THE National House of Chiefs (NHC), in collaboration with the Law Reform Commission, is conducting research to ascertain the customary law on land and family in selected traditional areas in the country.
The traditional areas are Offinso and Tepa (Ashanti), Duayaw Nkwanta, Nkoranza (Brong – Ahafo), Eguafo, Assin Atandanso (Central), Akuapem, Yilo Krobo (Eastern) and Kpone and Osudoku (Greater Accra).
The rest are Gonja and Mamprusi (Northern), Bolga, Paga (Upper East), Kaleo, Nandom (Upper West), Asogli, Kete Krachi (Volta) and Lower Axim and Sefwi Chirano (Western).
Known as the Ascertainment and Codification of Customary Law Project (ACLP), the project is partly in fulfilment of Article 272 (b) of the 1992 Constitution.
The project is being supported by the German Development Co-operation (GTZ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Addressing a regional validation workshop in Wa, the National Research Co-ordinator of the ACLP, Mr Thomas Tagoe, said the main objective of the project was to carry out the progressive study, interpretation and codification of customary law with a view to evolving, in appropriate cases, a unified system of rules of customary law.
He said currently 20 traditional areas in the country were being piloted to ascertain customary law on land and family in additional customary legal communities with validations.
According to him, the project was being undertaken in three phases, with two traditional areas from each of the 10 administrative regions.
Mr Tagoe explained that the phase one would involve data collection and literature review, among other issues.
“In the phase two of the project, additional variations of customary laws from about 30 traditional areas will be collected on land and family law,” he added.
Mr Tagoe said within the final stages of the project, it was expected that consultations would be held with traditional leaders from other traditional areas, which were not involved in the process of data collection.
That, he said, would give them the opportunity to review the findings of the ascertained law and identify variations from their communities.
A member of the Joint Steering Committee of the Project, Dr Henry Daannaa, gave the assurance that other traditional areas would be roped in after the validation workshops.