Vice President Yemi Osinbajoandthenation’sChief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad have called for a purpose-built technology solutions for the court to fast track administration of justice system with a view to making citizens access to justice.
Theysaidthisatatwo-dayvirtual conference facilitated by Nigeria’s foremostlegaltechnologiescompany, LawPavilion Business Solutions Limited in collaboration with Telnet Group. However, Osinbajo, who delivered a keynote speech with goodwill messages from the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad and the outgoing President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro (SAN, said the conference was timely as there was no alternative to an important role technology would play in legal services and the administration of justice in Nigeria.
At the conference was the unveiling and launching of e-Library of the Laws of Lagos State on the LawPavilion platform by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was his Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN).
He said LawPavillion which was already working in collaboration with the Law Reform Commission of Lagos State would make the e-library platform and the Laws of Lagos State easily accessible andrelevantfortheuseof Lagosiansandthepublic. Besides, hesaidtheAnnotatede-lawsof LagosState on the platform would also highlight how the courts andtheresidentsinteractwiththelaws, leveragingon machine learning and artificial intelligence.
This approach would ensure that new laws and court’s decisions would be data-driven with its finger on the pulse of the general citizenry. Another noteworthy highlight of the conference was the unveiling of the LawRights App, a solution from the stables of LawPavilion for the use of the general public to know and understand their constitutional rights, have access to lawyers and law firms from within the app and where necessary, initiate the process of adjudication where rights had been abused or trampled upon.
However, in his remarks, Justice Tanko Muhammad alluded to the giant strides that had been taken bytheapexcourtinrecentyearsbyadoptingtheuseof courtmanagementsoftware, demonstrating amarked departure from the analogue system of adjudication. He reiterated the support of the judiciary in adopting new technologies that accelerate the delivery of justice to Nigerians.
He was echoed by the NBA President, who pointed out that access to justice and upholding rule of law would remain a mirage where the average citizen was ignorant of his rights under the law or deprived of widespread access to regulatory bodies and the government agencies that would ensure that citizens’ rights were not trampled upon and commended the LawRights App that had just being unveiled by LawPavilion, as a ground-breaking solution for Nigerians, including stakeholders in the administration of justice and legal services industries.
Consolidating on the remarks of the CJN and the NBA President, Osinbajo expressed his elation at the willingness and rapid adoption of technology exemplified by the Supreme Court in giving its stamp of approval to virtual court sittings.
According to him, technology had no doubt aided the democratization of law and justice in Nigeria, calling for purpose-built solutions for the administration of justice in Nigeria by local legal and technology companies in the country. Osinbajo pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to support tech companies Nigerians adapt to the new global realities being powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated technology solutions.
Also, in terms of whether the legal service and judiciary were walking the talk when it came to using technology to enhance and improve delivery of services, MD of Telnet Group, Mr. Folorunsho Aliu, took anoptimisticviewthatthesectorandNigeriawasona journeytogettingbetteronhowtechnologywasbeing used and harnessed for justice and economic growth.
He was of the opinion that lessons and ideas that will emerge from the conference will be instrumental towards more widespread adoption and use of legal technology in Nigeria.