This Essay is an attempt to make sense of the author's experiences working with legal reform in Eritrea. Specifically, what might drive people who are intelligent and informed to create statutes that: (a) probably will not work (the problem of "legal absorption" or "legal transplants"); or (b) if applied will have adverse consequences. In this Essay, the author: Gives a brief introduction on Eritrea; uses an Eritrean intellectual property example to illustrate why countries adopt laws that seem opposed to their interests; gives a brief history of Africa and the transplantation of Western law; gives a brief history of Tax Law in sub-Saharan Africa; moves to a specific Eritrean example and show why we would expect Eritrea to avoid some of the problems; gives examples of how Eritrea has failed to avoid problems confronted by other sub-Saharan African States; and finally presents a possible explanation for the Eritrean drive toward Western legal models.
Beverly I. Moran,
Homogenized Law: Can the United States Learn from African Mistakes?,
25 Fordham Int'l L.J. 361
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol25/iss2/2