Call for Papers: Customary Law and Legal Pluralism in Africa: Panel in Honour of Professor Gordon Woodman

Call for Papers

Customary Law and Legal Pluralism in Africa: Panel in Honour of Professor Gordon Woodman.

African Studies Association UK Conference

Birmingham, 11th-13th September 2018


Cardiff Law and Global Justice invites contributions to this panel which honours and reflects on the work of Gordon Woodman, a pioneering and world-renowned scholar of law in Africa and legal theory. Sadly, Professor Woodman passed away on 24th October 2017. His intellectual achievements, his engagement as a teacher and mentor, and his contribution to academic life at the University of Birmingham and elsewhere have been widely praised.

Having started his career at the University of Ghana in 1961, Gordon Woodman’s work on customary land law in that country has been extremely influential. His book Customary Land Law in the Ghanaian Courts as well as his 2nd edition of Ollennu’s Principles of Customary Land Law in Ghana remain authoritative texts. This contribution was honoured in 2016 when he was made a Member of the Order of the Volta.

More widely Gordon Woodman was one of the world’s most important authors on customary law and a pioneering scholar of legal pluralism.  His standing in the academic legal community was reflected in the conferral of honorary doctorates by the University of Bayreuth (Germany) and the University of Ghana.

We invite proposals for papers addressing all areas of Gordon Woodman’s work and the general themes which he engaged with over his distinguished career: Ghanaian Law, Land Law, Customary Law, Legal Pluralism, Law and Social Change, and Legal Philosophy.

We particularly welcome proposals from scholars working on or based in West Africa, including early career scholars.

This panel is co-sponsored with the University of Birmingham Law School. It forms part of a stream on Constitutions, Law and Justice hosted by Cardiff Law and Global Justice as part of the ASA UK 2018 Conference.

If you have any queries or suggestions, please contact John Harrington(