Incorporating Africanness into the legal curricula: the case for criminal and procedural law

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    English: Criminal and procedural law has recently come under scrutiny and been criticised as being the ‘white-man’s law’. The claim is that this academic discipline of law, as conceptualised and studied thus far, has remained too Eurocentric and lego-centric, incorporating only Western legal concepts and not embodying African values and cultures. Criminal and procedural law studies are described as Western concepts created from the viewpoint of a dominant Western culture which does not take sufficient cognisance of other cultural traditions and therefore lacks certain elements of legitimacy. There has been increasing pressure on these subjects to Africanise the law and to make it relevant to the greater South African population. Combining indigenous legal concepts and general legal theory, this article examines the current situation and endeavours to develop methods to account for the effect of African law on criminal and procedural law. The article concludes that recognition should be given to the Africanisation (or South Africanisation) of law. Law students need to be better equipped to understand the manifold pluralities within and between legal systems in order to produce lawyers and judges who are “thoroughly grounded in the cultural milieu of the society in which the courts are based”.