Sebei Law

Sebei Law

Sebei Law

Sebei Law

Excerpt

In this book I endeavor to delineate the rules that regulate formal interpersonal relationships among a people of Uganda and, where relevant, the methods by which these rules are enforced and their transgressors punished. In brief, it is a treatise on Sebei law. Although primarily interested in preEuropeanized Sebei law, I give attention to the dynamic historic changes that have taken place both prior to and during the Baganda-European influences of the past half century. I have sought to make this substantive record as accurate and as detailed as possible. Furthermore, I have tried to be explicit about my sources of information, quoting both informants' statements and key legal cases, so as to enable the reader to understand the basis upon which my generalizations rest. In this I hope to make a substantive contribution to ethnography and aid administrators to apply, with such modifications as are necessary and wise, the time-honored regulations of old Sebei.

My initial purpose was the innocent one of describing the corpus of laws of the Sebei, without concern either for any theory as to what the law is nor, for that matter, expecting to make any contribution (beyond providing substantive information) to the general theory of jurisprudence. I find--as students of customary law have generally found--that one cannot entirely avoid the former problem, and I think that the Sebei data do, in fact, offer some important contributions to the latter. I shall not here discuss these contributions, which are the subject matter of my two concluding chapters, other than to say they derive entirely from the data on Sebei, I having made no at-

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