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Legal Pluralism

Legal Pluralism

Author: Nigerian Institute Of Advanced Legal Studies

Category: Common, Islamic & Customary Law

Date Published: Monday, 14-January-2019 8:01:12 PM

African law in modern times consists of the common law (decisions of the superior courts,   and statutory law (Acts of the National and State legislatures, and governmental regulations); and a body of customary or indigenous laws. While the common law and statutory laws are easily discernible and documented, same is not the case with the indigenous and customary laws. Yet it is generally agreed that customary law is the governing law for most of the African personal life. African indigenous law is dynamic in that it is not static and it easily adapts to changes and developments. These characteristics of African indigenous law compound the difficulty in its ascertainment at each point in time. It is thus always difficult to tell what the law is at a point. Nonetheless for research and other purposes it is necessary to have access to what the customary law of a people was and is.