Legal Pluralism: An Adequate Instrument for the Recognition of Multiculturalism?
According to the most authoritative experts, there are two principal types of legal pluralism, which can be identified as minimalist and maximalist. This is why legal anthropologist Norbert Rouland speaks of a weak version and a strong version. The weak version simply refers to the presence of different juridical mechanisms applied to identical circumstances within a given society. A further differentiation is that the weak version implies a plurality of legal solutions that may be applied within a legal system guaranteed by specific state provisions.
In order to define the strong version of legal pluralism we need to bear in mind that several concurrent legal orders, i.e., state law as well as extra-state systems, meet and clash within a given society. The various juridical orders may either converge or diverge, i.e., they may have normative similarities or differences.