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Brokering BelongingChinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885-1945$
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Lisa Rose Mar

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199733132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733132.001.0001

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Arguing Cases

Arguing Cases

Legal Interpreters, Law, and Society

(p.49) Two Arguing Cases
Brokering Belonging

Lisa Rose Mar

Oxford University Press

Despite racial bars to the legal profession, Chinese immigrants often made the law their instrument through interpreters who acted as informal legal brokers. They were paralegals who served Chinese clients and sometimes other non-white groups. The brokerage relations of these “Chinese lawyers” also illuminate another less visible aspect of legal history, the profoundly integrated nature of Canadian justice. Ethnic dispute resolution processes continually interacted with the formal justice system. David Lew’s murder mystery shows how these legal negotiations helped make the Canadian state a central institution in British Columbia’s early twentieth-century Chinese Diaspora.

Keywords:   interpreters, law, immigrants, Chinese diaspora, paralegals, legal profession, crime, gambling, illegal immigration, ethnic politics, Chinese diaspora

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