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Illegible Allegations

Navigating the Meanings of Rape in Colonial Algeria

Sarah Ghabrial

ontologies that structured her (and other Algerian women's) engagements with colonial law. As the following sections will explore, Khedoudja's rape was not her sole psychological and corporal burden to bear, but was taken up by her community as a violation of

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The Effects of Elusive Knowledge

Census, Health Laws and Inconsistently Modern Subjects in Early Colonial Vanuatu

Alexandra Widmer

In this article, I discuss two roles of documents in the creation and enforcement of public health laws in early colonial Vanuatu and their implication in colonial attempts to transform ni-Vanuatu societies and subjectivities. Colonial officials of the British-French Condominium based their projects on their admittedly partial knowledge in reports generated by experts studying depopulation. This knowledge, I argue, produced a ‘population’ by categorizing people according to their relationship with a reified notion of culture. The Condominium enforced health laws by sending letters to people categorized as Christian who would, the Condominium hoped, adhere to the regulations as self governing subjects. Officials would engage in persuasive conversations when they enforced the regulations in ‘bush’ villages. I conclude by reflecting on ni- Vanuatu knowledge of well-being and illness that could not be represented or documented and its centrality for subjectivities that might elude, if not subvert, the modern subject presumed by colonial strategies of governance.

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Savages Have No Crime!

Radcliffe-Brown on Social Sanctions and the Law

Isak Niehaus

During 1931, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown gave a popular talk at Columbia University in New York. He maintained that, unlike in the West, savage societies – a term commonly used at the time – had no criminal class and had succeeded in enforcing conformity to social norms. In this article, I suggest that, despite its defects, the talk highlights central themes in Radcliffe-Brown’s thinking about conformity, social sanctions and the law. Drawing on archival sources and on published material, I show how during fieldwork he observed the brutalities of colonial rule in the Andaman Islands, Western Australia and South Africa. I suggest that a critical awareness of how colonial law served as an ally of conquest forms an important sub-text in Radcliffe-Brown’s writing on the effective manner in which Andaman Islanders maintained social order, Indigenous Australians settled disputes and African courts operated. His comparative, sociological approach, which was implicitly critical of Western societies, was a vital influence in the emergence of law as a topic of anthropological enquiry.

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Policing the French Empire

Colonial Law Enforcement and the Search for Racial-Territorial Hegemony

Samuel Kalman

concomitant security/surveillance until successfully decolonizing their territories. 4 As a result of these truisms, there has been a tremendous increase in the past two decades in the history of colonial law enforcement and justice, as scholars attempt to

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Love is Love

The Recent Jason Jones Judgement in Trinidad and Tobago

Dylan Kerrigan

delivering a legal judgement upholding the challenge by Jason Jones to the nineteenth-century colonial laws in T&T that criminalise homosexual relations and same-sex loving. The judge declared that the laws contravened the T&T Constitution and an individual

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Bringing into View

Knowledge Fields and Sociolegal Phenomena

Narmala Halstead

this judgement to overturn the two-hundred-year-old colonial law against homosexuality related to the larger gains of making this category acceptable, the reception – at the judicial level, an appeal has been launched and there are protests

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Etty Terem

the colonial court, relying on Islamic jurisprudence. Ghabrial argues that as Muslim Algerian women appeared before the colonial courts, they came with a set of “definitions of and remedies for forced or unlawful sex” that confronted colonial law and

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“Rights of Things”

A Posthumanist Approach to Law?

Doris Schweitzer

colonial law. In contrast to this, the Crown claimed that water was not a “thing” ( res ) capable of being owned (see Waitangi Tribunal 2012 : 62; for critical remarks, see Collins and Esterling 2019 ; Dennis-McCarthy 2019 ). 7 I would argue that the

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Anna Bara, Tero Mustonen, and Oxana Zemtsova

overview of a normative body consisting of ad hoc colonial laws, commercial laws, and domestic laws adapted to the Siberian context, as offered by this volume, may be seen to provide a good reference resource for scholars looking for comparative historical

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Coulthard, Glen Sean. Red Skin, White Masks

Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition

Elaine Coburn

system. Specifically, he questions Anishinaabe intellectual Dale Turner’s call for engagement with colonial law as a means of challenging the colonial state’s ‘unilateral construction of our (Indigenous) rights’ (46, 45–7, 107). Although not denying the