Constitutionalism and Africa: Public Lecture by Martin Chanock on Wed 15 April

Eminent legal historian Martin Chanock will give a public lecture on Constitutionalism and Africa on Wednesday 15 April 2015. The paper is available for download.

Professor Chanock’s fields of research span the legal history of colonisation, customary law and globalisation; constitutionalism and constitutional law; comparative law; African and South African law; anthropology and law; and law and cultural heritage. His current work focuses on Constitutionalism and the ‘customary’, in which he interrogates the perception that it is the world of the ‘customary’ that somehow provides problems for constitutional government. Chanock argues that to establish a functioning constitutional state, African constitutions and bills of rights must be embedded in developing African ideas and practices of law and governance, and therefore the world of the ‘customary’ is a wholly necessary part of the establishing of constitutional governance.

Professor Chanock is the 2015 Rabinowitz Visitor to UCT’s Faculty of Law.  A graduate of Wits and Cambridge, Chanock is an Emeritus Professor of Law at La Trobe University, Melbourne, and between 1965 and 1977, taught in Malawi, Nigeria, England and the USA.  Among his publications are ‘Law Custom and Social Order; the colonial experience in Malawi and Zambia’ and ‘The Making of South African Legal Culture 1902-1936; fear favour and prejudice’.

Date: Wednesday 15 April, 2015

Time: 5:30pm for 6 (drinks and snacks provided)

Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, Kramer Building, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town


Download Chanock’s paper.

All are welcome

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