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Research group for Legal Culture

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The research group aims at focusing at legal cultural encounters and to be a forum for identifying, analysing, discussing and communicating knowledge on the changes in law in a period of European legal harmonisation. The research group will not be tied to a specific legal field, but devoted to studying legal culture from the angle of several legal fields.

Legal culture as a legal term has been applied in Norwegian for about 100 years, but the last five years the use has increased drastically. This is due to the legal harmonisation that takes place on a world basis more generally, and in Europe specifically, which has revealed that the same legal rules does not necessarily spur off the same legal practice. This is again due to the fact that legal rules are produced within a specific norm production structure, applied within a specific conflict resolution structure, and in accordance with a specific idea of justice by using a specific legal method, both learned within a specific professionalisation structure. These legal cultural elements make up the legal cultural filter that governs how legal rules are received in national law, and thus their content. This is why the same legal rules might have different content all according to the legal culture they appear within.

When the use of the term legal culture has drastically increased in Norway, as in other part of Europe and the world, it is due to a drastically increased need to clarify the factors that decided the content of law beyond the black letter, and hence the basis for the very legal regulation of society and the everyday life of each citizen.