EXAMINING THE ROLE OF LAW AS AN INSTRUMENT OF SOCIAL ENGINEERING AND STABILITY IN THE SOCIETY

ABSTRACT 
The laws and powers of the states and federation are vested in Courts established by section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and other courts established for the Federation by an Act of the National Assembly or in case of States, Law made by the relevant State House of Assembly. The Judicial powers gradually, due to increase in litigations and criminal trials beyond the capacity of the regular courts, were no longer exclusive to the Courts but rather had to be shared with tribunals established for particular purposes. This development consequently brought about two parallel systems of adjudicating institutions operating side by side. 

While some tribunals, like the investment and Securities Tribunal, have justified their establishment by dispensing Justice timeously and by experts in the particular field of the tribunal’s jurisdiction, others seem to have defeated the very essence of their establishment like Code of Conduct Tribunals. Tribunals like the Code of Conduct Tribunal apart from being redundant is seen as an agent of the Federal Government since it is absolutely controlled by the Code of Conduct Bureau, which is directly under the Presidency. This explains the redundant nature of the tribunal as it serves more or less as a stooge of the Presidency from where most of the culprits should have been arraigned. 

The Laws establishing various tribunals have their inbuilt shortcomings that hinder the trial procedure or occasion unnecessary delays contrary to the very essence of establishing the tribunals. 

The courts in Nigeria could be said to have contributed in some measure to the development of Law, particularly in the field of animal Law and Constitutional Law. However, social engineering and stability seems to suffer several challenges. Some of these challenges were attributed to factors associated with adversarial system, coupled with rancorous nature of proceedings and so on. Details of this has been vividly elucidated. The development in respect of funding of Courts has been pointed out. 

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Background of Study 
The court of law is an organ belonging to the judiciary department in the 3 arms of government in Nigeria. Public social engineering and stability is the primary function of the court. The courts are established with certain powers. The doctrine of separation of powers, places the three arms of government (Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary) on equal pedestals but with different areas of authority and responsibility. While the executive, implements laws enacted by the legislature in the course of governance, the courts interprets same for easy implementation. The courts, therefore, has long been an instrument of stabilization and a tool for administration of civil Justice. 

Social engineering and stability is one of the vital functions of the courts. Generally, the word justice may mean reasonableness, fairness, equality of treatment e.t.c however, the courts have the most authoritative say in the determination and pronouncement of what justice is in every situation involving claims and counter claims to legal rights and duties. Justice viewed in this context is an attempt to define the workings of the Nigerian courts in relation to how it determine and adjudicate matters brought before it. Relevant to this, is the concept of fair hearing, composition of the courts and the correctness of procedural rules. All these must be taken into account before the courts can perform its role and function Justiciably; hence section 36 of the 1999 constitution emphasizes on the right to fair hearing both in civil and criminal matters. This implies both substantive and procedural fairness taking into accounts jurisdiction and composition of courts. 

The relevance of the courts has been emphasized by the jurists and writers to include as part of the functioning tools in governance. A court occupies a very unique position and performs near omnipotent functions, deriving from the role assigned to it in the constitution1. In Nigeria, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) provides that, “The judicial power of the federation shall be vested in the courts.”2 This power includes the power to adjudicate disputes between all persons, government and any person, interpretation of the law, determination of appropriateness of all actions, proceedings, citizens’ rights and obligations of government, agencies, corporate bodies or persons.3 The functions of the courts therefore, include the promotion of justice, rule of law, stability, democracy, human rights and good governance and opportunity for sustainable progress, all of which form the bedrock of civil justice. In other words, the courts play a vital role in ensuring justice, by enabling a conducive atmosphere for individuals and groups to appreciate their potentials and strive to contribute their quota in dispensation of justice. The court does not only guarantee humane and tolerable governance but also ensures stability in the political system4. 

As highlighted above, the judicial powers of the Federation and of States are vested in courts established by section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and other courts established for the Federation by an Act of the National Assembly or in case of states, law made by the relevant State House of Assembly. The judicial powers gradually, due to increase in litigations and criminal trials beyond the capacity of the regular courts, were no longer exclusive to the courts but rather had to be shared with tribunals established particular purpose. This development consequently brought about two parallel systems of adjudicating institutions operating side by side. 

