Join us for a collaborative exchange and discussion at a two-day conference to take place on October 23-24, 2008 in Gaborone, Botswana! The conference is free and open to the public and all interested parties are encouraged to register on the conference website.
The conference working language will be English. The conference will include paper presentations on topics detailed below and will also include working group discussions with a broad range of stakeholders, including, for example, traditional leaders, members of the judiciary, representatives of non-governmental organizations and other interested persons, on topics related to customary law.
Customary law, the traditional law indigenous to a region, continues to regulate many areas of people’s lives in Africa. For example, some African constitutions now enshrine the right to culture and oblige courts to apply customary law where applicable. Elsewhere, constitutional and statutory law has superseded most or all customary law. Yet, even in situations where constitutional law, statutory law and common law have largely superseded it, customary law may nevertheless govern in certain areas, such as family relations. For example, in many places, the requirements for marriage, the rights and duties of husbands and wives, the obligations toward and custody of children, the ownership of property acquired during marriage, and many other aspects of family life are governed by customary law. Moreover, even where conflicting constitutional or statutory law exists, lack of access to legal resources may mean that, as a practical matter, customary law still governs. Finally, the persistence of longstanding expectations and social practices informed by customary law has given rise to many problems in enforcing contradictory statutory law.
Notwithstanding the significant role customary law continues to play in people’s lives, there has been a notable lack of research and formal scholarly exchange on the topic. African Customary Law Revisited: The Role of Customary Law in the 21st Century, fills this gap by exploring the nature, substance and role of customary law in Africa in the 21st Century.
We look forward to meeting you in Gaborone!
Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham Law School
33 West 60th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 636-6862
Fax: (212) 636-6775
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