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Review article

Intestacy Laws and the Influences of Colonialism – The Case of Kenya, in Comparison with the English and Australian Laws of Succession

Kenneth Kaunda Kodiyo orcid id ; Kenyatta University School of Law, Nairobi, Kenya

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page 93-126

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Intestacy law is derived from the traditional values, but it can be also under the influences of societies across the world. As a field of private law, the law of intestate succession can, in the long run, resist the non-voluntary, i.e., imposed reception of such rules of and forced by a coloniser. Compared to the flexible regulations, e.g., of the law of obligations, which are therefore more capable of legal transplant, intestate succession is based on deeply enrooted customs of a nation. Thus, these rules can rigidly persist under the pressure of colonisation. Kenya and Australia, two countries with significant differences in their cultural and legal traditions, were, in a diverse way, colonised by England. The article analyses the intestacy laws in these three countries, with the emphasis on Kenya. It especially discusses the reasons for pushing for strong intestacy laws to protect the widow in Kenyan Laws compared with the Australian and English Laws.


comparative law, intestate succession, colonisation, Kenyan, Australian, and the English Law of succession, formation of law of diverse countries under the same coloniser

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