Mobile people in global migration and the working of law: a reflection on the role of legal pluralism

Sulistyowati Irianto, Titiek Kartika Hendrastiti, Tirtawening Tirtawening

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper for the anniversary issue of the Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law attempts to explain how legal pluralism as a sensitizing concept plays a role as an auxiliary in looking at phenomena where there is a co-existence between various legal systems. The legal pluralism approach carries methodological consequences that require a researcher to use microscopic lenses to observe the relations between law and relevant actors in cross-border spaces. It is also important to examine the interrelations between the concept of personhood with law in a context of legal pluralism. Without a legal pluralism approach linked with a relational approach that looks at the connections between law and relevant actors, research would not be able to generate a significant narrative about how law works. In this paper, the conceptual and methodological reflections on legal pluralism are linked to a research on the diversity of legal references that regulate the issue of Indonesian female migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with all its implications for actual access to justice for women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-382
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • feminist ethnography
  • gendered migration
  • justice
  • Legal pluralism
  • multi-spatial ethnography


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