‘To each a crumb of right, to neither the whole loaf’: the metaphor of the bread and the jurinomics of justice in African legal thought

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    English: The literature on the meaning of justice remains too Eurocentric without a modicum of space for what Africans hold to be an appropriate conception of justice. This article argues that while there exist scholarly interpretations and inspiring analyses on what may be tagged as African contributions to justice conception such as Desmond Tutu’s Ubuntu, Gluckman’s natural justice, missing in these array of fantastic, breathtaking and insightful definitions of justice in African jurisprudence is the essentially jurinomic dimension towards justice. This article discovers the task of jurinomics to consist in the study of the economic content, context, concepts, contour, characteristic and consequences of law, legal concepts and practice. This article further observes that justice is not just a moral and legal concept but also economic. Taking a cue from a ferreted interpretation of Teslim Elias’ popular proverb, and drawing insights from the African ideal of reconciliationism, the article underscores the view that justice concept in Africa could be appropriately understood, using the bread metaphor, to have a jurinomic character in the light of careful readings of notions such as each/neither, crumb, right, whole and loaf. This article concludes that in African jurisprudential thought and practice, welfarism constitute the basic push and pull of justice.