This book makes life unusually easy for anyone who wants to know about African indigenous laws, and seeks to encourage further research into the laws that regulate the lives of millions of Africans. For, in spite of colonialism, military decrees and the authoritative modernity of state civil or common law, African indigenous laws have not fallen into abeyance.
African indigenous laws, like Roman law before Justinian codification, was mos maiorum, the path of the ancestors. Accordingly, Roman law, English common law and African indigenous law are the great legal creation of pagan human beings whereas other ancient systems of laws such as Judaism, Sharia, Hindu, Adat laws, were religious in origin.
The Bibliography ranges widely over topics as diverse as cultural property, coups d'état and the plunder of antiquities, to formalities of marriage, child betrothal, divorce, sororate marriage, levirate marriage, to succession and inheritance, oral will, and administration of the estate.
A word of warning to all those who normally skip reading Prefaces: the two here, one by Professor Antony Allott, the other by Professor Manfred Hinz, are essential reading. And as Professor Hinz writes: this bibliography `is an indispensable tool for all who are in one way or the other concerned with customary law, as lecturer, researcher, law applier and law reformer...'
`Those of us with a common interest in possible new strategies for successful management of heterosexual relationship and reproduction will find Dr. Okupa's book full of possible alternatives. Though, as Dr. Okupa says, minds like parachutes should be open; there are other ways of doing this and in defiance of persecution and prejudice, they work.' Dr Germaine Greer, University of Cambridge
`This unusual bibliography crosses boundaries of countries and disciplines. It will be an invaluable aid to many different lines of research.' Professor William Twining, University College London
Effa Okupa is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law, University of Namibia.