Date of Award

1971

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

William F. Lye

Abstract

Western man has great pride in his political institutions, which with some justification he holds to be the first to recognize the rule of law as superior to the rule of men. Thus it was with great confidence in his laws and rectitude of his ways that the first Europeans occupied Africa. The impact of this invasion upon the indigenous populations of Africa was tremendous. Every facet of Africa life, its social, political, economic and legal systems were affected.

A study of Bantu customary law has to depend largely on secondary material, because until recent times, the law of Bantu Africa was largely unwritten. A number of monographs has been written by anthropologists in the field, but few of them give more than a chapter to an examination of the laws and their power of sanction as exercised by the courts. Yet it is the courts that are the precursors of legislation, and ultimately, legislation is the province of the state. "it was the court really that launched the 'state' for it was in the court that the sentiment of etatism, with all its devotion and loyalties, was first nurtured."

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