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The Provincial Council of Chiefs under the 1925 constitution of the Gold Coast



THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL OF CHIEFS UNDER THE 1925 CONSTITUTION OF GOLD COAST
Composition
Under the 1925 constitution of the Gold Coast, a provision was made for a Provincial Council of Chiefs. Three provinces were created in the Gold Coast, consisting of the Western, Central and Eastern provinces and each of them had a Provincial Council of Chiefs. 

Every Provincial Council was made up of all the Paramount Chiefs in that particular province. 

All the three Councils were further constituted into a Joint Provincial Council of Chiefs. The Provincial Council of Chiefs were represented in the Legislative Council in the proportion of three from the Eastern, two from Central and one from the Western Provinces.

FUNCTIONS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCILS OF CHIEFS
Settlement of disputes
One of the functions of the Provincial Council was to settle disputes among the people and between communities. The Council also settled issues related to customary law. Any disputes concerning marriage and divorce also fell under their jurisdiction. Whenever there is dispute over land, such cases are sent to the Council for settlement.

Make laws
Another function of the Provincial Council of Chiefs was to make laws. They made bye-laws concerning customary law. They made laws to regulate issues of marriage, divorce, land acquisition and disposition.

Consultative role
The Provincial Councils were put together to form a Joint Provincial Council of Chiefs. This Joint Provincial Council of Chiefs was used as a forum for the Paramount Chiefs to consult on national issues of importance to the Gold Coast. 

Electoral College to elect chiefs
The Provincial Councils also doubled as electoral colleges from where chiefs were elected to serve on the Legislative Council.

Intermediary role
The Provincial Councils of Chiefs carried information from the colonial government to the people and when there are issues at the local level, it also carried such issues from the local people to the colonial government. In other words, the Provincial Council of Chiefs played an intermediary role between the people and the colonial administration.

Issues of succession
Whenever a dispute arose concerning the legitimate heir to a vacant throne, the Provincial Council of Chiefs was given the power to settle such disputes. Also when there is a dispute over the ownership of stool property, the Provincial Council of Chiefs step in to resolve it. 

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. What six functions did the Provincial Council of Chiefs play during the colonial era?
2. a. Describe the composition of the Provincial Council of Chiefs?
    b. Highlight five functions that are performed by the Provincial Council of Chiefs in the Gold Coast.



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