Addressing Multicultural Conflicts: An emphasis on procedural fairness

Eva Brems


This paper examines the procedural fairness dimensions of approaches to multicultural conflicts. The paper explains the findings of procedural fairness research in social psychology and explores its relevance for the field of (human rights) law, and for the setting of multicultural conflicts. It argues that there are strong reasons in favour of seeking to optimize procedural fairness —with its criteria of participation, trustworthiness, neutrality and respect— across all types of procedures that address multicultural conflicts. The paper illustrates these criteria through three reallife cases, concerning multicultural conflicts that occurred in Belgium in recent years. The paper furthermore explores the relationship between the normative implications that may be drawn from empirical procedural fairness research and existing procedural fairness norms in human rights law.

Received: 21 June 2017
Accepted: 10 October 2017
Published online: 31 January 2018


human rights; multicultural conflicts; procedural fairness; Travelers; niqab; asylum seekers; racism

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