TISDAG 7 DECEMBER 2021 KL. 12:00
The Critical Romani Studies Lunch Seminar Series is a platform for sharing research-based knowledge, research ideas and research questions in the field of Critical Romani Studies. The series brings together scholars and students who want to share their knowledge with a wide audience. It is hosted by the Department of Romani Studies at Södertörn University and the Romani-Swedish magazine DIKKO. The seminars will be held every Tuesday at 12.00-12.30 (CEST). They will be sent live through Zoom, and will later be made openly available at the Södertörn University webpage.
Sunita Memetovic will present her thesis: The traditional legal dogmatic method has the purpose to explain the law and use legal sources to determine, systemise and interpret lex lata. This thesis examines whether neutrally framed anti-begging provisions in Europe target the Romani people.
The research question is further contextualised through the application of Critical Race Theory (CRT) which will offer an additional perspective that the legal dogmatic method is not able to do. CRT provides the necessary framework for reviewing the legal framework of adopted anti-begging measures in Europe. The law plays a crucial role in the construction, subordination and discrimination against racial minorities in Europe. Yet, in a recent case from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) that addressed the issue of begging for the first time, the Court did not mention racial discrimination at all even though a stereotypical link exists between the Romani people and beggars in mainstream European public opinion.
The thesis provides a critical legal analysis of the judgement and also examines anti-begging provisions in Sweden, Austria and Italy in order to give an more nuanced and accurate analysis of the issue of begging in Europe. To strengthen the analysis additionally, the thesis compares current anti-begging provisions with vagrancy laws ratified in late nineteenth-century America, an example that demonstrates the parallel between discriminatory laws against African Americans and the Romani people. The thesis concludes that it is crucial for courts to examine cases through the lens of CRT, a theoretical tool that will enable judiciaries to see the racial message that underlies these neutrally framed provisions and thereby comprehend that marginalisation and exclusion persist because of antigypsyism and the legal system itself.
Sunita Memetovic is a graduate from the Legal Programme at Uppsala University and holds a Master Degree (LL.M) in Law (2016) and LL.M. from the Department of Legal Studies in Human Rights from CEU (2021). She is a member of the Swedish Bar Association in Sweden (2019), and became the first attorney of Roma descent in Sweden where she works in the field of Criminal, Asylum and Family Law. She graduated from the Roma Graduate Preparation Program at Central European University (2020). Her research topic is Begging, international law and Roma, and for the last 5 years she has published several research paper and articles on the begging issue.
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