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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The quasi-judicial and the experience of the absurd: remaking land law in North-Eastern Botswana
Author:Werbner, Richard P.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Geographic term:Botswana
Subjects:land law
special courts
Abstract:The introduction of a quasi-judicial agency into a new nation in Africa brings with it many of the predicaments, dilemmas and contradictions that keep such agencies busy in Western countries. The kind of quasi-judicial agency which is meant here is an administrative tribunal within a government having, officially, a constitutional separation of powers, according to a British or American prototype. Such a 'betwixt and between' is not quite a part of the courts yet given to judging disputes, not quite a part of the executive yet authorised to administer government policies, not quite a part of the legislature yet given a legislative function. In order to mobilise the support and services of members of the public at large or some special public, it reaches beyond the usual ranks of government bureaucracy for some or all of its members, but the very fact of their recruitment sets them apart; and by their participation they become what may be called quasi-functionaries, somewhat detached from the rest of the public and yet not quite the same as, or at one with, the regular bureaucrats who staff other agencies of government. In this context the author discusses the Tati Land Board (Botswana's North-East District). Notes, ref.