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Negotiating the future: how to decolonise the African judicial system? 
Joel Baraka Akilimali (Université Catholique de Louvain Iacchos)
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Gracia Lwanzo Kasongo (Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain))
Law (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Philosophikum, S90
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Discussions on the decolonisation of the judiciary in Africa remain marginal in decolonial studies. Our panel will analyse the political, institutional and socio-anthropological perspectives related to the decolonisation of the Western-inspired judicial system in Africa.

Long Abstract:

Africa is characterised by the primacy of Western-inspired judicial institutions (Romano-Germanic and Anglo-Saxon common law systems). These Western judicial institutions have in most cases marginalised customary dispute resolution mechanisms. Recent developments demonstrate the emergence of popular contestation for the recognition of local legal systems. However, these contestation movements face resistance from a new generation, particularly urban and westernised, which no longer recognises itself in the old social regulation: how can the decolonisation of judicial institutions be negotiated in order to reconcile these generations of Africans divided by the judicial order? This panel will provide answers to the problem of the decolonisation of judicial institutions in Africa at three levels. First, the panel is open to contributions that discuss the universality of classical Roman law (civil law) and its claim to be binding on all states and societies today by demonstrating the situation of such a claim in Africa. Secondly, the panel will discuss the alternatives offered by African communities to make Western-inspired judicial systems more flexible in a move towards the implementation of the 'Afromodernity' paradigm. Finally, the panel will be open to contributions that highlight the convergences of legal systems and the mechanisms identified by states to overcome existing divergences.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -