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Lagos Chief Judge Promises to reform Judiciary

Lagos Chief Judge Promises to reform Judiciary The new Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, yesterday took the oath of office as the 14th head of the state’s

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قديم 06-15-2012, 09:30 PM
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افتراضي Lagos Chief Judge Promises to reform Judiciary

Lagos Chief Judge Promises to reform Judiciary

The new Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, yesterday took the oath of office as the 14th head of the state’s judiciary.
She promised to begin a reform of the Judiciary, beginning with computerisation of court operations. The CJ said the deployment of technology would, however, be in “bite-size phases” which existing infrastructure can accommodate. Writing court proceedings in longhand is said to slow down justice administration. The new CJ, renown for her Information Technology (IT) skills, said all that will soon become history.


Justice Phillips said: “We want practical, workable and lasting solutions. So, we will initially err on the side of caution and introduce technology gradually to improve the way we administer justice in the Lagos High Court.” The new CJ promised to protect the independence of the judiciary, saying she would ensure judges do not go out of bounds. She said: “We are mindful of the fact that our primary role is in a democratic dispensation. In fact, our duty is to interpret the law and Judge disputes. Every other role is ancillary to this and should not take precedence over it. “Indeed, our strength and independence derives from how strictly we stay within the bounds of this duty and not necessarily from how much we control.” Justice Phillips said the issue of jail delivery and prison decongestion would be tackled, while staff welfare would receive priority attention.

“What you can expect and what you certainly do deserve is a functional, efficient and proactive Judiciary to complement the efforts of the government in the administration of justice. That is what I promise we will try to achieve,” she said. Seeking the support of all stakeholders, Justice Philips said her “doors” would be open to those who desire to see the Judiciary progress but “firmly shut” to those “who have scores to settle”.

She urged lawyers and litigants to desist from “judge-bashing”, particularly in the media. According to her, “established modes of communication for those who have genuine reasons to complain” should be employed. Justice Phillips said: “All we ask is for the institution to be treated with the respect and the regard that it deserves, both inside and outside the courtroom. In this regard, I hope to collaborate very closely with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) at both the branch and national levels to raise the standards of our profession.”

Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) described Justice Phillips as a reformist and an upright judge. He said: “I believe I speak the minds of Lagosians that with Justice Phillips, we will expect a globally-competitive judiciary, a Judiciary that will not only be the last hope of the common man but their real hope; a Judiciary where justice will be assured. “I think that the people of Lagos are happy. I can assure the people of Lagos state that not only have we appointed a fearless and independent judge, we have appointed a reformist and an information technology-conscious judge.”

Lagos Chief Judge Promises to reform Judiciary


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