oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The roles of theory and method in investigating primitive law

Volume 07, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



There has been a spate of controversy over the past several years concerning the method of investigation that ought to be employed by lawyers and anthropologists engaged in researching the primitive law of Africa. The doubts and disagreements are largely the results of a failure to realize that the two competing methods of investigation now in use, viz, the rule directed interview and the trouble-case methods, are the logical outgrowths of positivism and legal realism respectively, and that until certain ""fundamental questions"" of theory have been answered, there will be no resolution.

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