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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Islamic law and legal hybridity in Nigeria
Author:Lawan, MammanISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Law (ISSN 0021-8553)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Islamic law
criminal law
legal systems
Abstract:The British colonial administration created a hybrid legal system in Nigeria where English, Islamic and customary laws apply. The English system, having a written constitution, was made dominant and the other laws apply to the extent permitted by it. However, Muslims in the northern part of the country have been making efforts to reverse this dominance, including the recent re-introduction of Islamic criminal law by 12 states. This effort is seen to be revolutionary, reverting the states to the position when Islamic law applied in full, devoid of colonial influence. This article asks whether this can break the legal hybridity and answers in the negative, arguing instead that the effort accentuates the hybridity. For example, the re-introduction of Islamic criminal law is enabled by the constitution, the constitution institutionalizes the hybridity and the 12 states operate, and are bound by, the constitution. The article discusses other variables depicting the hybridity and concludes that it was a conscious colonial act, nearly impossible to break. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]