Ratio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio Decidendi


(1959) JELR 69607 (HC)    
High Court  ·  25 Jun 1959 ·  Ghana
Other Citations
[1964] GLR 1

Ratio Decidendi

Core Terms Beta
english law
customary law
native law
native customary law
present case
following form
learned judge
mr. j. b. cobbina ackon
additional words
earlier case
intention of both parties
judgment of the full court
nature of the document
notes of hand
promissory notes
time of the transaction
adumua-bossman j.
appellant have
appellant’s plea
application of the provisions of that section
business transaction
circumstances of the alleged sale of the goods
clear-enough indication
detailed evidence
difficult question
evidence of the parties
general law
important point of law
judgment of the district magistrate
making of the transactions
material evidence of the respondent
native customary procedure
particular manner
part of the observations of the learned judge
pledge of land
point of view
respondent’s claim
said document
such case
supreme court of the right
transaction of mortgage
written agreement
written document


The appeal is against a judgment of the District Magistrate, Cape Coast (E. T. Aryee, Esq.), hereinafter referred to shortly as the magistrate, whereby, after rejecting the appellant’s plea that the claim was barred by the Limitation Act, 1623 (21 Ja. 1, c. 16), he upheld the respondent’s claim for,

“The sum of £G68 9s. 2d. being goods [sold] and net cash [advanced] as per notes of hand.”

The suit and the ensuing appeal raise the vexed and difficult question as to when a transaction between aborigines of the country may properly be held to be governed by native customary law and when it may properly be held not to be governed by customary law but rather exclusively by English law.

The general law is of course set out in section 87 (1) of the Courts Ordinance; but it is in the application of the provisions of that section that the difficulty often arises, as it has done in this case. The respondent claimed to have the suit placed on the “Undefended List,” and in his sup…

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