THE ROLE OF FAMILY COURT IN RELATION TO CHILD PROTECTION IN NIGERIA

The Family Court is a special court designed to deal with legal problems involving children

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

5/25/2022 2 min read

THE ROLE OF FAMILY COURT IN RELATION TO CHILD PROTECTION IN NIGERIA

The Family Court is a special court designed to deal with legal problems involving children. The Court emerged for the purposes of hearing and determining matters relating to children. In Nigeria, it was established pursuant to Sections 149 of the Child’s Right Act, 2003. One of the main goals of Family Court, according to LearnLaw platform is to settle legal problems that can occur in families. The jurisdiction over the application of all matters under the Child's Right Act and state laws is conferred on the Family Court to be established both in the states and the Federal Capital Territory. The Family Court functions at two levels; as a division of the High Court at the High Court level; and as a Magistrate Court at the Magistrate level.

The original jurisdiction of the court is to hear and determine:

a. any civil proceedings in which the existence or extent of a legal right, power, duty, liability, privilege, interest, obligation or claim in respect of a child is in issue ; and

b. any criminal proceedings involving or relating to any penalty, forfeiture, punishment or other liability in respect of an offence committed by a child, against a child or against the interest of a child.

The foregoing relates also to the appellate and supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court. The court, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, is to be guided by the principles of reconciliation of the parties involved or likely to be affected by the outcome of the proceedings, including the child, the parents or guardian of the child or any person having parental responsibility or other responsibility for the child. The court is also required to encourage and facilitate the settlement of any matter before it in an amicable way.

Family courts, as posited by Britannica are created by special statutes defining the types of cases that they are to handle, such as cases with relation to guardianship, child neglect, juvenile delinquency, paternity, support, or family offenses (that is, disorderly conduct or minor assaults between spouses).

The Objectives of the family court are:

1. To provide speedy justice and disposal of family cases at the earliest;

2. To promote conciliation and mediation in disputes relating to marriage;

3. preserve family ties;

4. To solve the matter of family within a short period.

The Family Court operates according to looser procedures than ordinary civil or criminal courts. When Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi, the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary commissioned the ultra-modern Family Court in Apo District, he posited that the key responsibilities of the court shall include adjudicating on matters involving children and young persons and matrimonial causes as they relate to child custody and divorce.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

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