The Judiciary: Meaning And Functions Of The Judiciary

Table Of Contents
1. Meaning Of The Judiciary
2. Functions Of The Judiciary
3. The Supreme Court Of Nigeria
The Judiciary
This is the organ of government whose main duty is to settle disputes and punish lawbreakers. In democratic countries, this organ is very important and must be completely separated from the other two organs of government. The reason for this is to ensure that a person always gets a fair trial. The judiciary is made up of the Chief Justice, and justices of the supreme court, the president and judges of the court of Appeal, High Court judges, the Grand kadi and kadis of sharia court of Appeal, the president and judges of the customary court of Appeal, the magistrates and members of the customary courts, District and Area Courts.
Functions Of The Judiciary
The judiciary in Nigeria performs the following functions:
1. It interprets the constitution.
2. It interprets laws made by the legislature.
3. It settles disputes between:
a. Government and citizen
b. State Government and central government.
c. State governments and
d. Private citizens.
4. It punishes offenders of the law.
5. It swears in head of states into office.
6. It grants marriage certificates.
7. It grants letters of administration of Estates for minors.
8. It conducts the swearing of oaths and affidavits.
The Supreme Court Of Nigeria
The Supreme Court is the highest Court of Appeal in Nigeria. Its main functions are:
1. It is responsible for the judicial interpretation of the constitution. The Supreme Court determines whether or not any action or law is in conformity with the constitution.
2. The Supreme Court adjudicates in disputes between any two governments within Nigeria whether between the Federal and State government or between two State governments and hears appeals from the court of Appeal.
3. The Supreme Court advises the President in his exercise of his power of prerogative of mercy.
Note that the court of Appeal entertains appeals from the high courts and inferior courts like the magistrates court and customary courts have limited jurisdictions.

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