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Towards Customary Legal Empowerment in Namibia

By: Janine Ubink, International Development Law Organization

In Namibia, national authorities have made various interventions aimed at enhancing the functioning of customary law and traditional leadership. These efforts include both the creation of institutional linkages as well as community-based activities. Further important initiatives have been undertaken by traditional authorities to change the institutional set-up and functioning of customary justice systems. Research into these governmental interventions and local initiatives has provided broad insights into the notion of and potential for customary legal empowerment. This has helped fill the knowledge gaps that exist with regard to change processes in customary law, particularly those stemming from initiatives undertaken by traditional communities themselves. The research has furthermore helped to verify whether they can serve as  ‘best practices’ for customary legal empowerment of marginalized groups in other countries and situations.

This report summarizes the findings of the research project, “Towards Customary Legal Empowerment in Namibia.”  The project was a joint collaboration between the  International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Development (VVI).

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Uploaded on: Feb 25, 2013
Last Updated: Dec 07, 2015
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