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Rethinking the exclusive jurisdiction of Nigerian universities in academic matters

Nwauche, Enyinna S.

Abstract:
The rule of law requires that all courts have exclusive power to examine any dispute.  Without this judicial power, there would be a lack of confidence in the administration of justice and subsequent vigilantism or self help.  The author poses the questions: What remains of the rule of law if certain matters are outside the competence of courts? Is the realization that its affairs are outside the competence of courts a recipe for dictatorial tendencies?  Are certain issues because of their context difficult and impossible for courts to contend with? Can a court for example review the award of marks in an examination paper? Can a court assess the sufficiency of character needed for graduation? What really is the utility of unlimited judicial competence when access to courts in Nigeria is largely illusory and cases continue interminably?
It is within this context that this paper reviews the exclusive jurisdiction of Nigerian universities in academic matters. The author contends that the exclusive jurisdiction of Nigerian universities in academic matters until Magit v University of Agriculture Makurdi  and Esiaga v University of Calabar  recognized a substantive autonomy if there are procedural compliance with internal rules and fundamental human rights.  Nwauche demonstrates that the tenor of Esiaga and Magit are potentially insidious since they are capable of leading to absolute powers in universities who may be led to believe that their decisions are not subject to judicial review or appeal. A number of options of managing the exclusive jurisdiction of Nigerian universities in academic matters are reviewed.      

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Title of Paper: Rethinking the exclusive jurisdiction of Nigerian universities in academic matters


Date:2007
Document Type:Other ()
Subject Area:Institutional Management
Country:Nigeria
Keywords:Nigeria, Universities, Academia, Laws, Legal Issues


File Size:95 KB
Rights:Author provided post print
Date Added:14 January 2008


Nwauche, Enyinna S. (2007). Rethinking the exclusive jurisdiction of Nigerian universities in academic matters Nigerian Bar Journal 1(1):1-20