3 Although Mother Yashoda’s trick en-ables Krishna to enjoy the comort o a toy moon, it is reminiscent o “a non-verbal strategy o diversity management, deeply relevant or the global rhetoric o global justice.” 4  With competing orces o replication  (official law) and hybridization  (living law) in some sense cultivating myopia 5  amidst justice centricity, the modalities and scope o legal pluralism, within the lacunae o international law, must be reassessed. What is a justice-based ramework i the needs o individuals are dis-regarded? Is it an impartial modus operandi intertwined with judicial choreography, seeking to redress the oppressed, or as Proessor Emeri- 1. A󰁭󰁡󰁲󰁴󰁹󰁡 S󰁥󰁮, 󰁨󰁥 I󰁤󰁥󰁡󰁳 󰁯󰁦 J󰁵󰁳󰁴󰁩󰁣󰁥 410 (2009).2. Tis amous 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 or 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).  427 T e  S  e m a n t  i   c   a   p e  s  t  r i   e  s  of  L  e   g a l   P l    ur  a l   i   s m Hussain tus Werner Menski expounds upon, “a less severe myopia…an applied ethics and a orm o applied politics…but still not the ull moon o complete justice?” 6  Tese competing orces o monism and pluralist le-gal super-diversity make or a salient debate.In the wider spectrum o human rights, Menski’s kite model offers a ormidable approach in identiying a unity o heterogeneous pluralities. Religion, society, state, and international law act as dynamic  variables, enabling a multiocal analysis to engage in urther justice-centric discourse. Just as Lord Krishna stopped pestering his mother or the moon, a unison o all our sub-pluralities (corners) o the kite is similarly unattainable. Menski’s kite, although a bastion or pluralist rationalism, constitutes a plurality o pluralities (POP) (Proessor Masaji Chiba’s contribution to global legal scholarship), 7  denoting internal and external competing orces that permeate each corner. Tus, law is not a clear-cut diamond, but a physical and conceptual space subject to urther re󿬁nement within a pluralist legal, neoliberal landscape.Te pentagonal prism theory urther develops—and in some sense challenges—Menski’s kite, by including three stages: (1) the pentagonal prism; (2) the pentagonal separation; and (3) tripartite hybridization. Stage 1 depicts the kite in a prismatic cage with competing internal and external orces wreaking havoc within the kite’s plural structure. Despite the prism’s invasive construct, a plural unison o all our sub-pluralities (i.e., corners) can be maintained to a certain degree. However, this must be elaborated on. Stage 2 necessitates the need or recalcitrant, insurrectionary social actors (e.g., camou󿬂aging agents) to counter discursive subjectivities, which threaten the vernacularization o social reorm within the corpus juris. 8  Stage 3 highlights the importance o an epistemological primacy or translated vernacular values, where the balance between plurality-conscious management and competing positivist obscurantism is rede󿬁ned. 6. Menski, supra , note 3.7. Masaji Chiba,  MM v. POP  ,  in  N󰁥󰁷 D󰁥󰁶󰁥󰁬󰁯󰁰󰁭󰁥󰁮󰁴󰁳 󰁩󰁮 󰁴󰁨󰁥 S󰁴󰁵󰁤󰁹 󰁯󰁦 L󰁥󰁧󰁡󰁬 C󰁵󰁬󰁴󰁵󰁲󰁥: I󰁮󰁱󰁵󰁩󰁲󰁩󰁥󰁳 󰁩󰁮󰁴󰁯 󰁴󰁨󰁥 D󰁹󰁮󰁡󰁭󰁩󰁣󰁳 󰁯󰁦 L󰁥󰁧󰁡󰁬 E󰁮󰁴󰁩󰁴󰁩󰁥󰁳: E󰁳󰁳󰁡󰁹󰁳 󰁩󰁮 M󰁥󰁭󰁯󰁲󰁹 󰁯󰁦 P󰁲󰁯󰁦󰁥󰁳󰁳󰁯󰁲 M󰁡󰁳󰁡󰁪󰁩 C󰁨󰁩󰁢󰁡, 84–89, 84 (2015).8. M. S. Hussain, History, Law and Vernacular Knowledge: Te Treat to Women’s Collective Representation Under the Guise of Androgyny in Pakistan , 7 K󰁩󰁮󰁧’󰁳 S󰁴󰁵󰁤󰁥󰁮󰁴 L. R󰁥󰁶. 64 (2016).     