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AN OVERVIEW OF THE PRINCIPLES OF NATIONAL JUSTICES UNDER THE 1999 CONSTITUTION OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 60 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis,abstract, table of content, references ::   28 people found this useful

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

The Nigerian judiciary, a creation of the Constitution (Sections 6, 230 – 296 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999) is the 3rd organ of government in the much espoused doctrine of the triumvirate of government. The judiciary, together with the executive and legislature hold the tripod of state affairs (Azinge and Rapu: 2002). However, of all the 3 organs of government, the judiciary is the most accessible to the citizenry; hence, Azinge and Rapu described it as the last bastion of hope for the common man. Section 6(1) and (2) of the CFRN 1999 vests the judicial powers of the Federation as well as the States in the courts. The judicial powers vested in the courts.

(a) Shall extend, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Constitution, to all inherent powers and sanctions of a court of law, (and)

(b) Shall extend to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and to any person in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person (section 6(6) CFRN, 1999). From the foregoing, it is clear that the most significant task of the judiciary is the authoritative adjudication of controversies over the application of law in specific situations (Uwakwe: 2013). Uwakwe further posits that in the course of the performance of its duties and powers, the judiciary does the following:-

(i) Determine which laws the legislature intended to apply to any case

(ii) Determine whether a law is unconstitutional

(iii) Determine how the legislature meant the law to apply to disputes

(iv) Determine how laws should be interpreted to ensure uniform policies via the appeals process. The judiciary covers the personal and social institutions through which the laws of the country are interpreted in the determination of the rights and obligations of the citizens, as that of the government. Consequently, the judiciary has been described as a mighty fortress against oppressive and tyrannical laws, as it is constitutionally invested with the power to compel the legislature to act within its constitutional limits, by striking down as unconstitutional all laws that the legislature either has no power to enact, or else that conflict with the spirit or letter of the constitution. It also ensures that the State or government (that is, the executive) is subject to the laws (Oputa: 1993). Accordingly it has been rightly posited that:

“the judiciary is the guardian of our constitution, the protector of our cherished governance under the rule of law, the guardian of our fundamental rights, the enforcer of all laws with or without which the stability of society can be threatened, the maintainer of public order and public security, the guarantee against arbitrariness and generally the only insurance for a just and happy society(Ojukwu:2001)”

Having asserted vehemently, in the foregoing, the primal role of the judiciary in ensuring that both the government and the governed act in accordance with the law, and the unique position it evidently occupies in any constitutional democracy, it is imperative to quickly add that to discharge the onerous responsibilities placed on it by the constitution, the judiciary must be independent for it to be effective. An independent judiciary is required in order to ensure the rule of law, and effectively protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the human person (Azinge, Rapu: 2002). The Nigerian Constitution, 1999 expressly provides for “the independence, impartiality and integrity of courts (section 17(e) CFRN, 1999). It further provides that, in the determination of civil rights and obligations, a litigant is entitled to fair hearing by a court or tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality (section 36(1) CFRN, 1999)

1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

The major issue discussed which may be seen as a challenge faced by the national justices is the judicial independence. Judicial independence is fundamental to every democracy, both as a guarantor of the separation of powers in the state and of the rule of law. It is the only check on an otherwise powerful government, when that government commands an overall majority in parliament and could, by its otherwise untrammeled law-making and executive power, put citizen liberty at risk. It ensures justice and equity through the predictability of court decisions that cannot be overruled by a political establishment. In practical terms, as recent studies have shown, it promotes economic development because investors feel more secure if they have access to an independent judiciary to resolve any disputes against the state or against competitors favoured by the government. For defendants in criminal courts, it functions so to speak as David’s sling-shot, providing the possibility of acquittal against the state Goliath. For these reasons and more, it is the most precious of democratic principles but the least appreciated especially by populist politicians – and, consequently, the most vulnerable

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF STUDY

The main aim of the research work is to take an overview of the principles of national justices under the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study are:

  1. to examine the independence of the judiciary under the 1999 constitution
  2. to examine the appointment of judicial officers
  3. to investigate on the factors affecting then national justices under the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria
  4. to proffer solution to the above stated problem

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:

  1. What is the independence of the judiciary under the 1999 constitution?
  2. How are judicial officers appointed using the 1999 constitution?
  3. What are the factors affecting then national justices under the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria?

1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0: the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria has no significant effect on the principles of national justices

H1: the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria has significant effect on the principles of national justices

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study on an overview of the principles of national justices under the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria will be of immense benefit to the judiciary, the government (local, state and the federal) and other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic as findings of the study will educate the above population more on the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, the principles of national justices, the factors affecting the judiciary and the way forward. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research

1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY

The study on an overview of the principles of national justices will be limited to the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. The study will cover on the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, the principles of national justices, the factors affecting the judiciary and the way forward

1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Judiciary:  is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state

Constitution:  is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed

 

 


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Paper Information

Format:ms word
Chapter:1-5
Pages:60
Attribute:Questionnaire, Data Analysis,abstract, table of content, references
Price:₦3,000
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