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Smith, Randal Carson (1994) The Struggle to Control Dispute Proceedings in Southern Rhodesia, 1930-1970, With Special Reference to the Lower Courts. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis examines the political role of the Native Commissioners' and Chiefs' courts in Southern Rhodesia on two levels: the macro-political level of state hegemony and the micro-political level of district relations. Thus two chapters are devoted to a focus on Sipolilo District, and the remainder of the thesis sets this in the wider national and historical context, examining the implications of the Sipolilo study for the larger setting. The reasons for the initial integration of the "traditional" authorities into the state through the recognition and regulation of existing courts is considered. The means by which this progressed first institutionally and later ideologically is traced through twenty-five years. A further move to integrate the Chiefs occurred in the early 1960s, and the changed circumstances are examined. In both these phases of integration the "traditional" authorities played an active role in staking their claim to control these proceedings. The thesis will examine why both the state and Chiefs were eager to control these proceedings and consider how each made use of the power gained from this control. The role of the lower courts in extending and consolidating the cash economy and producing other norms is considered. The local nature of these courts made them sensitive to local conditions but the appeal court also extended the normative nature of some of the decisions. The regional context of the policy to integrate the Chiefs through the recognition of judicial power is considered by contrasting the relevant pieces of legislation from East, Central, and South Africa. The time period for the dissertation is based on the drafting of the Native Law and Courts Act (1937), the first of its kind in Southern Rhodesia, and the implementation of the African Law and Tribal Courts Act (1969), the last of its kind in the colonial period.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:21

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