Expropriation: A Comparative Study of the Jurisprudence of Namibia, Ghana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Authors Samuel Amoo
Affiliations: Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Namibia
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 2 Issue 2, p. 75 – 97
In a speech marking the formal opening of the Accra Conference on Legal Education and of the Ghana Law School, the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah emphasised the need for the identification of the legal system with the ethos of the society: ‘There is a ringing challenge to African lawyers today. African law in Africa was declared foreign law for the convenience of colonial administration, which found the administration of justice cumbersome by reason of the vast variations in local and tribal custom. African law had to be proved in court by experts, but no law can be foreign to its own land and country, and African lawyers, particularly in the independent African states must quickly find a way to reverse this judicial travesty. The law must fight its way forward in the general reconstructions of African action and thought and help to remould the generally distorted African picture in all other fields of life. This is not an easy task, for African lawyers will have to do effective research into the basic concepts of African law, clothe such concepts with living reality and give the African a legal standard upon which African legal history in its various compartments could be hopefully built up. Law does not operate in a vacuum. Its importance must be related to the overall importance of the people, that is to say, the state.'[fn1] footnote 1: K Nkrumah ‘Ghana. Law in Africa’ (1962) 6 Journal of African Law 105.