Types of Law in Nigeria

Last updated on August 3rd, 2023 at 02:16 am

The exact meaning of the law is unlikely to be resolved, but it is generally understood to be a set of regulations that are made and enforced by social or governmental institutions to control behavior. Justice has been variably referred to as both an artistic technique. Rules can be created by a body of legislators or a single lawmaker; the administration can issue decrees and regulations; or judges can set precedents, mainly in common law jurisdictions.


Property owners have the power to enact written legal agreements, such as arbitration clauses that substitute alternative dispute resolution procedures for traditional court action. A constitution, whether written or implied and the rights enshrined within may have an impact on the laws as they are being made. The rule of law influences politics, economy, history, and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.


There are some laws that you should know exist in Nigeria, law would guide you on ways to behave and be orderly. It is a form of making rules which should be obeyed by citizens. We’ll be looking at some laws the Nigerian government put in place and their classification. Enjoy your read!!

  • Public and Private Law
  • Civil Law and Criminal Law
  • Substantive and Procedural Law
  • Municipal and International Law
  • Written and Unwritten Law
  • Common Law and Equity
  • Family Law


Laws of the State, its Legal residents, and Some other Jurisdictions: Common administration is the body of rules that deals with the interactions between the State, its Residents, and Some other States. The one which controls how a larger participant, the region, interacts with a lesser defendant, the inhabitants. Judicial activism, legal systems, civil justice, humanitarian treaties, and more are important expressions of law. More so, it deals with the togetherness of the state and other states coupled with her citizens. It’s in control of the state being a higher party and the citizens being the lower party.

On the other hand, private law refers to the area of law that focuses on interactions between private individuals. Tort law, commercial transactions, trust law, and other areas are some examples. They include the law of thrust, the law of contract, the law of torts, and many more.


This law is more about the citizens, the way and manner the citizens behave and respond to the situation at hand, the law is meant to direct against violence and evil vices. Also, the law is to protect the citizen’s rights against the government’s nonchalant behavior against citizens. Examples are the law of citizenship, family law, property law, and many more.

Criminal law the criminal law takes control and regulates peaceful movement amongst citizens. with the criminal law? Individuals would tend to be of good behavior and abide by the law. Society at large honor and obey every order as it has a punishable consequence. The application of the criminal code law would be used if anyone’s found guilty.

Any case of criminality needs to be handled with utmost proof and evidence. As law activists, they’re some guide to back up the law, for instance, S.135 act 2011 evidence act. Anyone found guilty would face the wrath of the law. Meaning they would be evidence before convicting an accused person. Altogether, civil and criminal law work in hand, and all citizens are to adhere to the law strictly. To avoid being persecuted evidence and fact would be needed.


This is the main section of the law mostly in connection with the main crucial part of the law involving in criminal cases which the Criminal Code Act is implied. Including the penal code act.

Procedural Law there is a step-by-step process to which the Court must adhere to enforce substantive law. These are the rules the court leads on the administerial workforce to solve criminal cases. Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which is the procedural law with the Criminal Code Act and the Penal Code Act.


These laws are made for a certain group of people belonging to a state or specific region. The federal republic of Nigeria constitution is known to be a Municipal law which was later amended in 1999. These take effect in Nigeria only.

International law is one law made for the general public, which includes countries, it regulates peaceful existence law which every individual must abide by and peaceful connection within countries. Good examples of International law include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.


And even if a law is recorded in a publication doesn’t mean it has become a written law. Written laws are those that have been duly passed by a nation’s legislature.

On the other side, unwritten laws are those that are not passed by the legislature. Both customary and case law are included. Customary law is typically unwritten, which is one of its fundamental characteristics. The fact that case law is not enacted by the legislature makes it unwritten law even though it is documented in a written form.


Common law, as used in law, refers to the rules established by the former King’s Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer common law courts.

English common law is an illustration of such a law because it is a rule that applies to all of England. The law is mostly unwritten and evolves as a result of people’s habits, customs, and way of life. The first common law judge was the King. People who brought disagreements before the King was usually settled.


Family law deals with issues including divorce, child custody, adoption, and the revocation of parental rights that are connected to family ties. These cases frequently involve children, and some of them involve trying situations like child abuse or marital violence.


We have carefully highlighted all, individuals are meant to adhere strictly to every part of the law.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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