4 Sources Of Nigerian Law

The sources of Nigerian law are as follows:

1. Customary Law
2. Common Law and Equity
3. Statute Law or Legislation
4. Judicial Precedents

1. Customary Law

Customary law is the law derived from custom. Customary law is therefore the law derived from the ways of life and usages of the people, community or locality which has through application over the years obtained the force of law and become accepted by the people as binding on them and as regulating their conduct or relationship. Customary law also includes Islamic Law.

Common law on the other hand is the ways of life, common usages and practices of the people in a particular matter without necessarily carrying the force of sanction. In other words, a custom may exist without the element of coercion or sanction. It is the element of coercion or sanction in the event of its breach that converts a custom into customary law.

2. Common Law

Common law (English Common Law) is the basic law that was developed by the old common law courts out of the general and local customs prevailing among the various English Communities in the early centuries. While discussing the English societies of old and its customs a rough sketch of a society in general is desirable.

A society that be described as an association of people with a measure of permanence. It comprises:

1. Territory
2. Perpetuity
3. A measure of independence
4. Culture

The culture impute manifest in the societies distinguishing art, philosophy, law, morality religion fashion, opinion.

Common law is the body of rules or law derived from judicial decisions of courts and similar tribunals.

3. Statute Law Or Legislation

Legislation may be described as law made deliberately in a set form by an authority, which the courts have accepted as competent to exercise that function. A statute, may further defined as piece of legislation made by a law making body in a Government. It is the output of a legally constituted legislative body in a representative government.

4. Judicial Precedent

Judicial precedent forms another residue of the sources of Nigerian Law. It refers to the laws derived from court decisions and it is appropriately called case law. Primary knowledge of the theory of separation of powers vests law making in the legislature. The judiciary i.e the judges have the duty of interpreting the laws made by legislature, while it is the duty of the executive to execute these laws.

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