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The Nigerian Legal System through the Lens of H.L.A Hart / SYLVESTER OGBA
Swansea University Author: SYLVESTER OGBA
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Copyright: The Author, Sylvester A. Ogba, 2023.Download (1.31MB)
DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.63507
This thesis interrogates the existence and nature of Nigerian legal system from the perspective of analytical jurisprudence. It does this by looking at the fundamental requirements needed to prove the existence of a modern municipal legal system as primarily articulated by H.L.A Hart. In his celebra...
Swansea, Wales, UK
|Supervisor:||Jones, C., Iwobi, A., and Latham, A.|
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This thesis interrogates the existence and nature of Nigerian legal system from the perspective of analytical jurisprudence. It does this by looking at the fundamental requirements needed to prove the existence of a modern municipal legal system as primarily articulated by H.L.A Hart. In his celebrated work The Concept of Law, Hart postulated two minimum conditions necessary and sufficient for the existence of a modern municipal legal system: first, the primary rules of obligation that have been validated by the system’s rules of recognition, must be generally obeyed or followed by ordinary citizens. Secondly, the legal system’s rules of recognition which state the criteria of legal validity and its rules of change, as well as its rules of adjudication must be effectively accepted as common general standards of official behaviour by the public officials of the legal system. The frugality of this account makes it very attractive, and its simplicity enables this study to evaluate the existence of Nigerian legal system with a relatively compact and concise set of tools. At the level of Nigeria legal system, there has been widespread refusal comply with the foundational and authoritative rules of the Nigerian legal system. Also, there has been a problem of multiple conflicting legislations yielding to a parallel legal system. This unavoidably triggers the question of the ontological value of Nigerian legal order as a modern municipal legal system. Invariably, the pertinent question is, has Nigeria got a legal system? This thesis attempts to respond to the above question by examining the conditions necessary and sufficient for a legal order to exist as a complete legal system in a modern enlightenment, and also see whether or not, at present, such minimum requirements have been met by the Nigerian legal order. In achieving this, this study used some selected egregious cases and events to interrogate whether there is the presence of an authoritative rule of recognition in Nigerian legal order and if there is, whether Nigerian officials take the internal point of view towards it. The major findings are that: first, the Constitution, judicial precedents and international laws, all form part of the rules of recognition in Nigeria. Secondly, Nigerian officials deliberately do not take the internal point of view towards the rules of recognition so identified. Therefore, the conclusion of this dissertation is that Nigerian has got a legal order that is not worthy of being called a modern or complete legal system.
Legal system, rule, normativity, rule-of-recognition, internal-point-of-view
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences