The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has charged both legal and research assistants in the judiciary on the need to play key roles in the overall process of justice administration.
The CJN made the statement on Tuesday in Abuja while delivering a welcome address, at the opening ceremony of the national workshop for legal and research assistants held at the National Judicial Institute.
The theme of the workshop which was held via ‘Virtual Technology’ is ‘Repositioning the Judicial Researcher to function in the 21st Century’
At the ceremony, CJN told the participants that their actions and inactions can either speed up or delay justice dispensation.
He stated further: “This workshop has become necessary as it is capable of contributing in no small measure to the enrichment of your capacity as Research Assistants in the daily discharge of your duties.
“The significance of the role played by Research Assistants in aiding judicial officers in the task of adjudication, especially when it comes to judgment writing, amongst other things cannot be overemphasised. Legal research is onerous, and that is more so, considering the congestion cases in our courts, notwithstanding the availability of qualified and capable judicial officers.”
On relationship between judges and legal assistants, the CJN added: “I am of the view that there must be a synergy between them in order to ensure effectiveness, integrity and rare commitment to work.
While enjoining participants to get familiar with case law and landmark judgment, the CJN also implore them to upgrade their knowledge of ICT, saying it would enhance not only their efficiencies but, also timeliness in justice delivery.
While giving a welcome address at the ceremony, the Administrator, National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Rosaline Patricia Bozimo stated that the workshop was designed to deepen participant’s knowledge and competence in the line of duties.
Bozimo observed further that the opportunity to interact and exchange of ideas provided by the workshop would not only help stimulate participant’s thoughts, but would also validate roles of legal assistants in the day-to-day administration of justice in court.
“I dare say that your position as legal assistants is the excellent foundation for a career in the judiciary. This is because it affords you the opportunity to broaden your knowledge, which is a vital tool for success,” he said.
The administrator thereafter charged participants at the workshop to be dedicated to duties in order to ensure continuous improvement in the quality of judgment delivered in courts.