Customary Law and Institutions: Protecting or Undermining Community Land Rights in Southern Africa | Land Portal
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Date of publication: 
November 2021
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Report from the online discussion held on the Land Portal between 28 June and 9 July 2021.

The online discussion explored the different pespectives around customary law and institutions in Southern Africa and the roles they play in governing land.

The discussion illustrated how an understanding of context is key. It highlighted the dynamic and multifaceted character of customary law, descent systems and local institutions where norms and practices can vary significantly within a single country. It exposed the dangers of narrowly associating customary law with the powers and functions of ‘traditional leadership’, rather foregrounding the family and the clan as central to the interpretation and evolution of living customary law.

The complexities surfaced through the discussion underscored the challenges for policy and the identification of key principles to underpin the recognition of hybrid legal systems to give equivalence to both statute and customary law.


Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Rick de Satgé


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