COURT'S HISTORY

History

Given the dynamics of employment interrelationship and the challenges of ever expanding global society, the need to establish a specialized Court to tackle disputes connected with labour and industrial relations has become poignant. This is because labour and industrial disputes are economic issues which need expeditious dispensation and it was felt that the regular Courts which were already saddled with enough duties should be spared the additional duties of handling labour and industrial cases.


It was also felt that the procedures at the non-specialized Courts were too slow and cumbersome such that a nation desirous of rapid industrialization and socio-economic development could not afford to be bogged down by such procedures and delays. Therefore, such nations as Trinidad & Tobago, America and India have seen wisdom in establishing specialized Courts to handle labour and industrial disputes. Nigeria has also found it necessary to establish the National Industrial Court (hereinafter called NIC) - a specialized Court - to handle labour and trade dispute matters. The scope of this paper is to examine the past, present and future of the National Industrial Court. Thus, we are going to make a historical legal analysis of the past and the present of the NIC, and a prognostication into its future.

History

It is certain that the NICN now has enormous burdens and responsibilities to shoulder given the very wide jurisdiction conferred on it. For it to be able to rise up to expectation, the following measures has been taken
1. The aggressive expansion of the court. As the jurisdiction of the court has been tremendously increased, the need arises to appoint more judges to handle the deluge of cases that are bound to ensue. More courts has been built to cover all the States of the Federation as the services of the court will now be needed dearly in all the states of the Federation in view of the subject-matters covered by the court’s jurisdiction, some of which are highly litigious matters. To complement the appointment of more judges, more supporting staff has also been appointed to service the additional Judges, and additional courts has been built across the state of the federation.
2. Establishment of Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre for Mediation and Reconciliation.
3. The Rules of the Court has been reviewed to accord with the present innovations. Court Rules 2017
4. Capacity building programmes for the staff of the court in order to acquaint them with the necessary skills needed to effectively assist the court to achieve its core establishment objectives.
5. There has been tremendous enlightenment campaigns to bring the court into the consciousness of the people. This is being done by organizing lectures involving stake-holders in the administration of justice particularly those connected with the subject-matters of the court.
6. Recently, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria Launched an official Mobile App for the Court which is one of the first kind in Africa, as this would help in opening up the Court to the public as directed by the Ag. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen in one of his public speechees.
7. ICT digitalization of the judiciary in tandem with best global practices standard, hearing notification and case filling is being done electronically different from the traditional ways of doing it in other courts.