Research on norms in international relations has recently focused increasingly on the localisation and translation of normative patterns. While there is a strong interest in studying local diversity as embedded in global contexts, the question of how to accomplish this still poses a methodological challenge. In order to make visible the different global, national, local, and situational dimensions of diffusion processes, this article applies the technique of ‘zooming in’ on the respective levels. The article studies the case of a mixed court in Shanghai at the end of the nineteenth century. The court is both a special court in the context of extraterritoriality and a representative case of hybrid normativity and decision making. As this article shows, the practices of the mixed court are not reducible to its single foreign, national or local components. On the contrary, it represents an original normative institution combining various normative and procedural elements. In describing this hybrid institution, the article refers to the concept of multinormativity, understood as an extension of what has been discussed as legal pluralism, since it does not take Western concepts of the law as a major point of reference.