In the Land of the Chiefs: Customary Law, Land Conflicts, by Janine M. Ubink

By Janine M. Ubink

This publication reports practices of land administration in peri-urban Ghana the place conventional management varieties a colourful a part of social lifestyles. overseas coverage is presently witnessing a renewed curiosity in prevalent tenure platforms in addition to conventional management, wherein it goals to reinforce the potency of neighborhood governance and create basic entry to and safe rights in land. opposite to those principles, perform unearths an absence of safeguard of regularly occurring tenure in parts with a excessive festival for land. Mounting facts screens that general platforms usually evolve inequitably and that conventional elites profit disproportionally from commodification of land. with a purpose to comprehend regular land administration by way of conventional professionals and the function policymakers, lawmakers, judges and civil servants play during this technique, this booklet stories practices of land administration in peri-urban Ghana the place conventional management varieties a colourful a part of social existence. This ebook combines neighborhood case experiences with theories approximately effective land administration, the resilience of conventional management, the negotiability of time-honored legislation and the distance among judges' well-known legislations and native practices. Doing so, it deals a special physique of empirical and theoretical wisdom for these drawn to widespread land administration, in addition to these attracted to how popular legislations services either on the neighborhood point and on the point of the kingdom.

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Additional info for In the Land of the Chiefs: Customary Law, Land Conflicts, and the Role of the State in Peri-urban Ghana (Law, Governance, and Development Dissertations)

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It describes policy changes with regard to tenure security and the role of customary norms and authorities therein. It shows that international and Ghanaian land policy is currently witnessing a renewed interest in customary tenure systems, and argues that this shift is mainly inspired by the practical necessity to start from existing systems and is based on ‘default reasoning’ 36 JANINE M. UBINK brought about by disappointment with state programs of titling and registration. This chapter then turns its attention to land management practices in peri-urban Kumasi and argues that a specific set of factors enables chiefs to profit disproportionately from peri-urban land conversions and complicates the possibilities of local farmers to resist conversions.

A comparable example is found in the distribution of OASL revenues, which are usually paid to the paramount chief, who is supposed to redistribute them in his area according to the constitutional formula. These actions can be explained by a combination of ‘administrative efficiency’ – dealing with one big man instead of a whole group of people – and attempts to satisfy the person with the greatest troublemaking capacity. Every electoral area has its own representative at the DA. In many villages, these local assembly members and the members of the Unit Committee (UC) – the lowest level of local government – are public figures, who are widely known, easily accessible, and often most actively involved in development of the community.

Furthermore, I was so lucky as to come into contact with an interesting research project on ‘land law and its legal institutions’, carried out by the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi in collaboration with the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. One of the participating researchers, Dr Daniel Hammond, enthusiastically invited me to collaborate and promised practical assistance with initial logistics, which later proved to be a great asset. The next eight months were spent on learning the local language, Ashanti-Twi, taking courses in field work methodology, reading additional literature and anything else geared towards the real fieldwork.

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