Post-colonial law : legal establishments from past empires are illegitimate

Gagnon, Jean-Paul (2010) Post-colonial law : legal establishments from past empires are illegitimate. [Working Paper] (Submitted (not yet accepted for publication))


The extant literature covering the plights of indigenous people resident to the African continent consistently targets colonial law as an obstacle to the recognition of indigenous rights. Whereas colonial law is argued to be archaic and in need of review, which it is, this article argues the new perspective that colonial law is illegitimate for ordering the population it presides over – specifically in Africa. It is seen, in five case studies, that post-colonial legal structures have not considered the legitimacy of colonial law and have rather modified a variety of statutes as country contexts dictated. However, the modified statutes are based on an alien theoretical legality, something laden with connotations that hark to older and backward times. It is ultimately argued that the legal structures which underpin ex-colonies in Africa need considerable revision so as to base statutes on African theoretical legality, rather than imperialistic European ones, so as to maximise the law’s legitimacy.

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ID Code: 31694
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Africa, colonial law, legality, legitimacy, legal theory
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Legal Theory Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation (180122)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT International College
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 please contact the author
Deposited On: 12 Apr 2010 02:11
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:26

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