Seminar: ‘The Role of Recognition’ — Nicole Roughan (Auckland)


What is recognition in a rule of recognition? What amounts to recognition of law’s claim to authority? Despite its sustained attention to questions of law’s normativity and authority, jurisprudence has had surprisingly little to say about the cognitive and normative phenomenon of recognition itself. An emphasis on the rule of recognition, and the claim to authority, both skip too lightly over the role of recognition in generating and carrying both law’s normativity and its authority; as well as the roles within the law (including roles of official, authority, and subject) that are themselves creatures of recognition. Those matters become core concerns in contexts of legal plurality, for when there are persons who are not recognised or are mis-recognised by law, or who do not recognize law’s officials and/or law’s claim to authority; or who recognize alternative officials and/or claims to authority, then recognition may not to have the normative effect it has been assumed to have. The present paper, part of an interdisciplinary and collaborative project on Law and Recognition, examines the separation and interaction between recognition of norms and persons; law’s interruption of practices of inter-personal recognition with its own assymetrical orderings and statuses; and the challenges of recognition posed by the interaction of legal systems and the persons who recognise their authority.