December 4, 2015

Christopher Nyinevi on the Influence of Superstition on Ghana's Customary Law

Christopher Nyinevi, Kwame Kkrumah University of Science & Technology Faculty of Law, is publishing Winnowing the Chaff Out of the Grains: The Intermixture of Customary Law and Spiritualism in Ghana in the Commonwealth Law Bulletin no. 3 (September 2015). Here is the abstract.
Belief in the supernatural runs so deep in the cultural lives of Ghanaians that customary law – ‘the rules of law, which by custom are applicable to particular communities in Ghana’ – has not been spared its influence. This article asserts that state sanctioned enforcement of superstition inspired customs violates the fundamental constitutional value of freedom of conscience relative to persons who do not subscribe to such beliefs in the supernatural. But in order to accommodate the twin state interests of preserving customary laws and respecting the freedom of conscience, this article proposes the development of a body of customary laws devoid of superstition. It sets out to discuss why this idea is imperative and how it can be achieved.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

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