A Synthesis of African Law

This book provides an important analysis of several critical aspects of African traditional law and philosophy – constitutional law, human rights, international law, criminology, criminal justice, jurisprudence and legal philosophy.

Chapter Overview

Chapter One summarizes the relevance of African Customary Law in its various facets – marriage, inheritance and criminal justice.

Chapter Two is a study in Yoruba legal philosophy using as a base of analysis the Ifa tradition.

Chapter Three is a comparison of European legal philosophy with African legal philosophy, to show the intersections and divergences.

Chapter Four is concerned with African criminal law in its widest ramifications, and how it has impacted on modern ideas of criminal justice.

Chapter Five singles out the issue of death penalty as an important human rights concern.

Chapter Six dabbles into the sensitive terrain of gender law in support of the argument that African women are not necessarily disadvantaged under traditional law – surely many will dissent, but the debate has been deepened.

Chapter Seven essentially questions the cultural acceptability of the tenets of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, whilst embracing some of its ideals.

Chapter Eight examines the legal protection of cultural and religious diversities under national and international law.

Chapter Nine examines the available international legal framework for the repatriation of African art, which were taken as plunder to Europe.

Chapter Ten analyses the African charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1981, which it identifies as an authentic piece of African legal philosophy.


10 Chapters

297 Pages

African Customary Law, despite its approval as part of the curricula of law faculties in Nigeria by the National Universities Commission (NUC), has not enjoyed the systematized study and teaching of the “mainstream” law courses. This is not encouraging if Nigeria is to train well-rounded lawyers with a full understanding and healthy respect for African traditional law and legal philosophy.

This book provides a glimpse into that area of law. It is not a bare statement of the principles of African Customary Law, but rather a study of its application under contemporary law and legal systems.


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