• Miguel de Lemos Lisbon University


This study is based on the dialogue between legal pluralism and international development, which shapes the daily lives of much of the world population, in particular those who live in emerging or developing States and are subject to programmes of international technical assistance. Due to a number of factors, this dialogue is required to, on a practical level, harmonise diametrically opposed onto-epistemological legal dimensions. From the epistemological point of view, the phenomenological dimension of this study will allow us to analyse the conceptual and scientific evolution of both legal pluralism and international development, accompanying the development of the underlying legal theory which, in cycles, has seen moments of convergence and divergence, and of tension and distension, over the last seven decades. Having as background the case study of Timor-Leste this work also looks at the practical consequences that certain options will give rise to in building a State and its systems of justice within the framework of legally plural societies.


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