The Future of African Customary Law

The Future of African Customary Law

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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 more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 150 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 table
  • 1139097989
  • 9781139097987

Table of contents

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 Kine more

About Jeanmarie Fenrich

Jeanmarie Fenrich is the Director of Special Projects in Africa for the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School in New York. She graduated magna cum laude from Fordham Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Fordham Law Review. She has conducted field research and authored publications on issues related to domestic violence, discrimination faced by women with HIV/AIDS, women's property rights, and women in customary law marriage under domestic and international human rights law Paolo Galizzi is Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Sustainable Development Legal Initiative (SDLI) at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School. He previously held academic positions at Imperial College London and the Universities of Nottingham, Verona, and Milan. Professor Galizzi's research interests lie in international law, environmental law, and law of sustainable development, and he has published extensively in these areas. Tracy Higgins co-founded the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School where she is a co-director and a law professor. She is a former editor of the Harvard Law Review and a Women's Law and Public Policy Fellow and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. Higgins has published numerous academic articles focusing on feminist jurisprudence, international human rights, and constitutional law in many of the nation's leading law more