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3 Legal Culture 'Repacked': Drug Trials in Vietnam

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the debate about the utility of ?legal culture' as a paradigm for the exploration of particular institutions within an Asian legal system, in this case Vietnam. It situates the debates about the utility of ?legal culture' as a paradigm, contested and developed by comparatists in the study of the legal systems within Asia. The chapter argues the potential for legal culture as an approach to explore and interprets a foreign legal practice which is at once Asian, socialist and transitional. It offers an analysis of Vietnamese drug trials to demonstrate ?a' legal culture approach. Perhaps it is useful to revive classic definitions of culture such as that offered by Hildred and Clifford Geertz: ?ideas, beliefs and values' that form a "conceptual framework" or "pattern". Legal culture assumes the connection between law and society and therefore it is a theoretical construct with which to explore the law-society connection.

Keywords: Asian legal system; Clifford Geertz; drug trials; legal culture; Vietnam



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