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Copyright (c) 2011 Pace University School of Law
Pace International Law Review

ARTICLE: THE LAWS OF LEROTHOLI: ROLE AND STATUS OF CODIFIED RULES OF CUSTOM IN THE KINGDOM OF LESOTHO

Winter, 2011

Pace International Law Review

23 Pace Int'l L. Rev. 92

Author

Laurence Juma*

Excerpt



I. Introduction
 
The status of customary law in African societies is diminished by factors, most of which are generated by the machinery of the modern state. 1 But its mantle, kept alive by neo-traditional scholarship and a commitment to multiculturalism in the post-independence era, has nevertheless sustained an active discussion on its relevance to the future of law and the general administration of justice in African states. 2 This notwithstanding, the reach of customary law in defining human relations and providing systems of justice that could overcome the tension between the traditional social structure and so-called "modern' or "western' legality, in which justice is equated to law, is far from settled. The reason could be that African customary law scholars have been preoccupied with finding points of convergence between two divergent paradigms instead of seeking to develop African customary law as a distinct legal tradition that espouses rules and supports institutions of its own kind. 3 Arising from the push by post-colonial governments towards unified legal systems, scholars have seen their role as that of sanitizing customary law and redefining its principles to fit modes of western legal tradition - an approach that has rendered African customary law even more precarious. 4 This anomaly is explicit in the struggle by the judicial systems of most African countries to find the relevance of customary law within structures of the modern state. And yet, throughout the continent, emerging jurisprudence has more than confirmed the dissonance of these two paradigms and has ...
 
 
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