Access to Justice wants CJN to review timing of judges’ conference

Buhari at judges' conference

Access to Justice (A2J) has advised the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to review the timing of the bi-annual judges conferences in the interest of the speedy administration of justice in Nigeria.

The last conference which lasted for five days held last week.

The conference was organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI).

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen is the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Institute

In a statement signed by it deputy director, Dr. Adenike Aiyedun, the group said conferences should, be re-timed to take place during court vacation to minimize the impact it has on the business of the courts, the same way the Nigerian Bar Association does.

“It is instructive to note that in quite a number of countries, judicial conferences are held on weekends or public holidays in order that the conferences do not affect the official businesses of the courts,” the group said.

According to the group, the judiciary is interested in cutting trial delays but it must now walk the talk and introduce reforms that remove all the factors that occasion delays in the trial system.

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“Any talk about reforming the speed at which justice is administered must include a commitment, indeed a covenant, not to place any other duty on judges above the duty to adjudicate over their various dockets.

“To reduce court delays therefore, the judiciary must prioritize the rendering of a judge’s adjudicative functions above every other activity of its judges.

“In any event, taking a stand that Judicial Conferences will no longer disrupt courts’ adjudicative functions will set a worthy example for every stakeholder in the justice system.

“It is instructive to note that at opening of the ongoing judicial conference, President Muhammadu Buhari lamented that court cases can drag on for years and years, sometimes decades without resolution” the group stressed.