WHETHER A COURT IS BOUND BY A PREVIOUS DECISION TO EXERCISE ITS DISCRETION IN A RESTRICTED WAY  

 

Admin2
Joined: 11 months ago
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23/06/2020 11:04 am  
"Let me restate that the assessment of the quantum of general damages is at the discretion of the Court. Judicial discretion is a vital tool in the administration of justice. Judicial discretion is a sacred power which inures to a Judge. It is an armour which the judge employs judicially and judiciously in order to arrive at a just decision. In matters of judicial discretion, since the facts of two cases are not always the same, Courts do not make it a practice to lay down rules and principles that would fetter the exercise of its discretion or the discretion of the Lower Courts. In matters of discretion, no one case is an authority for the other. Also, the fact that the Appellate Court would have exercised its discretion differently from that of the Lower Court is not sufficient reason to interfere with the exercise of discretion by the Trial Court. A Court cannot be bound by a previous decision to exercise its discretion in a regimented way because that would be putting an end to discretion. The Court will not interfere with the exercise of discretion in the absence of proof that it was wrongly exercised. No hard and fast rules can be laid down as to the exercise of judicial discretion by a Court, for the moment that is done, the discretion is fettered. See  Anyah vs. African Newspapers (Nig) Ltd (1992) LPELR (511) 1 at 20 -21, Ajuwa vs. SPDC (2011) 12 SCNJ 596, Adisa vs. Oyinwola (2000) 10 NWLR (PT 746) 116, Nwadiogbu vs. Anamba Imo River Basin Devt Authority (2010) 12 SCNJ 212, NNPC vs. Clifco Nig Ltd (2011) 4 SCNJ 107 at 127-128 and Vandighi vs. Hale (2014) LPELR (24196) 1 at 52-53. - PER U. A. OGAKWU, J.C.A

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