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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Trading places: recognizing and recreating legal pluralism in colonial Uganda
Author:Vincent, JoanISNI
Periodical:Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
Geographic terms:Uganda
Great Britain
conflict of laws
Abstract:Through a close reading of a specific case in the lawmaking process in colonial Uganda - the Trading Ordinance of 1938, this essay documents several related propositions about legal pluralism in industrializing societies: legal pluralism provides a theory of certain kinds of political change accompanying industrialization; legal pluralism implicitly contains a programme that contests the privileging of legal centralism; legal pluralism as a process is by no means uniform or progressive: the case described is one not of pluralism alone, but also of depluralism; and legal pluralism challenges a juristic view of purposive law. The essay looks in particular at five clauses of the Trading Ordinance: clauses 5 and 6 distinguished, in terms of locality, between native (African) and non-native (Asian and European) traders; clause 10 categorized those not eligible for trading licences, singling out so-called 'purdah-women', and provided for bookkeeping; clauses 12 and 13 required accounting procedures and specified the languages in which the requirement had to be met. The analysis reveals some of the differences and dissension within the lawmaking (European and Asian) elite which themselves reflect structural and processual tensions between colonialism and capitalism. It also shows that Uganda's legal recognition of racial and ethnic pluralism was both a discontinuous and contested policy. Bibliogr., notes, ref.