Professor Werner Menski gave a public lecture at the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations on Thursday, 18 November 2010 entitled, ‘Flying Kites in a Global Sky: New Models of Jurisprudence’.
The lecture started began by exploring the narrow perception of the concept of ‘law’ and how it has generally been equated with ‘state law’. Indeed, standard methods of 'doing' legal theory or discussing jurisprudence are deficient in plurality-consciousness. Menski highlighted the importance of acknowledging law as being an internally plural entity and the subsequent need for a new approach to legal theorising, grounded in pluralist methodology. Using the metaphor of skills needed for flying a kite, Menski suggested that in legal theory and practice, being a skilful lawyer is much like a test in navigational skills, where one must balance competing types of law. The lecture demonstrated how pluralist methodology serves as a tool to navigate competing expectations of different concepts of law; although such an approach remains a challenge, Menski emphasised the need for constant vigilance by both lawyers and legal experts in this regard.
Flying Kites in a Global Sky was the first in a series of lecture about law organised by the Professional Programmes Unit at AKU-ISMC. Three public lectures will be offered next year, the first of which will be held on 10 March 2011, entitled ‘Transnational families and British law: The role of an expert witness’ and presented by Dr Prakash Shah, Queen Mary, University of London.
Coordinator, Planning & Academic Development
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations