Kuukua, Winneba Dear Kuukua, Customary law is the ongoing practices of people in a particular community which over time has crystallised into law..
According to the Constitution, such customs which have been acknowledged as lawful practices are part of the laws of Ghana and are applied and given effect to by the courts.
One of such customary practices we experience in various communities is death, inheritance and disposal of a deceased person’s estate..
Some of these customs have been refined to suit modern societal practices and unified by legislation and now applicable to the entire country irrespective of what views or customary practices were practised in the past by communities..
One legislation which has made inroads into customary practices and unified the law on Intestate succession across the country is the Intestate Succession Act of 1985, PNDC Act 111..
As a general rule, courts have been very reluctant to substitute their opinion for what customs and practices of communities should or should not be observed unless the custom or practice is contrary to a mandatory provision of statute or contrary to natural justice, equity and good conscience.
The concept or notion that the successor of a deceased who died intestate has to maintain the children of the deceased as if they were his own children, and also to marry or inherit the widows, as if they were ‘inheritable chattels’ no longer prevails, if we were to measure such practices against the 1992 Constitution.