IntLawGrrls is pleased to introduce our guest blogger for today, Professor Fatou Kiné Camara (left). Kiné is Associate Professor of Law at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, where for almost twenty years she has taught Family Law, International Law (private aspects), International Arbitration and Dispute Settlement, and African Customary Law. (The New York Times did a story on the university, which can be found here.)
Kiné's research and writing centers on African customary law with an emphasis on feminist jurisprudence from an African perspective. Kiné is the author of two books (in French), Power and Justice in Black People’s Tradition and Matrimony in Black People’s Tradition, and is hard at work on her third, Propositions for a Democratic, Humanist and Developed Africa, which will provide a detailed blueprint on adapting Ancient Africa’s social, economic, and political structures to current challenges facing the continen a range of areas:
► "establishing a true democracy at every level of society";
► "implementing an effective industrialisation program"; and
► "changing the philosophy of the criminal law system."
A prolific writer, Kiné’s law review articles are too numerous to cite here, but a sampling includes: Women and the Law - A Critique of the Senegalese Family Law (Social Identities Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, Volume 13 Issue 6, 787), The Constitution of the Wolof Monarchies and the Lebu Republic: Addressing Gender in a Secular and Representative Democracy, (Droit Sénégalais, n°6, Nov. 2007), and Research on African Customary Law: A Proposed Methodology (Revue de Droit Sénégalais, n°5, November 2006). She was a visiting professor at Griffith Law School in Brisbane, Australia, and Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis, Senegal, and was a faculty member in a seminar led by Richard Goldstone (former Justice of the South African Constutitonal Court and the first chief prosecutor in the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) entitled “Reconciling Religion and Culture in a Constitutional Framework.” When she is not teaching, writing or traveling, Kiné is an exceptional visual artist; her work was showcased at a gallery in Washington, D.C.
Kiné was recently invited to present a paper on African Customary law at a conference hosted by Fordham's Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, and her post below provides a glimpse at that forthcoming presentation. Kiné dedicates her guest post to Lingeer Ndaté Yàlla (depicted below). “Lingeer” is roughly translated from the Wolof (one of Senegal’s languages) as “queen,” although Kiné notes that in the West a queen is either the spouse of the king, or a woman who rules alone on the throne. By contrast, the Lingeer—who may be married—holds the title of counselor to the king, but she effectively holds true political power. As head of the kingdom of Waalo, Lingeer Yàlla, who joins IntLawGrrls' transnational foremothers listed at right, fought the French colonial army until her troops were defeated in 1855. You can read more on her life in French here and here, and in the English-language children's book depicting her at left.