The question, “What is customary law?”, poses a number of different problems. It can (and no doubt it will) give rise to answers which stem from differing interpretations of the sort of discussion that it is attempting to stimulate. It is fair to suppose that some of these will deal with the jurisprudential aspects of customary law, and its relation to other branches of the law. Others may cover the purely procedural and administrative factors that govern the application of customary law in various countries. And yet others may choose to emphasize the changing nature of customary law and the doubts which surround the precise details of its future in many contemporary countries.
1 Lecturer in African Law (and formerly Research Officer, Restatement of African Law Project), School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.