Necessity, doctrine of

Legal rule applied in exceptional circumstances to justify or endorse acts that would otherwise be against the law. When used by a court to recognize a government, the court will usually stress the need to return to constitutional rule as soon as possible. This doctrine was invoked in Nigeria in 2010 when President Yar’Adua neither resigned nor asked his vice president to act, but was himself not acting (and ultimately died), to justify the assumption of power as acting president by the vice president (not endorsed by any court decision).