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Legal Pluralism, Religion, Culture and Human Rights

PVL4605F

Final Level, half course, first semester, two lectures per week.

9 NQF credits at HEQSF level 8

Convener: Associate Professor W Amien

Course entry requirements: All Preliminary and Intermediate Level courses to have been completed.

Course outline:

This course aims to provide an understanding of how pluralities of laws operate in South Africa, at official and unofficial levels. By drawing on legislation and case law, attention is paid to historically marginalised religious, cultural and customary laws including personal and family laws emanating from (but not limited to) Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and traditional and non-traditional customary laws. Students are encouraged to consider how non-dominant systems of personal and family laws can be addressed within a secular legal framework and what the human rights implications of that are. The course comprises: (1) Theoretical foundations of legal pluralism; (2) Selected religious, cultural and customary laws including (but not limited to): Islamic law; Hindu law; Judaic law; Customary laws; (3) Manifestations of plural laws through religions, cultures, customs and secular laws in the private law domain including (but not limited to): marriage; divorce; and succession; (4) Models of recognition of religious, cultural and customary laws; and (5) Human rights implications of official and unofficial application of religious, cultural and customary laws.

DP requirements: None.

Assessment: Coursework 50%, Research Paper 50%.