Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law


NUMBER 39 / 1997





Wilfredo ARDITO holds a degree in law from the Catholic University of Peru, where he was a member of the Legal Pluralism and Ethnic Rights Working Group, and an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex, Britain. In 1994-95 he worked for Survival International, compiling a collection of the laws of Latin American countries on indigenous peoples, published by Survival International in 1996. Since 1995 he has been based in Guatemala. He is now working on the laws affecting indigenous peoples, and questions of their representation in the state legal system, and is taking part in the revision of the q'eqchi' version of legal texts and the preparation of a Spanish‑Q'eqchi' legal dictionary.


Ahonagnon Noël GBAGUIDI was born in Savalou, Republic of Benin (then Dahomey). He holds an LL.M. in international and comparative law and a Ph.D. in private law.  He is chargé de cours at the École Nationale d'Administration du Bénin. He has been a visiting research fellow at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.  His publications include: Erbrecht an Grund und Boden in Benin: Betrachtungen zur Ermittlung des Erbstatuts in einem Mehrrechtsstaat [The Law of The Inheritance of land in Benin: Observations on an Inquiry into the Inheritance Statute of a State with Multiple Laws], Bayreuth: University of Bayreuth, 1994; 'De l'option de monogamie à l'option de polygamie: la nouvelle voie Béninoise', Rev. Ben. Sc. Jur. Adm., 1995; and 'Droit applicable et application du droit', Bulletin d'information de la cour Suprême, 1 and 2, 1997.


Samuel O. GYANDOH Jr has been Professor of Law at the School of Law, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA since 1983. He holds the degrees of B.A. (in Law) from the University of Southampton, Britain, and LL.M. from Harvard University, USA. He was a member of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana for many years, and worked on constitutional development in Ghana, especially the Constitution of the Third Republic (1979). He is editor-in-chief of Third World Legal Studies, and has written extensively on public law in Africa. Among his publications are: 'Popular justice and the development of constitutional orders in sub-Saharan Africa' Third World Legal Studies (1988): 139-159; and 'Tinkering with the criminal justice system in common law Africa' (1989) Temple Law Review 62: 1131-1174.


Manfred O. HINZ was born in Neustadt/Weinstrasse, Germany. He studied law and philosophy at the University of Mainz, completing the first and second state examinations in law in 1959 and 1965, and obtaining his Ph.D. in law in 1964. He pursued his studies further in anthropology, sociology and African and Oriental languages, becoming assistant lecturer in anthropology at the Institute of Ethnology, Mainz, in 1969. He completed his Habilitation (post-doctoral thesis) with the title Die Vergangenheit als Utopie. Das traditionale Argument in der politischen Theorie Schwarzafrikas [The Past as Utopia. The Traditional Argument within Political Theories of Black Africa] in 1971. He was in that year appointed Professor of Public Law, Political Sociology and Sociology of Law at the University of Bremen. In 1975 he initiated and directed the Namibia Project in co-operation with SWAPO of Namibia and later the UN Institute for Namibia, Lusaka. After Namibia gained Independence he worked with the Ministry of Justice there on secondment from the University of Bremen, specializing in customary law and traditional authority. He became co-director of the Centre for Applied Social Sciences in 1990, and since 1993 has been Professor of Law at the University of Namibia. He has researched, taught and published in the fields of international economic law, environmental law and African political studies. His latest book is Customary Law in Namibia: Development and Perspective, 3rd ed. Windhoek: CASS, 1997.


Stephan F. MIESCHER, born in Switzerland, holds an M.A. from the University of Basel, and studied African History at Northwestern University, USA. His Ph.D. dissertation for that University was entitled 'Becoming a Man in Kwawu: Gender, Law, and the Construction of Masculinity in Colonial Ghana', and made use of archival and oral research he had conducted in several towns of Ghana. He has been a visiting research investigator at the International Institute of the University of Michigan. He is currently teaching at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania.


Thomas McCLENDON is a Visiting Lecturer in African history at the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his B.A. from Pomona College in 1976 and his J.D. from the University of California's Boalt Hall in 1980. He practised law for several years in San Francisco before travelling extensively in Africa in 1986-87. He returned to the academy and completed his Ph.D. in African history in 1995. He is currently revising his dissertation, "Genders and Generations Apart: Labor Tenants, Law, and Domestic Struggle in Natal, South Africa, 1918-1944", for publication.


Gordon R. WOODMAN is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Legal Pluralism. Born in Britain, he holds the degrees of B.A. (1960), LL.M. (1961) and Ph.D. (1966) at the University of Cambridge. He worked in Faculties of Law in Ghana and Nigeria between 1961 and 1976. Since 1976 he has been a member of the Faculty of Law of the University of Birmingham, Britain. He is editor (with A.O. Obilade) of African Law and Legal Theory, International Library of Essays in Law and Social Theory, Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing Co., 1995; and author of Customary Land Law in the Ghanaian Courts Accra: Ghana Universities Press, 1996. He is currently writing a book on customary law and legal theory.