Double paradigm of legal orders
Reviewed by Amarinder Gill

Sikh Diaspora : Legal Pluralism and Dispute Settlement
by Prit Paul Rawat Publications,
Pages 163 Rs 495. 

The book investigates the relationship between law and society. It is an attempt to study the dichotomy of the official and non-official law. Law and society are a reality and are inseperable.The book examines the settlement of disputes of citizens in multicultural America.American society is multi-legal where the legal system goes hand in hand with the traditional and customary law.

The writer has conducted a sociological investigation of plural legal systems among the Sikh migrant community settled in Sacramento, California. Sacramento boasts of being the second city in the US having the largest Sikh population. The study is exploratory and explanatory in nature and tries to find how the Sikh migrants perceive, define,classify and settle their disputes. Overlapping sociology and law,the book focuses on the migrant community's practices and means of dispute settlement. Personal interviews, interview schedule, content analysis and participant observation have been used to gather significant information.

Making a lukewarm attempt to trace the history of the Sikhs, the writer validates reasons for migration being deeply rooted in Punjabi culture.Providing limited details about Asian —Indian migration, the writer highlights the push-pull factors where "USA has always remained the dreamland for Punjabis." The book covers the popular perception and classification of disputes and all issues over which disputes occur.The investigation indicates that most disputes occur over social issues. The term social issues encompasses marital disputes, problems between mothers-daughters-in-law, domestic violence and desertion. Women seem to be the main victims of such disputes.

Sikh Diaspora studies the contemporary legal pluralism in American society.Legal pluralism has been a major topic of discussion in legal sociology. This is a selective study which has attempted to add to the mainstream discourse of legal pluralism. The writer has used various case studies to explain the concept of disputes. Economic and immigration related issues are another major cause of disputes. Unfamiliarity with the foreign system, language barriers and racial discrimination have also been attributed as causes of disputes.The book offers an articulate discussion on the co-existence of formal and informal law. Paul finds that most of the disputes are resolved by the mediation of the family and the local community. Informal modes helped to resolve the conflicts. Those who could not amicably settle disputes sought formal intervention.

The book offers strong recommendations which will ensure the deliverance of social justice in a plural society in the US. The research grapples with the normative system of the migrant community. In today's world where there are talks about the world being a global village, the study of Sikh migrants in the host country becomes all the more important as it has wider implications.

The Future of the American Criminal Justice System by Timothy. B. Spraggins contained in the appendix rightly points out to the prejudices and inequities still lingering on within the USA. It calls for the elimination of racial profiling. It rightly points out that since 9/11 the psychology of all the Americans changed. Spraggins highlights the need to develop strategies to prevent and respond to hate crimes as well as manage immigration. Paul's study though limited in scope is very important to the study of a minority community in diaspora and can be of great help to legal administrators.