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NCJ Number: 78583 Find in a Library
Title: International Summaries: Juridical Acculturation in Black Africa and Its Effects on the Administration of Criminal Justice
Author(s): Y Brillon
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: J-LEAA-023-77
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS Publication Sales
Box 6000 Department F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The continued importance of tribal justice and the reasons for its survival in Black Africa are analyzed in the empirical, ethno-criminological study.
Abstract: All of the Black African Nations have introduced official judicial institutions which are almost exact copies of the western judicial systems. However, the customary settlements of the tribal community continue to be used in spite of efforts to suppress them. In order to determine the importance of ancient tribal law, two sample populations (in Nigeria and the Ivory Coast) were asked whether they would prefer a conciliatory tribal settlement or a court case when faced with certain offenses. The majority of interviewees preferred the tribal settlement. Among the offenses most often referred to tribal law were witchcraft murder, destruction of a farmer's crop by his neighbor's cattle, and adultery. The study indicates the following reasons for the existence of two parallel judicial systems in Black Africa. First, the penal codes introduced by the colonial powers and taken over by the modern states are entirely unrelated to the norms and values of the traditional society. Second, the rationalist western penal codes are irreconcilable with natives' magico-religious concepts of justice. Third, the western court ritual is foreign and intimidating to the primitive mentality. Finally, located in the major cities, the courts are usually too distant to deal with the legal problems of rural areas. It is concluded that western judicial systems are ill suited for the peculiar ethnic background of African groups. The article contains statistical charts, annotations, and a bibliography.
Index Term(s): Africa; Cultural influences; Ivory Coast; Nigeria; Socioculture; Tribal community relations; Tribal court system
Note: This article, summarized and translated from French by Sybille Jobin, was originally published in France in 1977. L'acculturation Juridique en Afrique Noire et ses Incidences sur l'adminstration de la justice criminelle (NCJ-51432).
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