Contempt of court

Just like any other profession, one of the occupational hazards of lawyers is their susceptibility to be cited for contempt by an irritable judge.

It is indeed difficult to define contempt of court, this is because it is so manifold in aspects but generally it may be described as any conduct which tend to bring into disrespect, scorn or disrepute the authority and administration of the law or which tends to interfere with and or prejudice litigants and/or their witnesses in the course of litigation. See ATAKE v. AGF & ANOR (1982) 11 S.C at page 175. IDIGBE JSC.

The purpose of the discipline enforced by the court in the case of contempt is the need to project the dignity of the court to the person of the judge and to prevent undue interference with the administration of justice but not to bolster the power and dignity of the judge as an individual.

There are two types of contempt:
Criminal Contempt: This consists of words or acts which obstruct or tend to obstruct or interfere with the administration of justice. To call a judge a liar or to allege he is partial.

Civil Contempt: This is contempt in procedure consisting of disobedience to the judgments, orders or other processes of court and involving a private injury.

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