Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) says that courts in Nigeria will soon adopt an innovative technology solution to improve delivery of justice in the country.
Under the plan, the so-called Nigeria Case Management System (NCMS), a technological innovation is being introduced to enhance efficient justice delivery and case management in the country.
Onnoghen made this known during a refresher course for magistrates, organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja.
He says the innovative case management system is presently being piloted by the Supreme Court and will soon be rolled out to the strata of courts in the country.
The technology has transformed the manner in which service of court processes, record keeping and retrieval of data and other operations are carried out in courts, the CJN says.
“Technology has afforded us the opportunity to have virtual libraries and law reports at our finger tips. Case management tools can now be accessed 24 hours a day from the comfort of our homes and hearing notices will, in the nearest future be e-mailed to lawyers once enrolment on the judiciary’s Nigerian Legal E-Mail System (NILES), is fully achieved in conjunction with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA),” according to Onnoghen.
The deadline for paper court processes in the Supreme Court to be migrated to the new technology has been has been fixed for July 2018, Onnoghen says while asking magistrates to be proficient in the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT), as the e-proficiency would became a veritable pre-requisite for career advancement within the judiciary.
While charging the magistrates to carry out their judicial functions in line with the constitution of the country, he also hints that “continuous judicial education is a mandatory requirement for every judicial officer who sits on the Bench for adjudication.”
According to the CJN, “it is pertinent to remind you as Magistrates, that you must be mindful of your professional duties as well as the ethical content of the Code of Conduct for judicial officers.
“It is an indispensable guide to the proper conduct and performance of your duties.”
The CJN in addition, enjoined the magistrates to take charge of their courts in the discharge of their judicial functions.
Justice Rosaline Bonito, the Administrator, NIJ in her welcome address, stated that the theme of the course, “Promoting excellence in the administration of justice in lower courts”, was in line with the current drive of the CJN to ensure that excellence in service delivery is enhanced at all levels of the judicial process in Nigeria.
She explains that the course was organised by the Institute in fulfillment of its statutory mandate for judicial officers and their supporting staff with a view to expanding and improving their overall knowledge and performance in their duties.