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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:White settlers and the law in early colonial Kenya
Author:Shadle, Brett
Year:2010
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1055)
Volume:4
Issue:3
Pages:510-524
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:colonists
Whites
attitudes
legal systems
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2010.517418
Abstract:This article examines settler attitudes toward the law and the legal system in early colonial Kenya. Settlers believed that English law was the culmination of centuries of evolution and was unsurpassed for its justice and logic. Nonetheless, they insisted English law and legal procedure were supremely ill-suited for the African context. When courts released Africans on 'technicalities' it only encouraged more crime; insufficient punishments did the same. Settlers argued that the State - administrators and the judiciary - must twist the legal system to fit settler needs. The law must be a tool used on behalf of whites to bend Africans to their will. It must be personal and racially biased, the punishment swift and sharp. In many ways, settlers held an older, cruder understanding of the law, one more suited to manorial estates or Jim Crow America. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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