The Transnational Human Rights Review


National Industrial Court'

Document Type


English Abstract

In 2009, the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009 were introduced to improve administration of justice in human rights cases in Nigerian courts. The Rules established that all human rights cases could be filed in any High Court in the State where the violation occurred. Depending on the parties involved and the place of the violation, this gives wide opportunity for victims to file a case either at the Federal, State, or the Federal Capital Territory High Court. However, in 2011, the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria was altered and thereby vested with exclusive jurisdiction over human rights cases arising from labor relations in the National Industrial Court (NIC). With exclusive jurisdiction over such matters now vested in the NIC, High Courts have been excluded from exercising jurisdiction in labor-related human rights issues despite the fact the NIC is yet to have judicial divisions in all states of the federation. A critical study of these and other issues relating to the jurisdiction of the NIC in human rights would suggest the need to rethink the human rights jurisdiction of the Court. To correct the identified anomalies, this article advocates for lessons to be drawn from practices in South Africa, where the Labor Court still shares jurisdiction with other courts in labor-related human rights cases despite its exclusive jurisdiction in other labor matters.