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Customary Law

Customary Law Advocates

What is Customary Law?

Customary law comprises the customs and usages traditionally observed among the indigenous African peoples of South Africa. In terms of section 211 of the Constitution, the Courts must apply customary law when that law is applicable, subject to the Constitution and any legislation that specifically deals with customary law.

Customary law is living law in the sense that it is flexible and changes over time due to changing circumstances. It is mostly unwritten and is different for different indigenous groups. It covers a range of areas including marriage, succession, traditional land rights, burials, and traditional leadership.