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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Good or bad, my heritage: customary legal practices and the liberal constitution of post-colonial States
Author:Widlok, ThomasISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa
Volume:31
Issue:1-2
Pages:13-19
Language:English
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:law of inheritance
customary law
Hai//om
legal reform
legal pluralism
Abstract:The postcolonial constitutions of Namibia (1990) and South Africa (1996) in principle allow for 'indigenous' or 'customary' law within the framework set by constitutional law. Developments in recent years, in particular in the course of debates surrounding the reform of inheritance laws, highlight the problems of integrating customary law with the newly established liberal law of the State. Arguing from an anthropological perspective, the author shows that the case of inheritance law reform in southern Africa sheds more light on inherent contradictions in the dominant legal system. His case study of the inheritance practices of the Akhoe Hai//om in northcentral Namibia points to a number of intrinsic problems in the process of creating legal rules in the face of social practice. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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