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An overview of the ontological basis of African jurisprudence

Chijioke Uzoma Agbo


Life for the African is encapsulated in his understanding of the concept of ontology in which ‘beings’ and ‘forces’ are hierarchically ordered. A distortion of this order affects the African’s ‘vital force’ and consequent ‘vital rank’. This understanding underlies the African conception of law and juridical restitution as regulating communal life and interaction. This paper posits that the whole concept of African jurisprudence is informed by African ontology. And therefore, an understanding of African jurisprudence must be predicated on an understanding of African ontology.

Keywords: Ontology, Basis, African Jurisprudence, Overview