Don advocates Faculty of Justice in Nigerian varsities - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Don advocates Faculty of Justice in Nigerian varsities


By Peter Adedoyin

In order to bring the consciousness of justice to students undergoing legal training, a Professor of Law, Charles Adekoya, has advocated the renaming of Faculty of Law in Nigerian universities to either 'Faculty of Justice' or 'Faculty of Law and Justice.'

Adekoya, who is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, made the call while delivering the 103rd Inaugural Lecture of the institution. 

The lecture entitled, "Betrayal of the Poor in Accessing Justice in Nigeria: The Judas in our Midst," was held at the Otunba Gbenga Daniel Lecture Theatre, Main Campus, Ago-Iwoye.  

The event was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, with several eminent personalities also in attendance. 

Prof. Adekoya posited that the proposed change in nomenclature of the place of training lawyers in Nigerian varsities was part of measures to narrow the civil justice gap for the poor in the country. 

He said, "We often lose consciousness of the place of justice in legal issues and often forget that the whole apparatus of law is geared towards the attainment of justice. These are the reasons we have Ministries of Justice and High Courts of Justice. Judicial officials are called Justices but the place of training lawyers do not have the reflection in name. 

"It is high time we changed the nomenclature used in the description of our faculties to either Faculty of Justice or Faculty of Law and Justice to bring the consciousness of justice to our students. This is the practice in some other climes. 

"In order to activate the consciousness of justice in legal training, it might be worthwhile to reconsider having a faculty of law simpli citer without justice. Faculties of Law need to get the objective of legal education right by educating for justice and not for law per se in order to narrow the civil justice gap for the poor."

The don expressed concern over what he described as the humongous challenges in accessing justice in Nigeria, especially by the poor. 

According to him, the poor and the vast majority of the disadvantaged members of the society often lack access to justice due to complex court procedure, costs of filing, service and legal fees, non-justiciability of social and economic rights, inefficient administration of justice and corruption, among other obstructive factors.

He declared that there must be concerted efforts by stakeholders in the justice sector, including the government, judges, lawyers and court users, to remove all the impediments militating against the administration of justice in the country. 

Prof. Adekoya said, "Where grievances cannot be resolved through the court among other means as a result of lack of access, the society becomes more polarised, thus brewing further conflicts since justice is the foundation of peace.

"In spite of the problem of justice gap, there is conspiracy of silence and migration from humanity. There is therefore the need for government at all levels and stakeholders in the justice sector to prioritise access to justice by closing the justice gap through the removal of all obstructions to access it. Concrete steps must be taken to ensure easy, cheap, flexible and effective access to justice."

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