The Sudanese team of the Andromaque project held a first Workshop in Khartoum in the reading room of the CEDEJ, on Sunday 24th November, from 10:00 am to 17:00 pm.
Andromaque is the acronyme for Anthropologie du Droit dans les Mondes Musulmans Africains et Asiatiques (Law Anthropologie in the African and Asian Muslim Worlds), a scientific research project supported by the French ANR (National Agency for Research) and led by Baudoin Dupret, director of the Centre Jacques Berque (Rabat, Morocco). It was launched in 2011 and will be achieved at the end of 2014. Its aim is to inquiry the relation between different sources of law (mainly customary and Islamic law) starting from the observation of actual legal practices and related social dynamics among Muslim groups in various regional contexts (Morocco and Sudan in Africa, India and Indonesia in Asia). It is coordinated with Prometee, a project whose aims and issues focus on the same approach and which analyzes similar situations of “legal pluralism” in Mauritania, Algeria and Lebanon.
The Andromaque Sudan Team gathered 6 European and Sudanese researchers, whose main background is social anthropology, and has recently integrated 2 researchers with a law background. The members of the research team are: Barbara Casciarri (anthropologist, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, France, team’s scientific coordinator); François Ireton (socio-economist, CNRS, France); Yazid Ben-Hounet (anthropologist, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, France); Munzoul Assal and Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil (Department of Anthropology, UoK); Zahir M. Abdelkarim (anthropologist, PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute, Germany); Mohamed Abdessalam Babiker (Department of Law, UoK) and Philippe Gout (PhD in Law, University Paris II Panthéon Assas, France).
The main topics tackled by the research team are: issues of land property and transmission in contemporary Sudan (pastoral collective “tribal” lands; agricultural land along the Nile Valley; residential land in the peripheral areas of Greater Khartoum); processes of conflicts’ legal resolution in various contexts (“informal courts” in IDPs areas around the capital town; mechanisms for settlement of disputes between farmers and pastoralists in the Eastern region; trials in “state courts” of Khartoum); overviews of the evolution of legal system(s) in Sudan concerning mainly land ownership, customary and statutory courts, and the relation between international law and shari’a law concerning the definition of minorities.
The aim of the workshop was to present the evolution of the various fieldwork cases, to establish a stronger relation between the social anthropology and the law approaches to legal practices and systems in contemporary Sudan and to link them to the wider common questions raised by the Andromaque project as a whole. The participants to the workshop also discussed the project of an edited book, that should be published soon after the end of the research program (2014) and would hopefully represent an interesting contribution for an interdisciplinary insight to this domain (legal practices and normative law systems) that is so crucial for understanding social dynamics in contemporary Sudan. Another meeting of the Andromaque Sudan Team would be held between February and March 2014, whose aim will be both the follow up of the editorial project and the organization of a final open workshop for the end of 2014.