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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Penitential redemption: law as an instrument of change
Author:Kulusika, Simon E.ISNI
Periodical:Zambia Law Journal
Geographic term:Sudan
colonial law
Abstract:Law can be an effective instrument of change when its interpretation and application serves the interests of the people in question. But when it is interpreted and applied in complete disregard of their interests, it is bound to provoke civil disobedience, if not outright rebellion. This was the reason why the attempt by the British administration in southern Sudan to use the criminal justice system to combat indigenous beliefs in supernatural powers or evil spirits failed. In cases involving homicide in the period 1928-1959 courts in Sudan usually rejected the plea of automatism, convicted the defendant of murder and sentenced him to death. The tribesmen viewed such harsh sentences as unwarranted and an uncalled for encroachment on their traditional beliefs. In the same way, the people of southern Sudan and a majority of Muslims in North Sudan rejected the imposition by President Nimeiri in September 1983 of shari'a (Islamic law). The Islamic fundamentalists who came to power in 1989 are pursuing a relentless policy of Islamization and imposing an Islamic way of life on all Sudanese, including the wearing of Islamic dress and the use of black veils. They, too, are meeting with resistance, not only among people in the South, who have been relegated to the status of 'dhimmis' (infidels), but also among people in the North, who see Islamic law as a coercive instrument for the perpetuation of theocratic rule in Sudan. Notes, ref.