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The Future of African Customary Law

The Future of African Customary Law

  • Author:
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 9781107625044
  • Published In: May 2013
  • Format: Paperback , 564 pages
  • Jurisdiction: Africa ? Disclaimer:
    Countri(es) stated herein are used as reference only
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    Customary laws and traditional institutions in Africa constitute comprehensive legal systems that regulate the entire spectrum of activities from birth to death. Once the sole source of law, customary rules now exist in the context of pluralist legal systems with competing bodies of domestic constitutional law, statutory law, common law and international human rights treaties. This book promotes discussion and understanding of customary law and explores its continued relevance in sub-Saharan Africa. The volume considers the characteristics of customary law and efforts to ascertain and codify customary law, and how this body of law differs in content, form and status from legislation and common law. It also addresses a number of substantive areas of customary law including the role and power of traditional authorities; customary criminal law; customary land tenure, property rights and intestate succession; and the relationship between customary law, human rights and gender equality.

    • Promotes discussion and understanding of customary law and explores its continued relevance in sub-Saharan Africa

    • Addresses the status and role of customary law across the African continent and utilizes comparative analysis

    • Presents a reappraisal of the scholarship from the last 50 years of prevailing colonial attitudes in Africa written by experts and regional scholars

  • Part I. The Nature and Future of Customary Law: 1. A survey of customary laws in Africa in search of lessons for the future Gordon R. Woodman; 2. The living customary law in African legal systems: where to now? Chuma Himonga; 3. The future of customary law in Africa Abdulmumini Oba; Part II. Ascertainment, Application and Codification of Customary Law: 4. The quest for customary law Janine Ubink; 5. The withering province of customary law in Kenya: a case of design or indifference George O. Otieno Ochich; 6. The 'code of Lerotholi': using custom as an instrument of social and political control in Lesotho Laurence Juma; 7. Traditional authorities: custodians of customary law development? Manfred O. Hinz; 8. Engaging legal dualism: paralegal organizations and customary law in Sierra Leone and Liberia Chi Mgbako and Kristina Scurry Baehr; 9. The future of customary law in Ghana Joseph B. Akamba and Isidore Tufuor; Part III. The Role and Power of Traditional Authorities: 10. Traditional courts in the 21st century Digby Sqhelo Koyana; 11. Demise or resilience: customary law and chieftainship in Botswana in the 21st century Wazha G. Morapedi; 12. Traditional leadership and governance in modern Ghana: challenges, problems and opportunities Ernest Kofi Abotsi and Paolo Galizzi; Part IV. Customary Land, Property Rights and Succession: 13. Entrapment or freedom: enforcing customary property rights regimes in common law Africa Sandra F. Joireman; 14. Romancing customary land tenure: the neo-liberal suitor wooing the shadow Janet Chikaya-Banda; 15. Reform of customary law of inheritance and succession: the final nail in the customary law of inheritance and succession coffin? Willemien du Plessis and Christa Rautenbach; Part V. Customary Criminal Law: 16. State systems of criminal justice and customary law crimes Thomas Bennett; 17. Gacaca in Rwanda: customary law in case of genocide Roelof H. Haveman; Part VI. Customary Law, Human Rights and Gender Equality: 18. Customary law, gender equality, and the family: the promise and limits of a choice paradigm Tracy E. Higgins and Jeanmarie Fenrich; 19. African customary law and women's human rights in Uganda Ben Kiromba Twinomugisha; 20. Women's rights, customary law and the promise of the protocol on the rights of women in Africa Johanna Bond; 21. From contemporary African customary laws to indigenous African law: identifying ancient African human rights and good governance sensitive principles as a tool to promote culturally meaningful socio-legal reforms Fatou Kiné Camara.

  • Jeanmarie Fenrich
    School of Law, Fordham University, United States of America

    Paolo Galizzi
    School of Law, Fordham University, United States of America

    Tracy E. Higgins
    School of Law, Fordham University, United States of America

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