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SUPREME COURT ACT
   
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Part 1

General

3. (1) The number of Justices of the Supreme Court shall not exceed fifteen.

(2) Any person holding the office of Chief Justice of Benin or a Justice shall vacate that office when he attains the age of sixty-five years.


4. The Chief Justice shall take precedence of the other Justices of the Supreme Court, and the other Justices shall take precedence after the Chief Justice in accordance with the instructions of the President acting on the advice of the Advisory Judicial Committee.
5. (1) There shall be paid to the Chief Justice of Benin and to each of the Justices such salaries and allowances as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

(2) The salaries and allowances payable under the provisions of this section shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.


6. (1) The Federal Judicial Service Committee may appoint a Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court and such registrars, deputy registrars and other officers as may be deemed necessary.

(2) The Chief Registrar and other officers appointed under subsection (1) of this section shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be conferred or imposed upon them by any Act or rules of court, and subject thereto, by any directions of the Chief Justice of Benin.


7. The Supreme Court shall have and use as occasion may require a seal having a device or impression approved by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, with the inscription "The Supreme Court of Benin".


8. (1) The process of the Supreme Court shall run throughout the Federation.

(2) Any judgment of the Supreme Court shall have full force and effect  and shall be enforceable by all courts and authorities in any part of the Federation in like manner as if it were a judgment of the High Court of that part of the Federation.
9. Subject to the provision of any other enactment the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court shall be in accordance with this Act and Rules of Court.
10. The Supreme Court shall be duly constituted if it consists of not less than five Justices.
11. A single Justice of the Supreme Court may exercise any power vested in that court other than the final determination of any cause or matter:

Provided that-

(a) in criminal causes or matters, if any Justice refuses an application for the exercise of any such power, the person making the application shall be entitled to have his application determined by the Supreme Court; and

(b) in civil causes or matters, any order, direction or decision made or given in pursuance of the powers conferred by this section may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Supreme Court.


12. When, after any case or matter has been fully heard before the Supreme Court, judgment thereon is reserved for delivery on another day, then, on the day appointed for delivery of the judgment, it shall not be necessary for all those Justices before whom the cause or matter was heard to be present together in court, and it shall be lawful for the opinion of any of them to be reduced into writing and to be read by any other Justice; and in any such case the judgment of the court shall have the same force and effect as if the Justice whose opinion is so read had been present in court and had declared his opinion in person.


13. (1) In the exercise of its original jurisdiction the Supreme Court may, in any civil cause or matter in which it appears to the Court to be expedient, call in the aid of one or more assessors specially qualified, and hear the cause or matter wholly or partially with their assistance.

(2) The remuneration, if any, to be paid to such assessors shall be determined by the Court.


14. The Supreme Court shall have power to award costs in all civil proceedings in the Court, and, subject to any other enactment or to rules of Court, it shall be in the discretion of the Court to determine by whom and to what extent the same shall be paid.


15. (1) Subject to the provisions of any other enactment, in all proceedings before the Supreme Court the parties may appear in person or be represented by a legal practitioner entitled by or under any enactment or rules of court to practice in that Court.

(2) A person entitled to practice in the Supreme Court immediately before the commencement of this Act shall be entitled to practice as a legal practitioner in the Supreme Court unless he is suspended or prohibited from so practicing by or under the provisions of any enactment or rules of court.


16. (1) Where rights of appeal, with or without leave, from decisions of the Court of Appeal given in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction in respect of State matters are prescribed by the Law of a State, the Supreme Court shall, except in so far as other provision is made by any law enacted by, or having effect as if enacted by the National Assembly, have like jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from decisions of the Court of Appeal given in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction.

(2) In this section-

"decision" has the meaning assigned to it in section 277 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Benin;

"State matters" means a matter other than a matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List or the Concurrent Legislative List.



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