Source: (1992) Social & Legal Studies. 1: 257-282.
This article will discuss how the local popular tribunal in Mozambique operates in the borderlands between the formal and informal systems of law, with influence from state law as well as from local legal orders. The ideology of popular justice will be scrutinized, highlighting some of the institutional and procedural features which have been emphasized in many discussions on the topic. It will also be argued that the relationship between form and content must be given close attention. The procedure as well as the law-making process in the tribunal will be described through concrete examples of dispute settlement, and it is argued that this form of popular justice can best be understood by employing a model of legal pluralism. This approach contrasts with earlier presentations of the Mozambican legal system which have focused on its unitary character. (excerpt)
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