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INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL METHOD

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Abstract

This book was published in 2001 with the title ‘Lecture Notes on Legal Methods”. Since that publication new ideas and principles were uncovered and I felt it was beneficial to incorporate these in the book in order to enrich its contents. The areas of the law and freedom, law and sovereignty, legalism, use of research materials, natural law theory, legislative process and open texture have been greatly updated or introduced. Legal method is a compulsory core law subject. It seems to be amalgam of various theories of law, as it touches virtually various facets of law courses. This makes the subject diverse in content. Available text books wherein principle relevant to legal method are found and written by eminent jurists, revealing the fact that the degree of analysis of legal theories, articulation, language and presentation of relevant materials in such text books, have their advantages and disadvantages. For the young students in their first year of study of law, books of such nature, presents conceptual difficulty , vis-a-vis understanding of legal theories and legal terminologies. This is a disadvantage. Again, since there is presently no comprehensive text-book on the subject, it means toil may be wasted and precious time- lost as a result of students having to consult a host of textbooks only to discover that analysis of theories are far beyond their comprehension. This makes learning boring and frustrating. This book therefore, aims at providing a panacea for this hardship. It was this realization that prompted this work. The main objective, therefore, is to provide a comprehensive volume written within the framework of the syllabus for legal method. This book is written basically for undergraduate students in their threshold of legal education. Nevertheless, adherent of legal institutions will find this book useful to update or renew their knowledge on certain aspects of legal jurisprudence. As an author is always indebted to a number of people who rendered some assistance to him in producing a book, I would like to express my profound gratitude to the entire library staff, Faculty of Law, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. (where I spent some years during my doctorate programme) who proved of immense assistance to the research effort that accounted for updating the contents of this book. My sincere thanks also go to those who played a role one way or the other to the production of this book.
Suleiman Ikpechukwu Oji
INTRODUCTION TO
LEGAL METHOD
New Edition
Suleiman Ikpechukwu Oji, Ph.D
Lecturer, Faculty of Law,
Usman Danfodiyo University
Sokoto, Nigeria
ABABA PRESS LTD
Published by
Ababa Press Ltd
59, Oyo Road, Coca Cola Area
Sango, Ibadan.
08033521050, 08033521127,
(e-mail: ababa bks2003@yahoo.com)
© Suleiman Ikpechukwu Oji, Ph.D
ISBN: 978-978-48099-8-6
First Published 2011
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Other than for reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without
the permission o f the copyright owner and the publishers.
Cataloguing in Publication Data
Suleiman Ikpechukwu Oji, Ph.D
In t rod u c tio n to L e gal M eth o d
New Edition
xii
includes bibliographic, references and index
1.Law - Nigeria
PREFACE
This book was published in 2001 with the title ‘Lecture Notes on
Legal Methods”. Since that publication new ideas and principles
were uncovered and I felt it was beneficial to incorporate these in
the book in order to enrich its contents. The areas of the law and
freedom, law and sovereignty, legalism, use of research materials,
natural law theory, legislative process and open texture have been
greatly updated or introduced.
Legal method is a compulsory core law subject. It seems to be
amalgam of various theories of law, as it touches virtually various
facets o f law courses. This makes the subject diverse in content.
Available text books wherein principle relevant to legal method are
found and written by eminent jurists, revealing the fact that the
degree of analysis o f legal theories, articulation, language and
presentation o f relevant materials in such text books, have their
advantages and disadvantages. For the young students in their first
year o f study o f law, books o f such nature, presents conceptual
difficu lty , vis-a-vis understanding o f legal theories and legal
terminologies. This is a disadvantage. Again, since there is presently
no comprehensive text-book on the subject, it means toil may be
wasted and precious time- lost as a result of students having to
consult a host of textbooks only to discover that analysis o f theories
are far beyond their comprehension. This makes learning boring
and frustrating. This book therefore, aims at providing a panacea
for this hardship.
It was this realization that prompted this work. The main
objective, therefore, is to provide a comprehensive volume written
within the framework of the syllabus for legal method. This book is
written basically for undergraduate students in their threshold o f
legal education. Nevertheless, adherent of legal institutions will find
this book useful to update or renew their knowledge on certain
aspects of legal jurisprudence. As an author is always indebted to a
number of p eople who rendered some assistance to him in
producing a book, I would like to express my profound gratitude
to the entire library staff, Faculty of Law, Ahmadu Bello University
Zaria. (where I spent some years during my doctorate programme)
v
who proved of immense assistance to the research effort that
accounted for updating the contents of this book. My sincere thanks
also go to those who played a role one w ay or the other to the
production of this book.
Sulieman Ikpechukwu Oji,
(P h.D )
vi
CONTENTS
Preface..................................................................................... v
Contents....................................................................................... v/i
Tables of Statutes.......................................................................... x
Table of Cases................................................................................ xi
Abbreviations............................................................................... xii
A. CHAPTER ONE - NATURE OF LAW
1. Nature of La w
.....................................................................
1
2. Natural law School................................................................3
3. The Early Greek philosophers
................................................
4
4. The Stoic Philosophers...........................................................6
5. The Positivist Sch ool.............................................................. 7
6. The Sociological School...................................................... 10
7. Historical School-German, Positivists
...........................
12
8. Historical School - The British Theoris ts
.............................
