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Daniels, William C.E. (1962) English law in West Africa: The limits of its application. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Many people know that English law has been received in the four countries of West Africa, namely. The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria; but few people realise that English law applies in West Africa "so far only as the limits of the local jurisdiction and local circumstances permit and subject to any existing or future local Ordinance". The object of this thesis, therefore, is to show the limits placed on the application of English law in West Africa. It is divided into four train parts. Part One deals with the evolution of the judicial systems which are modelled on the English pattern. A separate chapter gives a synopsis of the present judicial systems. Part Two is devoted to the general principles governing the reception of English law in the former British colonies with special reference to West Africa. English law comprises the common law, the doctrines of Equity and statutes. Succeeding chapters deal with the reception of each of the three elements of English law in West Africa. Part Three relates to the application of the common law of England in West Africa and the condition of its applicability. Some distinctive features of the common law, for example, judicial precedents, the jury system, prerogative writs, the independence of the judges, contract, tort and criminal law are discussed. Part Four deals with the influence of equity both on the general law and on the application of customary laws in West Africa. Part Five relates to the application of English statutes of general application, some of which are deemed to be in force in West Africa depending on the date of the reception of English law. The common law of West Africa can, therefore, be defined as embracing the three elements of English law and the local modifications made on their application.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:11

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