A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE RIGHT TO FAIR HEARING OF AN ACCUSED PERSON

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ABSTRACT

Fair hearing is a universal concept and an age-long principle recognized by God Himself. It is a principle which posits that every man is entitled to be heard in any cause or matter before any decision is made against him and that no man should be a judge in his own cause. This rule must be applied by courts, tribunals and by any person who has the power to adjudicate on any matter affecting the rights and obligations of any individual. It is recognized by International bodies and Constitutions of many countries. The principle enshrined in section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria represents an indispensable cornerstone of the well settled rules of natural justice, which must be observed in every determination affecting the rights and obligations of a person. This project is written to show the fundamentality of the concept or principle of fair hearing and the effect of non-compliance in adjudication. The research work has five chapters, while chapter one is a general overview of the research project which will foreshadow the topic in the background of the study, chapter two is the literature review of the research where ideas of other authors on the subject matter are discussed, literature gaps identified, addressed and filled in the project. Chapter three is an appraisal of the twin pillars of Fair Hearing and also an identification of the basic constitutional rights available to an accused person and a discuss of the limitations to the attainment of fair hearing. Chapter four deals with the constitutionality of the right to fair hearing, the consequences of its breach and whether or not it can be ousted by any law. Chapter five is the summary, conclusion and recommendations.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page                                                                                                                                                            i

Certification                                                                                                                                                       ii

Dedication                                                                                                                                                          iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                                                         iv

Abstract                                                                                                                                                               vi

Table of Contents                                                                                                                                            vii

Table of Statutes                                                                                                                                              ix

Table of Cases                                                                                                                                                   xi

List of Abbreviations                                                                                                                                       xiv

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of Study                                                                                                                      1
    1. Statement of the Problem                                                                                                           3
    1. Objectives of the Study                                                                                                                4
    1. Significance of the Study                                                                                                              4
    1. Scope of the Study                                                                                                                          5
    1. Research Method                                                                                                                            5
    1. Definition of Terms                                                                                                                         6

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPTER THREE

FAIR HEARING AND NATURAL JUSTICE

  • The Rules of Natural Justice                                                                                                        30
    • The Operational Pillars of Natural Justice as the

                 Root of Fair Hearing                                                                                                                       31

  • The Principle of Audi Alteram Partem in Fair Hearing                                      
    • The Principle of Nemo Judex In causa sua in Fair Hearing                                               35
    32
    • Fundamental Right to Fair Hearing in Criminal Justice                                       36
    • Innovative Provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 48
    • Limitations of Constitution Rights in Criminal Justice                                         53

CHAPTER FOUR

THE CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR FAIR HEARING

  • The Right to a Fair Hearing under the 1999 Constitution                                  57
    • Effect of Non-compliance with the Principle of

                Fair Hearing in Adjudication                                                                                                         58

4.3          Can the Provision of Fair Hearing be ousted by Law?                                       64

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Summary                                                                                                                                            
    • Conclusion
    • Recommendations

Bibliography

TABLE OF STATUTES

Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015

S. 6

S. 7

S. 8

S. 8(1)

S. 15(4)

Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State,

S. 270

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999

S. 36 (1)

S. 36(2)

S. 36(4)

S. 36(5)

S. 36(6)

S. 36(6) (b)

S. 36(6) (c)

S. 36(8)

S. 36(9)

S. 36(12)

S. 175

S. 219

S. 221 (1) 

S. 33 (1) 1979

Criminal Procedure Act

S. 203

S. 252

S. 396

Criminal Procedure Code

S. 225 (1)

S. 186

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ghana, 1992

Article 19 (1)

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Gambia, 1997

S. 24 (1) (6)        

Evidence Act

S. 29