Urban land conflicts and the administration of justice in Ziguinchor

TitleUrban land conflicts and the administration of justice in Ziguinchor
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsG.S.C.M. Hesseling
Secondary TitleNetherlands Review of Development Studies
Pagination13 - 31
Date Published1991///
Publication Languageeng
Keywordscustomary law, land law, land tenure, Senegal, urban areas

The National Land Act of 1964, designed to unify legislation concerning land, formally abolished the various local systems of land law in Senegal. The implementation of the various urban land regulations and the efforts to restructure and regulate the spontaneous settlements which were started in Ziguinchor, the capital of the Casamance, in the 1970s resulted in a great number of urban land conflicts. This paper reviews Senegalese law relating to urban land. It explores the handling by the formal judicial and administrative institutions of urban land disputes and the conceptions and attitudes of the urbanites involved in these conflicts. The deliberate and systematic ignoring in the new national land law of the actual urban situation (more or less characterized by the persistence of - accommodated - traditional customs and values) seems to have contributed to the problems in the implementation of formal land law in Ziguinchor. The basic material for this paper has been drawn from court records and the minutes of special administrative arbitration commissions for review of land disputes. A main problem appears to be that land disputes submitted to court are handled by the criminal judge, although the 'defendants' do not feel in the least criminal. Besides, the material shows a difference between the general and formalistic decisions of the judge, and the more concrete solutions of the arbitration commissions that were set up to process the great number of urban land disputes. Bibliogr., notes, ref.

IR handle/ Full text URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1887/9033
Citation Key1579