While some tribunals, like the investment and Securities Tribunals, have justified their establishment by dispensing justice timeously and by experts in the particular filed of the tribunal’s jurisdiction, others seem to have defeated the very essence of their establishment like Special Military Tribunals, which hardly respect the fundamental right to fair hearing much less any other right. Tribunals like the Code of Conduct Tribunal apart from being redundant is seen as an agent of the Federal Government since it is absolutely controlled by the Code of Conduct Bureau, which is directly under the Presidency. This explains the redundant nature of the tribunal as it serves more or less as a stooge of the Presidency from where most of the culprits should have been arraigned.5 The laws established various tribunals have their inbuilt shortcomings that hinder the trial procedure or occasion unnecessary delays contrary to the very essence of establishing the tribunals. The problems shall be scrupulously appraised. 

about fundamental sustainable improvement in the lives of the people.7 Although, this latter role is sometimes prevented by some shortcomings such as prolong cases, Persistent misuse of interlocutory applications, misuse of preliminary objections and jurisdictional challenges and so on; however, there is the need to study the role of law and tribunals as an instrument of social engineering and stability in order to appraise the Nigerian situation. The seeming shortcomings of the law the desire to juxtapose the two institutions motivated the interest in this study. 

• Statement of Problem 
Social engineering and stability has from time immemorial been the exclusive preserve of courts of law. The establishment of tribunals with judicial powers parallel to those of courts of law is sometimes, due to efficacy of tribunals in carrying out an expedient trial devoid of technicalities that may prevent the access of justice. The social engineering and stability in our Nigerian Courts, at times is prevented by some technicalities; for instance, every conceivable defence in Court is leveled on jurisdiction. The implication of this is that, the defence of jurisdiction will be trashed first before the merits are considered; except in the cases of proceedings brought by originating summons whereby the Court takes the jurisdictional objection with the merit. In all other forms of proceedings, the jurisdiction is taken first, the ruling is delivered and that becomes a whole new litigation. Whoever loses goes to the Appeal Court and from there to the Supreme Court. And meanwhile, the case itself gets bogged down, because the case would not be tried until the question on whether there is jurisdiction is resolved. Sometimes, this might take as much as 10 years awaiting Court verdict on the jurisdictional challenge. Many litigants in this circumstance usually abandon the proceedings, only few continue the struggle after many years of delay and legal expenses. Albeit these shortcomings, it is desirous to examine the role of the law as an instrument of social engineering and stability with the view to examining the establishment and powers of the law vis-à-vis their challenges as an instrument of social engineering and stability. 

• Research Questions 
• What are the roles of law and tribunal? 

• What are the powers of the law in the social engineering and stability? 

• What are the challenges faced by the law in Nigeria? 

• Research Objectives 
The main objective of the study is to examine the role of law as an instrument of social engineering and stability. The specific objectives of the study are: 

• To examine the role of law and tribunals in Nigeria. 

• To examine the establishment & powers of courts and tribunals as an instrument of social engineering and stability. 

• To identify the challenges posed to the law in Nigeria. 

• Significance and Scope Of The Research 
This research work seeks to examine the role of law and tribunals as an instrument of social engineering and stability. In determining this, the research will look at the establishment and powers of courts and tribunals vis-à-vis judicial review, the exercise of such powers by the courts, efficacy of tribunals and so on. 

Judicial reviews is vital for maintenance of the rule of laws and protection of individual’s rights, interest and liabilities hence, the research will also look at the concepts of the rule of law and separation of powers. Also important in this research, is the problems and challenges of courts and tribunals as an instrument of social engineering and stability. To this end, the scope of the research would be limited to the Nigerian courts and tribunal as an instrument of social engineering and stability. Reference may be made to other countries for the purpose of comparison or illustration. 

• Methodology and Literature Review 
The methodology is a combination of documentary and interviews. The study also adopted the descriptive method: 

• Sources of Data. Data were sourced from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data were sourced from relevant individuals who are seasoned practitioners of the legal profession. Secondary data we re sourced from published works including books, reports, journals, magazines and newspapers. 

• Method of Data Gathering. Primary data were gathered through unstructured interviews with justice, judges, jurists and legal practitioners, consultations and observations. Secondary data were sourced through the use of the various libraries, and the internet. 

• Method of Data Analysis. The data collected were analyzed qualitatively. Specific cases were cited, isolated, described and their impact on the judiciary critically examined. 

Several books, articles and journals have been written on the role of courts as an instrument of social engineering and stability. Few among the literatures digested, were “The independence of the judiciary in a Democratic society, its needs, it’s Positive and Negative aspects,”8 “The place of the judiciary in the 1999 constitution”9. The role of law in the Dispensation of justice10. 

1.7 Organizational Structure of The Study 
This research work is made up of five chapters. Chapter one which is the general introductory chapter, include an Introduction, Statement and Objectives of the research, Nature and Scope of the research, Methodology and Literature review and Organizational Structure of the review. 

Chapter two discusses constitutional concepts of the rule of law, separation of powers, judicial structure and powers. 

Chapter three discusses the social engineering and stability by the law. Under this, the establishment and powers of courts, tribunals, and the power of judicial review were examined. 

Chapter four explains the challenges of the courts as an instrument of social engineering and stability. Under this, Technicalities, Appointment and Disciplinary Powers of the judges, funding of the law were discussed. 

Lastly, chapter five is devoted to Conclusion, Observation and Recommendations.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 53 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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