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Law and Society

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

2007

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Delimiting The Culture Defense, James M. Donovan, John Stuart Garth Jan 2007

Delimiting The Culture Defense, James M. Donovan, John Stuart Garth

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This essay builds upon the arguments of Alison Dundes Renteln in her influential book, The Cultural Defense (2004), in which she argues persuasively for a uniformly recognized culture defense in certain litigations. Critiquing some of her details, we recast her three-prong culture defense test to more effectively balance the competing interests of minority culture members to have their ways of life taken seriously by the courts, and of members of the dominant tradition who wish to preserve the rule of law with its necessary perception as treating all parties equally. The offered formulation now includes the following five elements:

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