A. Kolloch: Faire la magistrature au Bénin – Careers, Self-images and Independence of the Beninese Judiciary [PDF]


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With a Preface by Thomas Bierschenk
MBA Mainzer Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung Volume 46

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248 pp.
1 colour map, 10 colour photos, 3 colour diagrams, 2 colour illustrations, 2 facsimile reproductions, numerous tables and charts, appendices: List of all persons interviewed and their positions, Career paths of the magistrates interviewed by generation

Text language: English

Since 2012, judges and prosecutors in Benin have gone on strike repeatedly, sometimes for months at a time. They are protesting against sweeping accusations of corruption, irregular appointments and political influence. On 10 July 2014, the dispute between the judiciary and the government came to a head. Wearing judicial robes, the magistrates demonstrated on the streets of Porto‐Novo against the government’s bill to take away their right to strike and other freedoms.

What moved them not only to stop working again and again, but even to protest in the streets wearing their robes? What does it mean to be a magistrate and to work in this profession in this politically tense situation in Benin? Why do the magistrates act the way they do? In this book, the actions and views of state magistrates are examined and thus contribute to the larger question of how statehood functions in Africa and Benin in particular. In doing so, a portrait of a professional group which goes back to 1894 was created.

About the author:
Annalena Kolloch is a postdoctoral research fellow in the DFG-funded project Police Translations: Multilingualism and the Everyday Production of Cultural Difference at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. She studied anthropology, political science and communication studies in Mainz. From 2016 to 2019, she was a scholarship holder of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. In recognition of her excellent dissertation in anthropology, she was awarded the Sulzmann Foundation Prize. She has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Benin and Germany, as well as archival research in France.

Under these links you will find further descriptions of Beninese cultures, languages and the law system:

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