Section 272, 273 and 274 of the 1999 Constitution: Jurisdiction, Constitution and Ability of the Chief Judge to Make Rules of High Court of a State

Jurisdiction

The 1999 Constitution

Section 272 (1)

Subject to the provisions of section 251 and other provisions of this Constitution, the High Court of a State shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil proceedings in which the existence or extent of a legal right, power, duty, liability, privilege, interest, obligation or claim is in issue or to hear and determine any criminal proceedings involving or relating to any penalty, forfeiture, punishment or other liability in respect of an offence committed by any person.

(The High Court of a State has the power to hear and judge civil matters involving legal right, power, duty, liability, privilege, interest, obligation or claim and also criminal matters involving penalties, forfeitures, punishment or liabilities where it relates to an offence which has been committed by a person. The State High Court is also subject to Section 251 of the 1999 Constitution which details the subjects which are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Court. This means that the State High Court cannot adjudicate i.e. judge or hear matters which are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.)


Section 272 (2)

The reference to civil or criminal proceedings in this section includes a reference to the proceedings which originate in the High Court of a State and those which are brought before the High Court to be dealt with by the court in the exercise of its appellate or supervisory jurisdiction.

(The civil and criminal matters mentioned in sub section 1 of section 272 relate to issues which either originated from the High Court of a State or issues that were brought before it in form of either an appeal or in a supervisory role.)


Section 273

For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it under this Constitution or any law, a High court of a State shall be duly constituted if it consists of at least one Judge of that Court.

(For a High Court to be able to exercise its jurisdiction i.e. power to hear and judge matters, it will be said to be properly or duly constituted if it has at least 1 (one) Judge of the Court sitting in that Court.)


Section 274

Subject to the provisions of any law made by the House of Assembly of a State, the Chief Judge of a State may make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the High Court of the State.

(The Chief Judge of a State has the power to make rules that regulate the practice and procedure of the High Court of the State but these rules have to not be against any provision of any law which has been made by the House of Assembly of a State.)


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