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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Customary laws in Ethiopia: institutions of dispute resolution among the Guji Oromo agropastoralists
Author:Debsu, Dejene Negassa
Year:2011
Periodical:The journal of Oromo studies
Volume:17
Issue:2
Pages:101-129
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:customary law
conflict resolution
legal pluralism
legal systems
Guji
Abstract:This paper examines the plurality of the judicial system among the agropastoral Guji Oromo of southern Ethiopia, based on ethnographic fieldwork in the region. The State court sytem was introduced in the region with Emperor Menelik's conquest in the late 19th century. The assumption was that the incorporated people in the south gradually would have to adopt northern legal norms and abandon their own customary law systems. Contrary to this assumption, Guji agropastoralists have been able to preserve their customary practices until recent times for various ideological and practical reasons. In this paper, different aspects of the Guji legal system, ranging from those dealing with the family to property and crime, are discussed and compared with State laws and administrative dispute settlement mechanisms. The analysis of the State judicial system is based on local dispute cases that were settled at the Peasant Association court, which was established by the government and represents its legal and administrative structure at the local level. Problems surrounding local courts are evaluated on the basis of selected court cases. Then the effectiveness of these cases is evaluated and compared to customary dispute resolutions. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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