The Moral Resources of Constitutions in Africa and the Three Problems to Interpretation?

Peter Atudiwe Atupare


This paper attempts to conceive the constitutions of African states in the post-colonial context, especially Ghana and Nigeria, as laws in a manner that will reflect the moral resources necessary to protect the wellbeing of their people. This is expected to be done through judicial interpretation of the constitutions. But this project might be frustrated by three problems. The problems of the multicultural strings; the colonial and post-colonial dualism; and the transitional democratic premises of these states. Notwithstanding these problems, I argue that the best value by which constitutions in Ghana and Nigeria can be assigned through judicial interpretation is adherent to a particular theory of law that priorities reason over the positivist character of the constitutions.

Keywords: Constitution, Positivism, Constitutional Interpretation, Multicultural Strings, Post-Colonial Dualism, Transitional Democratic Premise, Moral Resources of Constitution, Fundamental Law, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Constitutional Positivism.

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/120-16

Publication date: April 30th 2022

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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