What are the civil jurisdictions of the High Court? What power does the High Court have?
In civil cases, the High Court has the jurisdiction to try all civil proceedings where:
- the cause of action arose;
- the defendant or one of the several defendants resides or has his place of business;
- the facts on which the proceedings are based exist or are alleged to have occurred; or
- any land the ownership of which is disputed is situated,
within the local jurisdiction of the court.
Similarly, in any case where all parties consent in writing, the court can also adjudicate the matter even though the matter is within the local jurisdiction of the other High Court.
Section 24 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 [Act 91] provides the High Court civil jurisdiction to include:
- jurisdiction under any written law relating to divorce and matrimonial causes;
- the same jurisdiction and authority in relation to matters of admiralty as is had by the High Court of Justice in England under the United Kingdom Supreme Court Act 1981;
- jurisdiction under any written law relating to bankruptcy or to companies;
- jurisdiction to appoint and control guardians of infants and generally over the person and property of infants;
- jurisdiction to appoint and control guardians and keepers of the person and estates of idiots, mentally disordered persons and persons of unsound mind; and
- jurisdiction to grant probates of wills and testaments and letters of administration of the estates of deceased persons leaving property within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court and to alter or revoke such grants.
Under the Section 27 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 [Act 91], the appellate civil jurisdiction of the High Court shall consist of the hearing of appeals from the Subordinate Courts. The High Court also has the power to examine record of proceedings transmitted to it by the Subordinate Courts on any question, which arises as to the effect of any provision of the Constitution.
Section 32 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 provides the High Courts with revisionary power for dealing with civil cases. However, no proceeding by way of revision will be entertained by the High Court at the instance of a party who could have appealed.
Finally, the High Court also has general supervisory and revisionary jurisdiction over all Subordinate Courts.
Back to the top
Related Knowledge Base Issues