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“Seeing Law in Pre-European Maori Society”

Rumbles, Wayne
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Hamilton, New Zealand: The University of Waikato, Custom Law Project.

In examining social control in pre-European Maori society, Rumbles notes a diversity of forms and functions of law, varying from codified law in large-scale complex societies to customary law in small-scale stateless societies. Rumbles maintains that Maori society possessed a true type of law, though Europeans did not acknowledge it as such because of their cultural assumptions about law. On this basis Rumbles elaborates legal principles of pre-European Maori customary society: the nature of custom law, with particular attention to Maori custom law; “tikangaâ€? (rightness); holders of authority; and enforcement of custom law.


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