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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Marriage, divorce and succession laws in Kenya: is integration or unification possible?
Author:Cotran, EugeneISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:marriage law
law of inheritance
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Abstract:In 1967, the government of Kenya set up two commissions, one on the law of marriage and divorce and the other on the law of succession. The writer was a member and the secretary of both commissions. There was a variety of reasons for setting up the two commissions: political, especially in relation to ending tribalism, encouraging unity and nationbuilding; economic and social, especially for encouraging the land consolidation and registration programme and ending fragmentation of landholding; and legal and constitutional, to end discrimination in relation to women and conflict in the administration of the fourfold system of law - statutory, customary, Hindu and Islamic - governing both marriage and divorce, and succession. In their reports both commissions looked in detail at the unsatisfactory features or defects in the then existing fourfold system. On the question of uniformity, both commissions felt that they could not, at that stage of development in Kenya, recommend a uniform act of national application to the total exclusion of customary and religious law. Both reports had appended to them draft bills to put effect to their recommendations. In both cases the draft bills had a rough passage in the Kenya parliament. Muslim opposition was especially vocal in the field of succession. Notes, ref.