Law, Opacity, and Information in Urban Gambia

This article examines the discourse surrounding the circulation of legal information in urban Gambia. It argues that ideas of information sharing suggest that Gambian law is fundamentally opaque, not simply in that it is not transparent but that it is only partially known. Drawing on the insights of Marilyn Strathern and other ‘Melanesianists’, the article further proposes that information sharing is a kind of relation and that opacity is a way of cutting relations. This in turn presents a way of apprehending African law that differs from the current emphasis on illegality and sovereignty in Africanist legal anthropology and focuses instead on emendation as a modality of engaging the law.

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Details

Publication Type Journal
Publisher Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice, Berghahn Books
Year 2013
Author(s) Niklas Hultin
Other Numbers Vol. 57, No. 3
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