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Sources of Land Law in Tanzania:

At a glance

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Tanzania was under German colonial rule from 1893 to 1916 and British rule from 1917 to 1961. The country attained its independence in 1961.Before colonialism land holding was based on customary laws of the different tribes in Tanzania. The elders had the powers of land administration in trust for the community. These powers continued through the colonial era though they were limited by the newly introduced German and later British land tenure system under which all lands were declared to be crown and public Pmanase 2011 lands respectively.

After independence in 1961 the government underwent a number of reforms in land tenure. Some new laws were enacted and some of the colonial and customary land laws were retained; currently some of the sources of land laws include;
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The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania:

The constitution of the united republic of Tanzania (1977) as amended from time to time is the fundamental law of the land and by virtue of the principles it carries, it is also one of the laws that must be considered in dealing with land matters in the country. The constitution provides for the right of an individual to own property, to protection of that property and for a fair and adequate compensation in case any person is deprived of his property.

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Received and Applied laws:

These are laws established under section 2(3) of the
Judicature and Application of Laws Act, chapter 358 of the laws of Tanzania (JALA). They include common law, the doctrine of Equity, statutes of general application of England applicable before 22 July 1920 which is deemed to

be the reception date for English Law in Tanzania. Received

laws are subject to legislation passed in or for the territory.
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English laws are applied only in so far as the circumstances of the territory permit, and are subject to such qualifications as local circumstances render necessary. In the JALA the reception date is retained as July 22nd however, the provisions contained in the land ordinance 1923 cannot be overlooked. It stated that the reception date is January 1, 1922. It provided that the law of real property, mortgages, leases, trusts and trustees and the law and practice of conveyancing in force in England on the a January 1, 1922 shall be in force in Tanzania. However they are subject to the same limitations contained in the 1920 order in council.

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Islamic law:
Section 11 of the Judicature and Application of Laws Act also provide for the application of Islamic and customary laws. It empowers courts to apply Islamic laws to matters of succession in communities that generally follow Islamic law in matters of personal status and inheritance. However Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act, the rules of customary law and the rules of Islamic law do not apply in regard to any matter provided for in the Law of Marriage Act. Also the court shall not apply any rule or practice of customary law which is abolished, prohibited, punishable, declared unlawful or expressly or impliedly disapplied or superseded by any written law.

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