13 ,
9. Nature and Functions of Law in S ocie ty
...........................
15
10. Law and Legitimacy............................................................ 22
11. Law and Justice..................................................................24
12. Law and Sovereignty...........................................................30
13. Law and Morality................................................................37
14. Law and the State................................................................43
15. Law and Freedom................................................................44
B. CHAPTER TWO - ASPECTS OF LAW
1. Aspects o f Law- types of Law-Classification o f L a w
..........
53
2. Eternal L a w .........................................................................53
3. Divine L aw
.........................................................................
55
4. Human or Positive L a w
.......................................................
56
5. Common La w ......................................................................57
6. Equ ity................................................................................ 58
7. Civil Law and Criminal La w
................................................
61
8. Public and Private L aw
........................................................
62
9. Written and Unwritten L a w
................................................
62
vii
C. CHAPTER THREE - METHODS OF SOCIAL CONTROL
THROUGH LAW
1. Methods o f Social Control through L a w
.............................
64
2. The Panel Technique
..........................................................
70
3. The Grievance - Remedial Technique
..................................
72
4. The Private Arranging Technique
.......................................
73
5. The Constitutive Technique
.................................................
74
6. The Administrative - Regulatory Technique
........................
75
7. The Fiscal M ethod................................................................ 75
8. The Conferral of Social Benefits technique..........................75
D. CHAPTER FOUR - LEGAL REASONING AND APPROACH
TO PROBLEMS
1. Legal Reasoning and Approach to Problems .......................77
2. Language o f the Law
...........................................................
79
3. Standard, Principles and Issues in L a w
..............................
82
4. Legal Rhetoric and Legal L o gic
...........................................
83
5. L egalism ...............................................................................84
6. Legislative Process...............................................................90
7 The Open texture of L a w
...................................................
99
E. CHAPTER FIVE - LEGAL REASONING IN JUDICIAL
PROCESS
1. Legal Reasoning in Judicial Process ..................................107
2. Ratio decidendi
..................................................................
108
3. Precedent........................................................................... I l l
F. CHAPTER SIX - LEGAL REASONING IN LEGISLATION
1. Legislative Drafting
...........................................................
116
2. Construction of Statute
.....................................................
120
3. Types of Legislation
...........................................................
126
4. Codification o f Law
....................
130
5. Vagueness
..........................................................................
134
6. Ambiguity
..........................................................................
138
vm
G. CHAPTER SEVEN -SOURCES OF LAW
1. Sources of Law
......................................................
244
2. Primary Sources..................................................... 144
3. Secondary Sources..................................................... 245
4. Significance o f Legislation as a source of l a w
...................
146
5. Sources o f Nigerian L a w
..........................................
Z......149
H. CHAPTER EIGHT - THE USE OF SOURCE MATERIALS
I. Use of Source M aterials......................................... 259
2. Guided tour o f the library......................................... 261
3. Legal Research
..........................................................
266
4. Indexing and Classification o f Library materials
............
172
5. Law and Fa ct
........................................
...............
279
I. CHAPTER NINE - AUTHORITATIVE ELEMENTS IN BOOKS
AND JUDICIAL OPINIONS, ANALYZING AND NOTE
TAKING
I. Authoritative elements in books and judicial opinions
analyzing and note ta king
................................................
285
J. CHAPTER TEN - USE OF AUTHORITIES IN LEGAL
ARGUMENTS AND LEGAL WRITING.
1. Use of Authorities in Legal Arguments and Legal Writing
........
194
2. Legal writ in g ............................................................... 298
3. Method/Style of Writing .......................................... 206
Itidcjc
.......
.
......................
.
.....
.
209
IX
TABLES OF STATUTES
1. African Charter on Human and Peoples Right
2. European Community Act 1972
3. Criminal Code. (Cap 77. Laws o f the Federation. 1990)
4. Sokoto State Shariah Penal Code 2000
5. Judicature Act 1873
6. Penal Code (Cap.89. Laws o f the Federation. 1990)
7. Evidence Act (Cap .112.Laws of the Federation. 1990)
8. Wills Act 1837
9. W ills Amendment Act 1858
10. Ordinance No.3.1862
11. Constitution o f Federal Republic of Nigeria.
x
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ASPECTS OF LAW 1. Aspects of Law-types of Law-Classification of L a w
  • B Chapter
B. CHAPTER TWO -ASPECTS OF LAW 1. Aspects of Law-types of Law-Classification of L a w.......... 53
Significance of Legislation as a source of la w
  • . . . Am
Am biguity.......................................................................... 138 4. Significance of Legislation as a source of la w...................146
USE OF SOURCE MATERIALS I. Use of Source Materials
  • H Chapter
H. CHAPTER EIGHT -THE USE OF SOURCE MATERIALS I. Use of Source Materials.........................................
266 4. Indexing and Classification of Library materials
  • Legal . . . Research
Legal Research.......................................................... 266 4. Indexing and Classification of Library materials............ 172
African Charter on Human and Peoples Right 2. European Community Act 1972 3. Criminal Code. (Cap 77. Laws o f the Federation
  • Tables
TABLES OF STATUTES 1. African Charter on Human and Peoples Right 2. European Community Act 1972 3. Criminal Code. (Cap 77. Laws o f the Federation. 1990)