African Customary Law

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RDL3002H

Intermediate level, half-course, whole year, 36 lectures and tutorials

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Chuma Himonga

Entrance requirements: All Preliminary Level courses to have been completed

Course outline: The course aims to facilitate an understanding of the sources, nature, status and role of customary law in South Africaís pluralist legal system. The course provides an overview of the historical recognition of customary law during the colonial and apartheid periods to demonstrate the effect of these policies on customary law today. It analyses the Constitutionís recognition of customary law and impact the Constitution has had on both the application and development of customary law. The course further facilitates an understanding of legal theory with the objective of analysing whether customary law is consistent with modern legal theory. At a substantive level, the course examines the customary law regulating marriage, succession, traditional authority, land and dispute resolution. Lectures and tutorials are aimed at ensuring that students engage critically with customary law sources and are able to contextualise the law, politics and commercial interests surrounding traditional authority, community boundaries, land and resource management, dispute resolution forums, mining and pharmaceuticals.

RDL4005H

Final level, half-course, whole year

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Chuma Himonga

Entrance requirements: All Preliminary and Intermediate Level courses to have been completed

Course outline: The course aims to facilitate an understanding of the sources, nature, status and role of customary law in South Africaís pluralist legal system. The course provides an overview of the historical recognition of customary law during the colonial and apartheid periods to demonstrate the effect of these policies on customary law today. It analyses the Constitutionís recognition of customary law and impact the Constitution has had on both the application and development of customary law. The course further facilitates an understanding of legal theory with the objective of analysing whether customary law is consistent with modern legal theory. At a substantive level, the course examines the customary law regulating marriage, succession, traditional authority, land and dispute resolution. Lectures and tutorials are aimed at ensuring that students engage critically with customary law sources and are able to contextualise the law, politics and commercial interests surrounding traditional authority, community boundaries, land and resource management, dispute resolution forums, mining and pharmaceuticals.

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