The Place Of Law In National Development

Posted On 8 October, 2015

In the last week of August, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) held its 55th Annual General Conference which had a theme that has resonated through ages – “Lawyers and National Development”. The role of law in the development of human societies cannot be overemphasized. Man’s journey through history, has therefore been constantly shaped by law in its various forms including customs, norms, edicts, rules, regulations, legislation and judicial precedents, such that it would have been impossible for humanity, in its various spheres of evolution, to have survived without the instrumentality of the law.

Law’s greatest gift to mankind, perhaps, is the evolution of Fundamental Human Rights as inalienable rights; recognized in virtually all jurisdictions worldwide. The basis of the existence of civil, economic and social freedom, guaranteed in democratic societies, is traceable to these inalienable rights that have now been universally codified and given the force of law.

This article traces the origin of the nexus between law and development from the ante-diluvian age to the days of the Magna Carta in medieval England, then to the post-World War II era and today’s increasingly integrated global economy. Taking the Nigerian experience over the years as a case study, the law shall be shown as an indispensable vehicle of development and advancement of a people and a nation, wherever.

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