Land Law Reform in Eastern Africa : Traditional or Transformative? book cover
1st Edition

Land Law Reform in Eastern Africa
Traditional or Transformative?

ISBN 9780415833912
Published February 26, 2015 by Routledge
286 Pages

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Book Description

Land Law Reform in East Africa reviews development and changes in the statutory land laws of 7 countries in Eastern Africa over the period 1961 – 2011. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 sets up the conceptual framework for consideration of the reforms, and pursues a contrast between transformational and traditional developments; where the former aim at change designed to ensure social justice in land laws, and the latter aim to continue the overall thrust of colonial approaches to land laws and land administration. Part 2 provides an in-depth and critical survey of the land law reforms introduced into each country during the era of land law reform which commenced around 1990. The overall effect of the reforms has, Patrick McAuslan argues, been traditional: it was colonial policy to move towards land markets, individualisation of land tenure and the demise of customary tenure, all of which characterise the post 1990 reforms. The culmination of over 50 years of working in this area, Land Law Reform in East Africa will be invaluable reading for scholars of land law, and of law and development more generally.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The general theme and approach of the book; Chapter 1: The colonial land legal heritage of all the countries in the region; Chapter 2: Why the lack of any land reform; Chapter 3: Individualising land tenure in Kenya; Chapter 4: The villagisation approach in Tanzania; Chapter 5: The changed global intellectual climate to land law reform; Chapter 6: Land law reform in Zanzibar; Chapter 7: Land law reform in Mozambique; Chapter 8: Land law reform in Uganda; Chapter 9: Land law reform in Tanzania; Chapter 10: Land law reform in Somaliland; Chapter 11: Land law reform in Rwanda; Chapter 12: Land law reform in Kenya; Chapter 13: Reforms to urban planning laws: a regional perspective; Chapter 14: Gender and land law reform; Chapter 15: Conclusion on the era of reform.

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Patrick McAuslan MBE is Professor of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London


Land Law Reform in Eastern Africa offers a wealth of scholarly analysis and informed opinion. Patrick McAuslan... draws on his wide experience as an international consultant to produce a very useful, well-researched study. - Alec McEwen for Geomatica (Vol 67, No.4, 2013)

All of East Africa, law students, members of the judiciary – including Kenya’s Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga – deans of law schools, government ministers, and UN officials have been taught by McAuslan, worked with him, and been profoundly influenced by his writing... As such the book forms an important record, for scholars of land politics, of the rise and rise of land law reform in Africa. But more than this, McAuslan provides a wide-ranging review of the most important themes in land law in the region, a frank assessment of issues he might have tackled differently when advising on statutory reform, and a clear agenda for future research. - Ambreena Manji for Journal of Law and Society (Vol 41, No. 2, June 2014)

There is an enormous amount of rich, original material here, based both on the author’s extensive first-hand experiences in all the countries covered (bar Mozambique), and his knowledge of the scholarly literature. - Robin Palmer for African Affairs