Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Lynn Berat


The Namibian Constitution is, in many ways, a model for the world. Among the human rights it guarantees is the right to culture. There is support for the proposition that this includes the right to use customary law. The relationship between customary and national law is a difficult issue. This Article explores the options available to the Namibian Government as it attempts to balance the needs and desires of the people with the need for uniform laws. The author examines the treatment of customary law elsewhere in Africa, particularly Swaziland, Lesotho, and Botswana. The author concludes that while unification of customary and national law should be a long-term goal, it is impractical at present. Therefore, an integration model is offered as the best compromise between unification and dualism.