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n Journal for Juridical Science - Incorporating Africanness into the legal curricula : the case for criminal and procedural law

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Abstract

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".


Straf-en prosesreg het onlangs onder die soeklig gekom en is as synde die 'Witman se wet' gekritiseer. Die bewering is dat hierdie akademiese regsdissipline, soos tot dusver gekonseptualiseer en bestudeer, te Eurosentries en lego-sentries gebly het wat slegs Westerse regsbegrippe inkorporeer en nie Afrika-waardes en -kulture nie. Straf-en prosesregstudies word beskryf as Westerse konsepte wat uit die oogpunt van 'n dominante Westerse kultuur geskep is wat nie voldoende kennis van ander kulturele tradisies neem nie en dus sekere elemente van legitimiteit ontbreek. Daar is toenemende druk op hierdie vakke om die wet te Afrikaniseer en om dit meer relevant tot die groter Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking te maak. Deur inheemse regskonsepte en die algemene regsteorie te kombineer, ondersoek hierdie studie die huidige situasie en strewe daarna om metodes te ontwikkel wat om die effek van Afrika gewoontereg op die straf- en prosesreg te verantwoord. Die gevolgtrekking word gemaak dat erkenning aan die Afrikanisering (of Suid-Afrikanisering) van die wet gegee moet word. Regstudente moet beter toegerus word om die veelvuldige pluraliteite binne asook tussen verskillende regstelsels te verstaan, ten einde regspraktisyne en regters te produseer wat "deeglik gegrond is in die kulturele milieu van die gemeenskap waarin die howe gebaseer is".

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/content/juridic/36/1/EJC55631
2011-06-01
2016-12-03
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