The Seminar will draw lessons on paper presentations and discussions with highly acclaimed scholars on both Customary Law and Constitutional Law to affirm the significance of how this niche area of law can influence and be influenced by the prescripts of the new dispensation.
Customary law, notwithstanding its constitutionalised status in the new democracy, it has not been accorded its rightful status in practice. Customary law continues to be the ‘system’ that is merely tolerated. Its recognition in the Constitution is just a formality on paper that minimizes the concerns over its limited application in relation to its potential to address the social, political, cultural and legal context of the country. This becomes more evident in the jurisprudence that emanates from the courts that does not give much thought on the legitimacy of customary law as a primary source of law in the resolution of disputes that emanate from it.
It is therefore essential that in South Africa’s two decades of democracy we dissect how customary law can be integrated into the general framework of the law in judicial reasoning. This is of great significance because customary law does not have to be examined through the lens of common law as it was the case in the past which continue to manifest itself today but to analyse it in its own right as an independent source of law.
Professor Nomthandazo Ntlama
Associate Professor : UKZN School of Law