Sep 20, 2018 jurisdiction admiralty jurisdiction of nigerian courts history of. Magistrates court law nigerias leading legal information. The federal revenue court as federal high court was then called was established by the federal revenue act 1973 1973 no. The supreme jurisdiction of the national industrial court of. High courts have inherent jurisdiction to supervise the proceedings and decisions of inferior courts or tribunals or those of a person or body of persons charged with the performance of a public duty. Jurisdiction of the state high and the customary courts the state high courts and their jurisdiction are spelt out in section 272 of 1999 constitution. By virtue of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of nigeria, all courts in the nigerian federation derive their jurisdiction or competence from the constitution14. The principles of judicial precedent and hierarchy of courts are primary and basic parts of our legal system with the supreme court of nigeria at. Jurisdiction is a court s power to decide a case or issue a decree11. Pdf it is elementary law that jurisdiction is the superstructure upon which the judicial power of a court of law is founded. Jurisdiction primacy and fundamental nature of jurisdictional issues whether can be raised first time at the supreme court. Edo state high court of justice is situated in sapele road, it is a superior court of record and has 28 judicial divisions and together with the magistrate courts and area courts carry out judicial functions of the judiciary in the state. The national industrial court of nigeria nic was established in 1976 by the trade disputes act, cap 432, laws of the federation of nigeria, 1990 and was in 2010 elevated to a superior court of record and of coordinate jurisdiction with the federal high court, the various state high courts and other courts of coordinate jurisdiction with a. In the courts view, the nonaddition of the word exclusive in 15 the emphasis in the section is mine.
The nature, types and jurisdiction of customary courts in the. Magistrates courts law a practice directions on small. For instance, by section 2 of the area courts edict, 1967 as applicable in the northern states provides that. Jurisdiction of nigerian courts in environmental matters. Jurisdiction of high court of former western state section 9i high court law cap.
Enforcement of fundamental rights in national constitutions. The nature, types and jurisdiction of customary courts in. A court of general jurisdiction is a trial court that is empowered to hear all cases that are not specifically reserved for courts of special jurisdiction. Jurisdiction wex us law lii legal information institute. The coursework on the structure and jurisdiction of the ghanaian courts will help you understand how the courts work. Jurisdiction of the national industrial court of nigeria. Federal courts of special jurisdiction include the u. The term civil matters means a dispute between individuals or between individuals and government or between governments, the result of which maybe the a. An appraisal of the legal framework for adjudication of. Jurisdiction of customary court i am going to deal on this issue of jurisdiction narrowly, because it is a very vast term which might take up to a decade to discuss. Jurisdiction casesjudgments of nigerian courts lawnigeria. Jurisdiction can also be used to define the proper court in which to bring a particular case. Pdf jurisdiction of courts in nigeria researchgate.
To resolve the issue, the paper surveyed the position of enforcement of fundamental human rights in few other common law jurisdictions such as india, pakistan and ghana, and concluded that in nigeria, the federal high court only has jurisdiction to enforce fundamental human rights arising from a cause of action that falls within its limited. Nigeria has its own constitution which was established on 29 may 1999. The sentencing and enforcement policy of the courts. The inapplicability of the evidence act in the courts under discussion has not changed the application of the repugnancy doctrine in most jurisdiction where these courts exist. The nature of a case and the consent of the parties usually determined what type of court had jurisdiction. There are four distinct legal systems in nigeria, which include english law, common law, customary law, and sharia law. This paper discusses the nature, types and jurisdiction of customary courts in the nigeria legal system. Subject to the provisions of this constitution and in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by law, the high court of a. Actually, courts in nigeria are renowned and recognized as the hallowed chambers of jurisdiction, where candid justice is meted out to all and sundry, without favoritism, sentiment, emotion, or being unnecessarily involved in crass legalism. In examining the jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases in nigeria, it is imperative to first decipher its meaning. Others are the supreme court, court of appeal, federal high court, high court of a state and sharia court of appeal of a state. I consider it an honour to be given an opportunity to address this august body of distinguished people. For many years this has remained one of my popular taught courses, and has been downloaded by people around the world over 12,000. Customary courts to hear and determine matters over persons subject to native laws and customs prevailing in the areas of their jurisdiction.
And this is why it is being argued that nigerian courts should enforce customary laws. Its jurisdiction is the highest and most important in the country. A comparative analysis of the court structures in nigeria and south. The topic for my presentation is jurisdictional issues in the application of customary law in nigeria. A party usually cannot collaterally attack a federal court judgment by arguing that the court entering judgment lacked subject matter jurisdiction.
