Building the Rule of the Law

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A new order is being forged in Africa. States across the continent are working, fighting, and negotiating in an effort to construct liberal societies and effective government. Through the story of one man and his times, this book analyzes the struggle to build independent courts -- a cornerstone of the democratic process -- where circumstances are inauspicious. Organized around the life of Francis L. Nyalali, who served as Chief Justice of Tanzania from 1976 through 1999, the account shows how judges negotiate ...
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2001 Hard cover New. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 454 p.

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Overview

A new order is being forged in Africa. States across the continent are working, fighting, and negotiating in an effort to construct liberal societies and effective government. Through the story of one man and his times, this book analyzes the struggle to build independent courts -- a cornerstone of the democratic process -- where circumstances are inauspicious. Organized around the life of Francis L. Nyalali, who served as Chief Justice of Tanzania from 1976 through 1999, the account shows how judges negotiate new institutional relationships. The author takes us into the minds of decision makers in Africa as they seek allies at home and abroad, empower professional reputations, and promote popular acceptance.

As a young and talented man from the countryside of what was then Tanganyika, Nyalali began his legal studies at Lincoln's lnn in London. He returned home at the conclusion of his studies and turned to the cause and obligation that had taken him overseas: returning order to his country. With his first appointment as a resident magistrate in the infamously challenging post of Musoma, his creative energies and principled motivation marked him for success in a society desperate for new possibilities.

This cosmopolitan tale reveals the fascinating intellectual history of a great African development in which American courts, intellectuals from England to South Africa, and even Jeremy Bentham play bit parts. It shows the interaction between substantive law and the separation of powers, especially with respect to difficult topics such as preventive detention, bail, the status of customary law, and vigilantism.

Through the trials and disappointments of Nyalali, we learn the intricate challenges of erecting an independent judicial system. His tireless negotiations testify to the perpetual attempts by leaders and other powerful parties to subvert justice for their private interests. But in his success and the success of his homeland, we see the triumph of justice in an effective democracy. In 1995, as endorsed by a commission under Nyalali's supervision, Tanzania saw its first multiparty elections.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Through the story of one man and his times, this book analyzes the struggle to build independent courts. Organized around the life of Francis L. Nyalali, who served as Chief Justice of Tanzania from 1976 to 1999, the account shows how judges negotiate new institutional relationships. Attention is given to the interaction between substantive law and the separation of powers, especially with regard to topics like preventative detention, bail, customary law, and vigilantism. Widner teaches political science at the University of Michigan. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393050370
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 9
Acknowledgments 13
Note on Names and Terms 17
Map 1. Common Law Eastern and Southern Africa 19
Map 2. Tanzania 20
1. Introduction 23
2. Origins 41
3. The Courts 57
4. Pluralism and Legitimacy 75
5. Challenges 98
6. The Nadir 114
7. Openings 132
8. The Rights Revival 155
9. Politics and Interpretive Strategy 178
10. Law and Development 196
11. The Quality of Justice 214
12. Under Remand 233
13. Civil Delay 254
14. Corruption 273
15. The Democratic Gamble 291
16. Legal Literacy 311
17. Custom, the Constitution, and the Common Law 335
18. Trouble Spots 363
19. Taking Stock 389
Glossary of Foreign Terms and Specialized Vocabulary 403
Bibliography 405
Index 439
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