history and geography.
At this early stage, the universities were at liberty in the development of the curricula and teaching method.
In practice however, the curricula menu and method of teaching did not deviate significantly from the curriculum structure in the United Kingdom.
While the names and contents of the courses were localized such as Nigerian Constitutional Law, Nigerian Criminal Law, etc, along with enactment of local legislations, their philosophical undertones and case law were heavily English Common Law, and there was prescription to apply certain statutes of general application and principles of equity.3 These were reinforced by the rules which prescribed a requirement of proof and compatibility as pre-condition for the enforcement of customary and domestic laws.
It needs to be stated that this interpretation does not discount the immense scholarly work of the pioneers of legal education in Nigeria, who apart from offering the best in the tradition of the common law legal education, also produced excellent scholarly materials. The aim of the interpretation therefore is to refocus attention on the philosophy and structure of legal education in Nigeria to assess whether it could have been different given the general legal framework provided with the possibility of producing Nigerian Lawyers who have the skill and mental preparation to solve problems that are uniquely domestic and Nigerian and capacity to be effective at the global stage.
The inevitable conclusion is that the educational system both at the university degree level focused on disconnected individual subjects and their contents with little attention to concepts, issues, philosophy and policy considerations underlying that area of Law, with students unable to see the big picture by themselves.4 With progressive
3 Obilade: “The Nigerian Legal System”, 1979 Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell (London)
4 TAN CHENG HAN “Challenges to Legal Education in a Changing Landscape – Singapore”