Customary Law in Common Law Systems
Woodman, Gordon R.
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Summaries How can the idea of the ‘rule of law’ be made a reality for ordinary people in African countries where customary law still underpins popular experience of ‘law as practice’? It is argued that the idea of law itself should include all non?state ‘normative orders’ that are known, acceptable and pre?determined, as well as state law. What is called customary law is often closer to observed social norms (practised law) than the state law imported by colonialism, and indeed evolves in line with social and economic change, particularly in the field of land tenure. Any notion of the rule of law must support the institutions of customary law. One problem, however, is that in any country there are many different bodies of customary law particular to different localities, regions, cultures. This diversity must be both researched and recognised.
CitationWoodman, G., R. (2001) Customary Law in Common Law Systems. IDS Bulletin 32(1): 28-34
Is part of seriesIDS Bulletin Vol. 32 Nos. 1
Rights holder© 2001 Institue of Development Studies
- Volume 32. Issue 1