The Judicial System in Southern Nigeria 1854-1954

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London: Longman Group Limited

Chapter 1- Law as an agency, Chapter 2- The establishment of new courts of law, 1854-1908, Chapter 3- The courts in action, 1854-1914, Chapter 4- Lawyers and the administration, 1865-1914, Chapter 5- Judicial reorganisation, 1914, Chapter 6- The provincial and the ‘native’ courts, 1914-33, Chapter 7- Judicial reforms, 1933-54, Chapter 8- The Supreme Court, 1914-54

This book has been written in the firm conviction that the legal historian should be concerned with much more than merely ‘documenting’ the law or the establishment of legal institutions. That approach, incidentally, has, so far, characterised the extant writings on the contemporary African legal and judicial institutions. The ‘reception’ of European law in African countries is taken for granted; the processes of establishing judicial tribunals are often discussed, as it were, in vacuo, without any reference to the circumstances of their establishment or the purposes which they were intended to serve. Law is vaguely recognised in some of these writings as aninstrument of social change, but the writers stop short of proving their contention by actual inquiries into the practical operation of the law or of the courts of law. The province of law, like history, covers almost the whole range of human existence. A true historical account of the role of the law and the courts in any community should, therefore, take cognisance of the milieu in which they were operating.