This dissertation was aimed at examining the application of rules of natural justice in employment law and if the scope of application sufficient to meet the challenge of administering fair justice. In conducting this research, literature on the subject of the rules of natural justice was consulted in order to determine the applicability in employment law. An appraisal of cases on the application of rules of natural justice was conducted to determine judicial trends in the application of the rules. The dissertation further compared the legal framework of the application of the rules as practiced in Nigeria and other common law countries.

From the research, the findings were that the Nigerian Judicial system is stuck with the old archaic precedence that emphasize “Master and Servant” relation being at the centre of the employment theme disregarding advances made, and the rules of natural justice being more applicable to public institutions than private institution performing similar functions.

The recommendation is for government to make vigorous labour law reforms to level the application of the rules of natural justice in form of statutes to align our laws with other progressive common law countries and international standards, and extend the principle of natural justice to private bodies.

Chapter One
1.0 Introduction
The rules of natural justice simply relates to fairness which entails protection from unfair dealing with individuals who find themselves before a court, tribunal or any hearing to whose judgment an individual is a subject. The concept that natural justice should at all stages guide those who discharge judicial functions is not merely an acceptable, but essential part of the philosophy of the law to secure justice or to prevent miscarriage of justice.

The sacrosanct of rules of natural justice calls for management to abide by the rules of natural justice.1 There are two principles holding under this theme, the first one being that management must give an avenue to the alleged employee to state the case in question before the sanction is given. The second one is that, no one who has interest in the case must be involved in the disciplinary process after being charged.

Thus the doctrine of natural justice embodies fundamental notions of procedural justice and fairness. It seeks to ensure that administrative decisions are taken only after a fair procedure has been followed in which the party to be affected by a decision is afforded the opportunity to be heard before the decision is made. The doctrine guards against arbitrary and unilateral decision making.

1.1 Aims and Objective of the research
The right in Nigeria to be heard is enshrined in the Constitution as well as the Employment Act cap 268 under s26A which states: “An employer shall not terminate the service of an employee on grounds related to the conduct or performance of an employee without affording the employee an opportunity to be heard on the charges laid against him.” This is a domesticated clause adopted from Article 7 of ILO Convention 158 of 1983 which Nigeria ratified to implement.

It is trite that whatever offence is allegedly to have been committed by an employee, an opportunity to hear their side of the offence is the fundamental obligation by the employer, anything short of this obligation makes the courts to rule that the dismissal is null and void. It is on this backdrop that this study further aim to have a careful look at the application of the rules of natural justice in the contracts of employment in Nigerian and to examine its limitations or scope of the rules in light of decided cases. Reference will be given to other nations like Nigeria, which have ratified and domesticated Article 7 of ILO Convention 158 of 1983 which contains a general rule that “an employer may not dismiss a worker for reason based on conduct or work performance without having first given such a worker an opportunity to defend himself/herself”.

Thus this dissertation aims at examining and comparing the application of rules of natural justice in Nigerian employment law and other common law countries. Much of make-up of this dissertation will be based on literature collected on the subject and deep appraisal of related cases to the rules of natural justice here in Nigeria and abroad.

1.2 Proposed Chapter Outline
The dissertation will be divided into Five Chapters. Chapter one will be more of introductory to the research which will include introduction to the subject, objectives and aims of the research and Chapter Two will delve into insight of the nemesis of rules of natural justice, what constitutes a hearing as practiced in Nigeria and other common law countries, and exceptions to the application of the rules of natural justice, chapter three will proceed to wrought on the legitimate expectation of an employee in regard to the operation of contract of employment, judicial attitude of courts in relation to the rules of natural justice. Chapter Four delve on the right to legal representation in internal disciplinary cases, dismissal under statutory terms of employment. Chapter Five will make conclusions and recommendations if any, to the research paper.

1.3 Methodology
This dissertation will employ a qualitative research paradigm. Data collection will primarily be based on the desk review of the relevant materials. The library therefore will be used as first-hand information centre. Most reliance will be on literature. The internet will also be used as an easy access to recent case law and other materials. As it appears, the bulk of the study will be on case law, legal commentaries and various forms of publications.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 60 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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