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This study looks at a comparative analysis of common law wills and Islamic law wills Under Cameroon. English law is the common law legal system of England and Wales.

The problem identified in this research is therefore the conflict between common law and Islamic law on matters of will in Anglophone Cameroon.

The researcher, therefore, seeks to critically analyse and differentiate between common law wills and Islamic law wills.

The aim of this research is to examine wills under Common Law as well as Islamic law, to bring out problem faced in the application of common law and Islamic law in Anglophone Cameroon.

The research will also examine the nature and concept of the will under Islamic Law as well as common law, the application of common law and Islamic in Anglophone Cameroon is also discussed in this research paper, capacity and limits of testamentary powers, conditions necessary for creating a valid will, revocation and revival of a will under the Wills Act and the differences between wills under common law and Islamic law wills

                                                                 CHAPTER ONE

                                                          General introduction

1.1 Background to the study

The introduction of Islam into Cameroon via Northern Nigeria around 1715 was due to trade contacts and Islamic Jihads. By the time German colonial administrators arrived in the region, the faith had already taken root in some of the villages, which were governed by Sokoto (Nigeria), the faith’s headquarters.

For example, the Bamoun tribe in the western highlands had already given their King the Arabic title of Sultan, which means “empowerment” or “clear authority” and is used for rulers of Muslim states. With Islam came the law derived from faith, which is the result of considering divine revelations to be both religion and law binding on all who follow the faith.

However, since Muslim law on wills differs from English common law wills, we’ll start with common law wills.

English law refers to England and Wales’ common law legal system, which consists mostly of criminal and civil law, with each division having its own set of courts and procedures. It is also known as English and Welsh law, and it is used in agreements where parties agree to accept the authority of England and Wales, as well as for matters outside of England and Wales’ physical jurisdiction.

The word “common law” has its roots in the English legal system. It refers to the judge-made law that emerged from the early Middle Ages, as defined in The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I, a work published at the end of the nineteenth century. Pollock and Maitland built on Coke’s (17th century) and Blackstone’s (17th century) work (18th century).

Specifically, the law developed in England’s Court of Common Pleas and other common law courts, which became the law of the colonies formed initially under the crown of England or, later, the United Kingdom, in North America and elsewhere; and this law as it developed after those courts in England were reorganized by the Supreme Court of Judicature Acts passed in the 1870s, and devolved to the colonies in North America and elsewhere.

The term is often used to refer to the law established by those courts during the same times (pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial), as opposed to the law developed by other courts in England, such as the Court of Chancery, the ecclesiastical courts, and the Admiralty court.

Since 1189, English law has been a common law system rather than a civil law system, which means there has been no systematic codification of the law and judicial precedents are binding rather than convincing. This may be a result of the Norman conquest of England, which brought with it a variety of legal principles and institutions from Norman law.

Justices and judges in the early centuries of English common law were in charge of modifying the writ structure to suit daily needs, using a combination of precedent and common sense to create a body of internally coherent law.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Despite the presents of a good legal framework of common law and Islamic laws, there is the existence of conflict between common law principles governing wills and the concept of Wills under Islamic law. This is because Islamic laws are mostly considered customary law in most communities.

The problem identified in this research is therefore the conflict between common law and Islamic law on matters of will. The researcher, therefore, seeks to critically differentiate between common law wills and Islamic law wills

1.3 Research hypothesis

This study is predicated on the following hypothesis

There is a significant difference between common law wills and Islamic

There is no significant difference between common law wills and Islamic

1.4 Research Questions

This study is base on the following research questions

  • What are the principles governing Wills under Islamic law?
  • How are Wills looked at under common law?
  • What are the differences between common law wills and Islamic wills

1.5 objectives of the study

General objectives,

  1. To critically differentiate between common law wills and Islamic law wills

Specific objectives

  • To explore the concept of wills under common law
  • To examine wills under Islamic law


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