Preadviezen uitgebracht voor een Colloquium georganiseerd door de juridische faculteiten van de Universiteiten van Gent en Leiden, Gent 5-7 november 1980
Edited by Feenstra and Spanoghe
This volume is a rare combination of interdisciplinary contributions from academia and legal practitioners about accessing justice in developing countries and one ex-colonizing country. The examples from Britain, Burundi, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa and Sudan point out the need to recognize that each culture has its own sense of rule of law and access to justice. In contrast to the many works which concentrate on structures and norms, this edited volume highlights the importance of the perceptions of the litigants and the court personnel for improving access to justice. Non-lawyer support personnel as shown in the examples in the book are key figures in the processes of access to justice. Hence, the book makes an important contribution to identifying basic elements that are overlooked in judicial reform schemes. The training of non-lawyer support personnel should be given priority over or at least the same priority as the training of lawyers.
Continuity and Change in the Maintenance of Property Relationships through Time in Minangkabau, West Sumatra
Franz von Benda-Beckmann
This book deals with the property and inheritance system of the matrilineal Minangkabau of West Sumatra in the context of legal pluralism. The author proposes a new anthropological approach to law, property and inheritance. After the description of the Minangkabau socio-political organization and the development of legal and administrative pluralism, three chapters are devoted to property and inheritance proper. First the ideal legal systems are described. Then he illustrates how the Minangkabau actually handle their property and inheritance affairs, and how the various regulating mechanisms have changed through history. Finally the different agents creating and changing legal conceptions are treated in historical perspective. In his conclusions the author shows how the traditional system of common holding and distributing of property by matrilineal descent groups is slowly being undermined through an increasing monetarization and consequent individualization of property relationships which finds its expression in the form of new legislation. This development is reflected in the conceptual system where the formerly predominant diachronic dimension of property relationships is slowly abolished and where property rights are increasingly reified.