Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said there was room for innovative technology that will be suitable for use in the courtroom.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said the vice-president spoke at the virtual Townhall Meeting of the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN).
The theme of the meeting is “How to build the right mindset for a better Nigeria, post Covid-19.”
The vice-president said Covid-19 challenges could be a turning point for innovative thinking especially towards resolving the numerous challenges faced by humanity.
He said of importance to lawyers or lawyers in the making were what the challenges meant for lawyers and where the opportunities lied.
“So, the Supreme Court has recently endorsed virtual court proceedings; this means that there will be plenty of opportunities for new technologies adapted to the dynamics of the courtroom.
“So, there is room there for innovative technology that will be suitable for use in the courtroom and I know that there are so many ideas that people are coming up with but there is plenty of room for thinking that through.”
Osinbajo said virtual court proceedings were not the same as in-person or live court proceedings.
“When you are sitting in your office, conducting a case, the record-keeping will be totally a different issue; what will the protocols be for cross-examination, for making submissions?
“How does the judge look at the question of demeanour? It is a bit more difficult to look at people’s demeanour when you are using virtual processes such as we are using today. So, we need to be able to define what the rules will be.”
He said there was a two-fold global crisis – health crisis and economic crisis and the combined effects had resulted in possibly the greatest socio-economic crisis in recent history.
“So, for about two months, at the direction of President Muhammadu Buhari, I led an inter-ministerial team mandated to look specifically at how to resolve some of the issues around the pandemic, its impact and draw up a response plan.
“That response plan is what we call the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) and we have a committee called the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) which is to implement ESP and I also have the privilege of chairing this committee.”