Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya

Volume 7, Issue 2, December 2015

Ronald Olufemi Badru
Pages 11-39

Colonial Legal Reasoning in the Post-Colonial African State
A Critique and a Defense of the Argument from African Metaphysical Epistemology

This article focuses on legal reasoning and legal epistemology within the African context. It examines the system of legal justice in post-colonial Africa and submits that because of the colonial legacy, post-colonial African legal reasoning is methodologically founded on empiricism and positivism. It avers that despite its merit of scientific objectivity, such legal reasoning is largely incapable of addressing offences committed through the manipulation of metaphysical realities or other forms of covert criminalities and wrongdoing. Consequently, the article proposes that the methodology of African metaphysical epistemology be adopted to complement the colonial methodology of legal reasoning in Africa, as it has the advantageous result of helping in the search for truth concerning such offences, thereby promoting the delivery of effective legal justice, and thus contributing significantly to the development of a balanced and reliable justice system in contemporary African societies. The methods of critical analysis, reflective argumentation and oral interview were adopted to pursue the goals of the study.