‘Thank goodness Habeas Corpus did not run in Nahud’
This chapter explores how capable the colonial state in Sudan was of policing its subject populations. The extent to which the twentieth-century colonial governments were capable of exercising control over those they ruled is a much debated question in the wider scholarship on Africa. It explores some of David Scott's statements about the nature of colonial legal power. For him, 'colonial govern mentality' represented a shift away from eighteenth and early nineteenth century modes of colonialism, whereby the colonial state was characterized by 'extractive domination', towards an attempt to regulate wider colonial society through the introduction of European law codes in order to regulate individual behavior. The chapter explains that Scott's analysis by contending that the colonial state in twentieth-century Sudan was fundamentally conflicted over whether or not to introduce a new and transformative system of policing. The British colonial administration in Sudan possessed its own specialist governing cadre, the Sudan Political Service (SPS).