Latest nigerian supreme court cases powered by legalpedia. A litigant or the court can raise a defect in jurisdiction at any time, even after a court has entered judgment. For example section 24a of kaduna state customary courts law, no. In the southern states of nigeria, magistrate courts have appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases in appeals from customary courts, lagos state affords an example. In 1967, nigeria became a federation of 12 states each with its own state judiciary. The apex or number one court in nigeria is the supreme court of nigeria. Jurisdiction of a court determination ofprocesses the court should consider the law is settled that in determining the jurisdiction of a court to entertain a cause or matter, the processes to be considered by the court are the processes filed by the plaintiff or applicant i. Hierarchy of courts in nigeria adenike adetifa the. The jurisdiction of state high courts in nigeria is to be found in section 2361 of the 1979 constitution of the federal republic of nigeria. Exercise of magistrates jurisdiction in chambers and in camera. The paper shall, within the context of our jurisprudence, demonstrate that parties lack the legal capacity to deprive.
For this reason, court s authority or jurisdiction is a product of constitution or other specific statutes. Area courts are creation of the states in the northern part of nigeria while customary courts are creation of the states in southern part of nigeria. For example, in lagos state, if your matter involves little or no monetary claim less than n1,000,000. Issue of jurisdiction importance of duty on appeal court in considering same order 3 rule 26 court of appeal rules and order 8 rule 6 supreme court rules decree of edict inconsistent with unsuspended pan of the constitution, 1979 jurisdiction of high court to determine validity of extent and scope. Short title page 1 national industrial court of nigeria civil procedure rules, 2017 b3347 printed and published by the federal government printer, lagos, nigeria. It is the role of these courts in the nigerian legal system that this article sets out to examine. Procedurally, jurisdiction of court does not exist in vacuum. In nigeria, the jurisdiction of the nic is a product of several enactments.
Having firmly and solemnly resolve, to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation under god, dedicated to the promotion of interafrican solidarity, world peace, international cooperation and understanding. The term civil matters means a dispute between individuals or between individuals and government or between governments, the result of which maybe the award of damages, compensation, declaration of rights or prerogative or equitable remedies. By virtue of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of. To the defendants counsel, this is authority for the proposition that the national industrial court of nigeria cannot today be seized of jurisdiction over issues of master and servant. Nigeria relating to the jurisdiction of the customary court of appeal of a state are sections 282 284.
Magistrates courts law practice directions on small claims 2018 in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 274 of the constitution of the federal republic of nigeria, 1999 as amended, high court law ch. In federations like the united states, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. Rules of jurisdiction in a sense speak from a position outside the court system and prescribe the authority of the courts within the system. The constitution itself indorses the courts as the final location for resolution of legal disputes.
The major aim of this paper is to analyze the jurisdiction of the various strata of courts in criminal proceedings in nigeria, taking into account the existing literature as well as recent developments. Against the background of constant problems of access to justice, the decision of the supreme court of nigeria in the case of shell petroleum development. D former chief magistrate, akwa ibom state judiciary, nigeria lecturer, school of continuing education, law diploma programme, university of uyo, nigeria facilitator, school of law, national open university of nigeria, uyo study centre. The jurisdiction of state high courts in nigeria journal of african. The jurisdiction of the federal courts in nigeria covers the entire nation irrespective of their locations9. Civil jurisdiction of courts in nigeria the tide news. Constitution as one of six superior courts of record in nigeria.
State courts have general jurisdiction, meaning that they can hear any controversy except those prohibited by state law some states, for example, deny subject matter jurisdiction for a case that does not involve state citizens and did not take place in the state and those allocated to federal courts of exclusive jurisdiction such as. Doc the structure and jurisdiction of the courts osei. At the federal level, the district courts are courts of general jurisdiction. Types of court in nigeria and their functions legit. The national industrial court of nigeria civil procedure rules. The courts have always refused to define its extent or categorise its limits. Arbitrability of tax disputes in nigeria arbitration. The legal order and the administration of federal and state courts. The constitution of nigeria is the supreme law of the country. The court was renamed the federal high court by section 228 1 and 230 2 of the constitution of the federal republic of nigeria, 1979. The jurisdiction of state high courts in nigeria enefiok essien introduction the jurisdiction of state high courts in nigeria is to be found in section 2361 of the 1979 constitution of the federal republic of nigeria.
English law in nigeria is derived from the colonial nigeria, while. Welcome to the official website of federal high court. Indeed, by virtue of article 125 3 of the constitution, judicial power, that is the power to adjudicate. Community protests, civil disobedience, picketing, have been. By section 7ghi of the 1956 english act, the admiralty jurisdiction of the high courts covers. Jurisdiction from the latin ius, iuris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice within a defined field of responsibility, e. A critical analysis fagbemisunday department of public and international law, faculty of law, university of ibadan, ibadan, nigeria email. It was held that the high court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Jurisdiction non compliance with preaction notice whether can be raised at any time. Indeed, the idea of developing alternatives to litigation in not intended to oust the jurisdiction of the courts. An overview of the jurisdiction of sharia courts page 5 in nigeria, area and sharia courts owe their jurisdiction to state laws establishing them. The supreme court, the court of appeal, the federal high court and the national industrial court which are all superior courts of record. In criminal matters, proceedings before the court are governed by criminal. Civil jurisdiction refers to the adjudicatory powers exercisable by courts over civil matters. Feb 06, 2016 civil jurisdiction refers to the adjudicatory powers exercisable by courts over civil matters. Below are the 8 hierarchy of courts in nigeria explained. The admiralty jurisdiction act 1991 clearly defines the jurisdiction of the federal high court and makes the jurisdiction exclusive.
