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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contract, freedom and exchange
Author:Lyall, Andrew
Periodical:Eastern Africa Law Review
Geographic term:East Africa
Subject:law of contract
Abstract:In the colonial period, the three East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda had imposed upon them the system of law developed by the english courts. So far as the part of this law that dealt with contracts was concerned, it consisted of the body of English case law, supplemented by statute, as it stood at the end of the nineteenth century either in its original form, or in the codified one adopted in colonial India in 1872. Colonialism broke down old pre-colonial relations of subsistence agriculture-production and forcibly introduced production for exchange. These conditions did not cease with independence. The African classes that took political power at that time have become increasingly integrated into this system of underdevelopment. This article explores the relation between the system of contract law and the society from which it emerged and shows how the conceptions and rules of the English law of contract, far from expressing eternal verities, or 'pure' conceptions applicable to all societies at all times, represent a response to social conditions, and express ideas that are only found, and are only necessary, in a society based on capitalist production. Notes.