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C. A. Vanderpuye V. J. N. Plange & Ors (1942) LJR-WACA

C. A. Vanderpuye V. J. N. Plange & Ors (1942)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Jurisdiction in suits relating to 1,21-44—Customary law—Action relates to transactions agreed to be governed by English law—Jurisdiction of Native Tribunals—Provisions of section 48 (1) of Native Administration (Colony) Ordinance.


The action by the plaintiffs was one claiming damages for breach of a covenant of title. There were no pleadings. At the trial defendants-respondents submitted Court had no jurisdiction as it was a suit which related to the ” ownership, possession or occupation of land.”

Chief Justice upheld contention and referred parties ” to the appropriate Tribunal ” under section 65 of the Native Administration (Colony) Ordinance (Cap. 76).

Upon appeal plaintiffs raised for first time the provisions of section 48 (1) of the Native Administration (Colony) Ordinance which provides that Native Tribunals have no jurisdiction where the matter is one the parties have agreed shall be governed by law other than native customary law.


Covenant for title has no existence in native customary law and that it clearly appeared that by implication parties had agreed that their obligations should be governed by English law:

Held further that the jurisdiction of the Native Tribunal was ousted by the proviso.

Appeal allowed.

See also  C. S. Hellel V. Assistant Commissioner Of Income Tax (1952) LJR-WACA

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