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Journal Articles

Religion

University at Buffalo School of Law

2015

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Rights As Wrongs: Legality And Sacrality In Thailand, David M. Engel Jan 2015

Rights As Wrongs: Legality And Sacrality In Thailand, David M. Engel

Journal Articles

Interviews with injury victims in northern Thailand (Lanna) conveyed a pervasive sense of injustice in their daily lives but a notable absence of the language of rights. Despite the proliferation of rights-based discourses, organisations, and institutions in Thai society, interviewees tended to disfavour the pursuit of rights because they believed that resort to the legal system would subvert Lanna traditional practices and would add to the bad karma that caused their suffering in the first place. This article traces fundamental contradictions in northern Thai concepts of justice arising from the imposition of “modern” systems of law and religion by the …