Conflict resolution in African customary law

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Ithaca, NY: Institute for African Development, Cornell University


This essay discusses the extent to which African customary law is more than custom, yet less than law. It is simply a generic term for more or less similar (African) systems of law or standards of behavior. Its weakness is that it is not written down. On the other hand, its strength is that it is easily understood by most rural Africans in their milieu. The historical evolution of African customary law through the colonial period and into the present is described. The essay ends with the question of whether it should be integrated into uniform national legal systems or simply abolished.


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Conflict resolution, Laws and regulations, Governance


Africa Notes October 1995