V   I   I   n    d   o   n   e   s   i   a   n   J   o   u   r   n   a    l   o    f   I   n   t   e   r   n   a   t   i   o   n   a    l   &    C   o   m   p   a   r   a   t   i   v   e   L   a   w   4   2   5  -   4   4    (   J   u    l   y   2   0   1   9    ) 428 Hussain Tis paper urther asserts that although a Rawlsian exegesis o justice remains an esoteric reverie, legal pluralism’s parameters essentially “bypass the petty impatient irritants o demands and desire, and [open] windows o opportunity or better clarity o visions”. 9  However, this too is subject to situation-speci󿬁c scrutiny within the judicial ora. o live and let live is an edi󿬁ce about which Menskisian pluralism remains de󿬁nitive. Whilst “overlooking this internal plurality o law to push or certain ‘modernist’ uniying reorms, however desirable they may appear to certain legal players, it produces 󿬁ctions that may create dangerous crash scenarios”. 10  Yet the modalities and scope o legal pluralism must be analyzed in relation to the deliverance o basic justice and the advancement o a rights-conscious modus vivendi . Tis vigilance will promote urther dynamism and hybridity within perennially ambivalent environments.Tis paper will brie󿬂y expand upon Menski’s kite model, engaging with the challenges that such a model may ace. It emphasizes the competing orces o state-centric regulation and legal pluralism, drawing on scholarship that re󿬂ects the ascendancy o pluralism as a judicious praxis. Subsequently, this article compares and contrasts the efficacy o pluralist practicalities in conceptualizing the notion o  justice, where “80% o the people in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Arica, are believed to be using inormal or non-state legal systems.” 11  Finally, this article engages with discourse that con󿬁rms the impracticalities o legal centralism 12  and the need or an srcinal milieu urthering pluralist discourse within the legal sphere. 9. Menski, supra,  note 3.10. Werner Menski, Flying Kites in a Global Sky: New Models of Jurisprudence, 7 S󰁯󰁣󰁩󰁯-L󰁥󰁧. R󰁥󰁶. 20 (2011).11. Yuksel Sezgin, How to Integrate Universal Human Rights into Customary and Religious Systems?,  42 J. L󰁥󰁧. P󰁬󰁵󰁲󰁡󰁬󰁩󰁳󰁭 󰀦 U󰁮󰁯󰁦󰁦󰁩󰁣󰁩󰁡󰁬 L. 5 (2010).12. Anne Griffiths, Reviewing Legal Pluralism , in  L󰁡󰁷 󰁡󰁮󰁤 S󰁯󰁣󰁩󰁡󰁬 󰁨󰁥󰁯󰁲󰁹 269–86 (Reza Banakar & Max ravers eds, 2013).  429 T e  S  e m a n t  i   c   a   p e  s  t  r i   e  s  of  L  e   g a l   P l    ur  a l   i   s m Hussain I. THE PENTAGONAL PRISM THEORY  A. Stage 1: Te Pentagonal Prism Stage 1, the pentagonal prism, conceptually depicts the law resembling a kite within a prism, comprising our vertex corners (i.e. sub-pluralities) indicative o the interrelatedness between legal pluralism’s competing orces. Although Chiba highlights the importance o the law’s identity-based perspectives as being culture-speci󿬁c and dynamic, 13  one must distinguish ways in which discursive subjectivities and the coveting o “identity postulates” 14  affect the law’s competing orces. As Menski suggests, “identity postulates” have devised “a culture-speci󿬁c compromise between the competing orces o legal pluralism”, 15  causing riction within society concerning the prevalent political agendas at play. Further pushes are currently emerging rom the dynamics 13. Robert L. Kidder,  Asian Indigenous Law: In Interaction with Received Law. Ed-ited by Masaji Chiba. New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, Methuen, 1986. xiv, 416 pp. $88.00 , 47 J. 󰁯󰁦 A󰁳󰁩󰁡󰁮 S󰁴󰁵󰁤. 94-95 (1986) (book review).14. Id  . With regard to “identity postulates” speci󿬁cally, see  M󰁡󰁳󰁡󰁪󰁩 C󰁨󰁩󰁢󰁡, L󰁥󰁧󰁡󰁬 P󰁬󰁵󰁲󰁡󰁬󰁩󰁳󰁭: 󰁯󰁷󰁡󰁲󰁤󰁳 󰁡 G󰁥󰁮󰁥󰁲󰁡󰁬 󰁨󰁥󰁯󰁲󰁹 󰁴󰁨󰁲󰁯󰁵󰁧󰁨 J󰁡󰁰󰁡󰁮󰁥󰁳󰁥 L󰁥󰁧󰁡󰁬 C󰁵󰁬-󰁴󰁵󰁲󰁥 166-67 (1989).15. Menski, supra,  note 3. at 23, 28.
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