Edited by Mauro Bussani and Anthony J. Sebok
Chapter 21: The customary law of tort in sub-Saharan Africa
This chapter concentrates specifically on traditional tort systems in Sub-Saharan Africa as distinct from the received common law of tort transplanted into Africa through colonization. Preliminary to this core focus, the Chapter analyses the received common law tort and legal systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter argues that collective conscience and collective representations serve as the foundation of the law and order in African contexts because kinship (social relationships derived from consanguinity, marriage and adoption) remains the fundamental basis for the organization of social groups and relationships and around which the fabric of social life is built and regulated in Africa. This explains why customary law of tort in Sub-Saharan Africa seeks to protect the interests of not only the individual but more so that of the collective social system within the individual is located. The collective orientation of African culture explains the focus of Sub-Saharan Africa customary law of tort on insults and abusive language and familial and marital protections.
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