When is Law and Custom not Customary Law?

Wastell, Sari. 2007. When is Law and Custom not Customary Law? Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 32(2), pp. 71-84. ISSN 03553930 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This study endeavours to re-think debates about the competing values of ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’ in Swazi law (and politics) by considering the extent to which the characterisation of the Swazi legal system as ‘dual’ is an apt description of the state of affairs. While the country seems to exhibit a straightforward instance of post-colonial, state-law pluralism, where both a ‘received’ and ‘customary’ code of law obtain, the paper will argue against this assessment. by suggesting that what Swazis term ‘Swazi law and custom’ cannot be equated with what Swazi statute understands as the ‘customary law’, the article hopes to suggest the need for a similar re-consideration of the term ‘tradition’ in Swazi political debate.

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1 August 2007Published

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12 Mar 2009 15:41

Last Modified:

07 Dec 2012 12:50

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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