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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Towards the Study of Post Traditional Systems of Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa
Author:Nabudere, Dani W.
Year:2002
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Volume:8
Issue:1
Pages:1-40
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Uganda
East Africa
Subjects:customary law
legal systems
conflict of laws
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
law
judicial system
gender relations
courts
Abstract:The basic problem handled in this article is the growing body of evidence which suggests that modern systems of justice introduced into Africa during the colonial period and maintained since independence have not been able to cope with the objectives for which they were intended. The problem is greatest in rural communities in which modernization processes have had a rather shallow impact. Looking at systems pertaining in the Great Lakes Region of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya, the author lists some of the particular difficulties encountered, such as access for people who live in remote areas, have little money, and often little or no knowledge of the languages employed in such formal courts. Another obstacle is that in traditional systems, no distinction is made between criminal and civil justice. Both usually require some element of resititution and reconciliation, which helps to restore the social balance, a consideration not touched upon by pure punishment. The author realizes that it is impossible to return to a 'restoration' of precolonial systems. There has been a contestation between 'traditional' and 'modern' and each has traded something with the other, for instance, tradition has resorted to the rationality in 'modernity'. He calls the result 'new traditionalism' and 'post-traditionalism'. Urgent research is required into the traditional and informal mechanisms functioning in a country in order to come up with a more equitable system, even though something which would answer all problems perfectly would be impossible. Notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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