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Ong, D.S.K. (1972) Legal aspects of constitutional breakdown in the Commonwealth, with particular reference to Nigeria and Southern Rhodesia. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This Thesis aspires to examine and review the recent authoritative analyses of the legal aspects of constitutional breakdown in the Commonwealth, with particular reference to Nigeria and Southern Rhodesia. This work, concerned as it is with legal issues, does not examine the political aspects of constitutional breakdowns. Adherence to the title of this Thesis has thus required the exclusion therein of important political events like the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) and the Pearce Report (1972), CMND. 4964, on opinion in Southern Rhodesia. The Thesis commences with an outline of Kelsen's Theory of Legal Norms because controversy has centred on his concept of the Grundnorm in relation to the change of government. This is followed in Chapter 2 by the background to the breakdown in Nigeria as well as the breakdown itself. The reaction of the Nigerian Judiciary is examined in Chapter 3, and Chapter 4 offers a Critique of this reaction. Southern Rhodesia is introduced in Chapter 5 with a background to the breakdown in 1965 Chapter 6 presents a conspectus of the breakdown with mention of the measures adopted by the United Kingdom and Southern Rhodesia Governments, respectively, to assert their attitudes towards U.D.I. The different responses of the Judiciaries in Southern Rhodesia and the United Kingdom are the subject- matter of Chapter 7. On this subject-matter Chapter 8 attempts a Critique. The Critiques in Chapters 4 and 8 are specifically directed to Nigeria and Southern Rhodesia, respectively. The Critique in Chapter 9 - the Concluding Critique - concentrates on the nature of legal orders in general; this Critique suggests a basis of legal analysis, which, it is hoped, avoids some of the confusion and complexity which have been precipitated by judicial and academic opinion.

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

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