Friday, August 1, 2014 6:00 pm
Abuja – A Lagos-based lawyer, Adamu Alimi, on Friday called for the overhaul of the court system in the country to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.
Alimi, said that lack of adequate facilities for judges and the use of long hand by judges, amongst other factors, had led to slow justice administration in the country, advising the judiciary to learn from the U.S.
“My major concern is the administration of the court system. Our judges are over-laboured; our judges write long hand; our judges don’t have enough facilities; our judges do not have enough researchers.
“In California, what they do is that the judge has a battery of assistants. They have court clerks, they have court reporters. The judge does not write long hand.
“When he is there, the court reporter is typing and there is an interface with the judge, the judge sees everything that is going on there, so the issue of delay actually is eliminated.
“Another good thing about what they do there is this: when a judge takes over a case and that judge is not available, on a court date, you could go there, they give you the file and take it to the next judge that is available.
“The judge to whom a case is assigned at the preliminary stage does not necessarily have to be the judge that will hear the case.
“With all these, you find that they find a way to efficiently and effectively manage time. It’s a feature we should try to adopt here.“
Alimi also said that ensuring the independence of the judiciary would help in tackling the challenges facing the administration of justice in the country.
“When I was growing up the system I knew of was a situation where the judiciary, especially the judges, received their funding from the consolidated revenue fund.
“Now, by paying judiciary money into the general purse you subject the judges and the judiciary to manipulation.“