• The Property Law of Ghana

    This book consists of six related but separate parts combined in thirteen continuous chapters of land law. The thirteen chapters are fundamentally concerned with the development of the customary land law through the Ghanaian courts. In the first part, the main concepts underlying land law as well as the general characteristics of land are traced and analysed. The second segment deals with the law relating to interests in land, including modes of acquisition and loss of title. Tenancies and pledges are examined in their own right. Part 3 considers the nature of the customary law family, focusing on the composition of the family, the rights of members and the role of the head of family. In Part 4, rules regarding transfer of interests are considered within the general body of case law. This is followed logically by a consideration of the applicable doctrines of English law in Part 5. The final segment directs analysis at the impact of state legislative activity on customary law.

    The rules of customary law were developed from pre-colonial times. It might be thought that the rules might be full of hoary anachronisms. The continuous decisions of the courts and the full impact of legislative activity have been the guiding hand in steering the customary land law in consonance with social and economic developments. No one argues that the customary law is in need of purgation. Principles derived from English equity jurisprudence have steadily worked their way into customary notions, particularly in the form of acquiescence, introducing equity’s peculiar element of fairness into the relevant customary law rules. Some of the perceived harshness or inadequacy of the customary land law have also been cured by legislation.

    The present work is not a mere rearrangement of emphasis of the land law. I have attempted to bring into one coherent view the ideas expressed by the established jurists. The law we work with is constantly changing. It is constantly between the hammer and the anvil, changed and reshaped by judicial and statutory intervention. New answers are found as problems without judicial precedent press for statutory solution. Where authoritative answers cannot be found for such problems, I have relied on the evidence of actual social practice. Overall this book captures the restlessness of the indigenous law and the constant push for change. Several of the topics that dominated the old texts are receding. Statute law now overshadows many areas of the customary law.

    There is considerable imbalance in the rendering of the customary land law of Ghana. Although this is a book on the customary land law of Ghana, a disproportionate number of both actual examples and case-law are drawn from southern Ghana. It reflects the general lacuna in current literature. This deficiency points to the urgent necessity of prosecuting a similar task in relation to the customary law of northern Ghana.

  • Law of Landlord and Tenant in Ghana

    The present work brings to completion my effort to state the complete law of property of Ghana. It was inspired by my earlier work on the customary land law of Ghana. The customary law remains the heart of the Ghanaian land law, but the story of the property law of Ghana is incomplete without a comprehensive account of the received law of property. The present work, therefore, brings to a full circle my efforts to state accurately and wholly the property law of Ghana. The field of Ghanaian property law is dominated by a combination of foreign and indigenous concepts. Arguably, the theoretical aspects of the property law of Ghana stand in need of resolution of the tensions between the two sources of law.

    The development of the English law of property was deeply marked by the early activities of the King’s Court and its administration of a centralised system of law as distinguished from an earlier system of localised customary law, varying from place to place. Modified by equity, its doctrines were developed from a centralised system of records. A course in property law ought to equip the student with the entire range of concepts in the field, closely analysed. Described elsewhere as a rubbish heap that has been accumulating for centuries and understood only by the professors, the English law of property does not lend itself to easy understanding. Imposing structure upon a subject comprising essentially English law of property and applying it to Ghanaian circumstances has not been easy. To help the student grasp the interlocking nature of the concepts, and to gain rounded and more profound insights about the various rights and liabilities attached to interests in land, a persistent effort is made to connect the material to Ghanaian cases and statutes.

  • An Outline of Islamic Customary Law In Ghana

    This is an altogether original work in a virgin field. About two decades ago, the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana (the only in existence at the time in the country), introduced the study of Islamic law as an aspect or jurisprudence. The decision was informed by the reality of a significant Muslim segment of the Ghanaian population. It was a brave decision. The halls of academia had never resounded to Islamic law concepts; for up to that point Islamic law was treated as a Cinderella with no place in the legal curriculum, save for a few passing references in regard to marriage and succession laws. Almost single-handedly, I set about developing a corpus of Islamic customary law relevant to the needs of Ghanaian law students. This small volume is the result of efforts to put my thoughts in essay form and to make available to students and the wider public a book-length manual on the nature of Islamic customary law in Ghana. By obtaining and analysing data elicited from community leaders, ordinary Muslims and clerics and evaluating them in the light of settled principles of Sharia law, a distinctly Ghanaian brand of Muslim law emerges. At appropriate points, material derived from court verdicts is interwoven into the text. No attempt has been made here to deal with other systems of Ghanaian family law other than the Islamic.

    The author has attempted to present the Muslim laws of family, property and succession within a reasonable compass to aid appreciation of the personal laws of substantial numbers of Ghanaians; and in a form that will be clearly understood.

    Aside from Law 111 and the Marriage of Mohammedans Ordinance, Cap 129 (1951 Rev.), Islamic law has been subject to no comprehensive legislative reform. This is perhaps to be expected as the practised law of Muslims was frequently misunderstood, and hardly recognised and understood by administrators and legislators.

    The author’s purpose will have been achieved if this book helps to free Islamic law from misconceptions common in our society.

  • Ghana Law of Wills

    The succession law of Ghana has undergone enormous change since the enactment of the Wills Act, 1971. Relevant literature has hardly kept pace with changes in statutory and judge-made law. The need for a comprehensive statement of the pertinent law has made itself felt for quite a long time. In response, several eminent jurists have grappled with some of the major problems associated with succession. The present account seeks to provide a detailed assessment, analysis, evaluation and critique of the law of wills of Ghana.

    Basically founded upon analysis of the Wills Act, 1971 of Ghana and relevant English principles, the discussion here also traverses a wider field. The end result is an opus that interweaves essentially English concepts of the law of wills with equivalent Ghanaian developments. The topics for discussion are broadened to include indigenous forms of testation.

    The book is broken into appropriate divisions and subdivisions to facilitate fuller discussion of each topic, largely along conventional formats for the analysis of the law of wills. The underlying theme is concerned with the devolution of a person’s assets upon death. Both the substantive and procedural laws are considered in some detail and on the basis of consistent principles of law. Various types of wills and rules for the making and revocation of wills as well as laws dealing with privileged wills, incorporation of documents, revival and republication, legacies and the construction of wills are analysed extensively with a view to encapsulating the corpus of the law of wills.

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