In this context, a court has either original or appellate jurisdiction over a case. The power of amendment or correction of its records inherent in the jurisdiction of the court is manifestly wide and subject to the limitation that it must be exercised when the purposes of justice require it. Every area court shall exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon. Courts jurisdiction area courts stay of proceedings. The jurisdiction of state high courts in nigeria journal of. Jurisdiction nonservice of a pre action notice whether a matter of fact or law. Jurisdiction the jurisdiction of the customary court of appeal has been spelt out in section 247 1 of the constitution. Hence the appeal for a global environmental law court of international jurisdiction. Jul 15, 2015 civil jurisdiction refers to the adjudicatory powers exercisable by courts over civil matters. The supreme court is mainly a court of appellate jurisdiction and is the final appeal court in the. Customary courts functioned in most of the 36 states.
Before every general election is conducted in nigeria, political parties are expected to conduct internal primary elections to choose candidates that would represent the party in. The judiciary and the role of customary courts in nigeria udosen jacob idem ph. To implement or not to implement, the constitutionality is the question pdf. Constitution of the federal republic of nigeria 1999 251 notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this constitution and in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an act of the national assembly, the federal high court shall have and excise jurisdiction to the exclusion of any other court in civil causes and. These courts being close to the grassroots, citizens, can safely be referred to as grassroots courts. In the case of sharia courts in the north, the impetus to establish them stemmed at least in part from perceptions of inefficiency, cost, and corruption in the common law system. Being the head of the youngest customary court of appeal in nigeria today, you would all agree with me that doing. This paper, in essence, will attempt to examine the extent to which parties can contract to oust the jurisdiction of nigerian courts and vest same, over disputes arising from contracts entered into or to be performed in nigeria, on foreign courts. The court disagreed, and found that the claim fell within article 94 of the ecowas protocol which provides that the court has jurisdiction to determine cases. In the southern part of nigeria, the courts are known as customary or district courts while in the northern part of nigeria, they are called area courts.
Jurisdiction may be extended or restricted by statutory enactments. The nigerian constitution of 1989 establishes a system of federal and state courts, but within a structure of unified federalstate jurisdiction from the federal and. In the western state, the supreme court ceased to have directed jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals in any matter. The court of appeal rules, 2011 in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 248 of the constitution of the federal republic nigeria, 1999, and by virtue of all powers enabling me in that behalf, i, isa ayo salami ofr president, court of appeal, hereby. The law creates many new opportunities for nigerian cargo plaintiffs, and extends the jurisdiction to maritime claims wherever arising. In the same year, the western state via the court of appeal edict, no 15 of 1969 established a regional court of appeal. Once the courts have adjudicated on an environmental action be it criminal or civil, it will on conviction in a criminal prosecution which is a very rare occurrence in nigeria impose penalty, and in the case of civil action, make an award of compensation or any other relief.
The 1992 constitution and the courts act 10 provide the composition and jurisdiction of the courts. The law of nigeria consists of courts, offences, and various types of laws. Types of courts in nigeria and their functions information. Subject to the provisions of this constitution and in addition to such other jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of nigerian courts in environmental matters taylor. Jurisdiction without being statutorily empowered to do so. D the writ rule, which applies in nigeria by virtue of the injunctions on courts to exercise concurrent jurisdiction with english courts,2 permits suits to be maintained against persons who have no other connection.
Jurisdiction and the contractual freedom of parties does. This means that no appeal can be heard regarding matters decided by the supreme court before any other nigerian court. It gives us an insight into the historical background and development of customary courts in nigeria, which started with the native courts before the arrival of the colonial legal system. Before every general election is conducted in nigeria, political parties are expected to conduct internal primary elections to choose candidates that would represent the party in the general election which often lead to issues of. Under section 41 of the customary courts law of 1994 an aggrieved person has the right of appeal against the decision of the customary court to a chief magistrate court. A court of special jurisdiction is empowered to hear only certain kinds of cases. In 1993, the then chief judge of the federal high court addressed some of. Customary courts of appeal are interspersed in the country. Jurisdiction of court issue of where raised duty on court to deal with timeously. The case for a global environmental court of justice all the more challenging because there is hardly any viable means of conflict resolution.949 248 942 412 1388 309 1000 936 103 663 1 1024 246 145 927 1025 1357 70 1224 392 1472 1311 544 85 114 619 1279 788 1482 1053 1523 1449 246 645 1346 1419 532 221 19 253 560 1467 967 73 1071 1268