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Pre-colonial Criminal Justice in West Africa: Eurocentric Thought Versus Africentric Evidence

David Dalgleish


Through the process of Eurocentric pro-colonialist propaganda people have been, and continue to be, led to assume that the European colonialists brought criminal justice and law and order to Africa. This article challenges those assumptions by using the work of scholars of African history to highlight the existence of criminal justice systems in Africa, in particular pre-colonial West Africa. In the context of a modern society dedicated to removing the tenets of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, this work will hopefully inspire other criminologists to continue to address this under-researched area of criminology, and reassess how historical criminal justice in Africa has been viewed.

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Editors: Africa Knowledge Project.

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