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7 Birkbeck L. Rev. 1 (2020)

handle is hein.journals/birkbek7 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Namrah  Khan


             jCustom, Culture and Law in Colonial,

             Anti-Colonial and Postcolonial Times




             NAMRAH KHAN*



             Colonialism  constructed legal identities and subjects many of
             which   found their way into post-independence  constitutional
             frameworks.   The treatment of customary  social practices and
             their codification into legal frameworks was part of the process of
             constructing legal identities. This article, drawing on the South
             African constitutional experience, examines how this process has
             led   to the  legacy of  colonisation continuing and  to the
             empowerment of elites  in postcolonial society.





                             Introduction

      Colonialism  imposed   and  created  legal identities on individuals
living under colonial rule and the societies that were colonised. Systems of
law were  often transplanted from European  societies and from systems of
law which  did not relate to societies on which they were imposed. British
colonial legal systems, following liberal models of imperialism, often tried
to incorporate or accommodate indigenous systems of government into
colonial  legal frameworks in order to facilitate effective colonial
governance   by elite figures within colonial societies. One of the lasting
effects of this though was the appropriation into law and formalisation of
customs  and traditions which had predated  colonial law.




Namrah  Khan completed her LLB Law at Birkbeck, University of London and is currently
undertaking an LLM at the London School of Economics, where she has also served as an editor
of the LSE Law Review. Her interests lie in public law, human rights law, postcolonial theory
and critical race theory, among others. Special thanks are given to Professor Stewart Motha and
Soody Gholami for their invaluable comments and feedback in the preparation of this article.

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