FG convenes Summit on Justice to address critical challenges in justice sector

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By Ebere Agozie

The Federal Government is to convene national policy summit on Justice to address critical challenges in the justice sector April 24.

Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, made this known while addressing a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the summit is organised by the Ministry of Justice, alongside the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the summit is ‘Repositioning the Justice System: Constitutional, Statutory, and Operational Reforms for Access and Efficiency.

He noted that the summit will usher in a new era of positive change and progress in the justice sector, ensuring a fair, accessible, and efficient legal system that upholds the rule of law while safeguarding fundamental human rights.

“This crucial event seeks to address the significant challenges plaguing Nigeria’s justice sector and pave the way for much-needed reforms that will make justice more accessible to all Nigerians.

“Key stakeholders from across the country will engage in constructive discussions and develop practical solutions that prioritise the justice needs of the average Nigerian.

“It is unique opportunity to collectively tackle the pressing issues hindering the efficient, fair, and people-centered delivery of justice in our nation.

“They will share their invaluable knowledge and expertise and proffer constructive solutions for making the justice system more efficient and accessible to all Nigerians’’.

According to him, the summit will also deliberate on draft legislations proposed to address specific identified challenges within the justice sector, relating to the judicial appointments process, administration, funding and budgeting for the judiciary.

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“It will eliminate delays and inefficiencies in justice delivery and evolve ways to reduce the amount of time for adjudication of cases, eliminate some of the associated technicalities, and reduce the number of cases getting to the Supreme Court.

“In this regard, we intend to look at a situation where many cases will terminate at the Court of Appeal to reduce the burden on our noble justices of the supreme court’’.

Fagbemi said that the summit’s goal is to review, validate, and adopt the revised National Policy on Justice 2024- 2028 to drive prison reforms, access to justice for the average Nigerian.

“It will also review electoral laws and procedures in handling election related cases, among several other reforms.

“The comprehensive policy document outlines a broad framework and initiatives in 17 thematic areas aimed at reforming the justice sector to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility to all Nigerians.

“It also ensures that justice is not just a privilege for the few, but a right for all’’.

He said the policy aims to address various challenges within the legal framework, seeking to promote social cohesion, bolster economic development, and foster good governance.

“These proposed laws will serve as a catalyst for collective action, provide a guiding framework for relevant governmental institutions to establish an effective, efficient, and people-centered justice system.

“We cannot afford to remain complacent in the face of the obstacles impeding the efficient delivery of justice for all Nigerians.

“This is an opportunity for us to unite our efforts, leverage our collective expertise, and chart a course toward a more just and equitable society. (NAN)
EPA/SH

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Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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