oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The reception of English and Roman-Dutch law in Africa with reference to Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The original reception legislation during the period of colonialism falls roughly within the period descriptionbed by historians as the "age of imperialism" wherein occurred what is called the "scramble for Africa". It is submitted, however, that these expressions distort the position so far as Britain was concerned and tend to prejudge the whole enquiry. This paper suggests that, on the available evidence, (i) there was no intention on the part of Britain to create an empire in Africa or establish any permanent presence there, (ii) with the exception of statute law, the original reception laws envisaged a timeless reception, and (iii) the law introduced was intended to apply only to the transient European population.

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