Judging judges determining the appropriate procedural framework that the JSC can use to handle cases of judges` criminal misconduct signed
Timona, Pepela Chore
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In recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented number of instances in which judges have been accused of criminal behaviour and other serious acts of misconduct. In the event of such misconduct, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) should be able to intervene and take appropriate disciplinary measures against the judge in question. However, in cases of criminal misconduct by judges, intervention by the JSC has proved to be problematic as it has led to a clash between the JSC’s constitutional mandate to deal with judges’ misconduct and the Director of Public Prosecution`s (DPP) prosecutorial powers. It is within this background that this study seeks to determine the scope of the JSC in dealing with cases of judges` criminal misconduct and thereafter propose an appropriate legal procedural framework that the JSC can use to deal with cases of judges` criminal misconduct. To determine the scope of the JSC in dealing with cases of judges’ criminal misconduct. The study assesses the cases of judges’ misconduct that the JSC has handled with the aim of establishing whether the JSC has a limited or unlimited scope when it comes to handling cases of judges’ misconduct. In identifying an appropriate legal procedural framework that can be used by the JSC in dealing with judges` criminal misconduct. The study does a comparative study that assesses Nigeria`s legal procedural framework governing judges` criminal misconduct with the aim of borrowing best practices from the Nigerian framework. The study uses Nigeria in the comparative study because Nigeria`s legal procedural framework governing judges` criminal misconduct adopts an elaborate procedural mechanism that balances their judicial disciplinary body`s constitutional mandate to deal with cases of judges criminal misconduct vis-à-vis their Directorate of Public Prosecutions mandate. The study further seeks to propose a legal procedural framework that safeguards judicial independence and promotes judicial accountability. The study realises its objectives through the use of case law and literature review.