The Making of South African Legal Culture, 1902-1936: Fear, Favour and Prejudice

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Martin Chanock's definitive perspective on the development of South Africa's legal system in the early twentieth century examines all areas of the law: criminal law and criminology; the Roman-Dutch law; the State's African law; Land, Labour and "Rule of Law" questions. His revisionist analysis of the South African legal culture illustrates the larger processes of legal colonization, while the consideration of the interaction between imported doctrine and legislative models with local contexts and approaches also provides a basis for understanding the refashioning of law under circumstances of postcolonialism and globalization.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[T]his important book should inform law and society inquiry well beyond the sphere of those with a specialist interest in either South Africa or colonial legal history." Canadian Journal of Law and Society

"Chanock's highly illuminating and definitive perspective on that development examines all areas of the law including criminal law and criminology; the Roman-Dutch law; the State's African law; and land, labour, and rule of law questions." African Sun Times

"Martin Chanock offers a compelling and well-documented account of the process of state building and the formation of legal culture in early twentieth century South Africa...Chanock's effort deserves attention from both historians and non-historians as he raises important issues and questions that reach across a variety of different disciplines...Chanock's study is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the law and legal culture in South Africa. His work demonstrates the significant analytical and empirical leverage one can gain through an examination of the intersection of laws, politics, and state building." H-Net Reviews

"Chanock's analysis is thorough, detailed and precise...this book allows us to understand the making of South African legal culture." The Law and Politics Book Review Dec 2001

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521032971
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Pages: 588
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Chanock is Professor of Law and Legal Studies at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. His publications include Law, Custom and Social Order. The Colonial Experience in Malawi and Zambia (1985), and Unconsummated Union Britain, Rhodesia and South Africa 1900-1945 (1977).

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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Part I. Puzzles, Paradigms and Problems: 1. Four stories; 2. Legal culture, state making and colonialism; Part II. Law and Order: 3. Police and policing; 4. Criminology; 5. Prisons and penology; 6. Criminal law; 7. Criminalising political opposition; Part III. South African Common Law A: 8. Roman-Dutch law; 9. Marriage and race; 10. The legal profession; Part IV. South African Common Law B: 11. Creating the discourse: customary law and colonial rule in South Africa; 12. After Union: the segregationist tide; 13. The native appeal courts and customary law; 14. Customary law, courts and code after 1927; Part V. Law and Government: 15. Land; 16. Law and labour; 17. The new province for law and order: struggles on the racial frontier; 18. A rule of law; Part VI. Consideration: 19. Reconstructing the state: legal formalism, democracy and a post-colonial rule of law; Bibliography; Index; Index of legal cases cited.

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