Jun 9, 2020

Leveraging Technology in Justice Administration | Caroline Ibharuneafe

 

Technology is now an inevitable and indispensable part of our daily lives. Also technological revolution over the last 20 years has resulted in many breakthroughs even in business and the legal profession is not immune to the effects of same.
 
The Nigerian justice system is however playing catch-up with the current trends in advancement of IT. We are still trying to get a grasp of Virtual Hearings and social media while the world has moved on to various forms of artificial intelligence infused in the system of justice administration.
 
It is undisputable that applying technology in justice administration will increase efficiency, promote easy research and allow for better user friendly experiences of court users, litigants and parties.  Applying technology in justice administration would also eradicate inaccuracy, lack of transparency and many of the problems we are faced with today. The major area where technology has been deployed in justice administration is E-filing and recently Virtual Proceedings but the latter still leaves many questions unanswered. Another area where it would be safe to deploy technology is the Case Management System. It is appalling that Nigerian Judges still make use of short hand in recording proceedings. It is essential that we deploy technology that would ease the burden of our judges.
 
Irrespective of the fact that technology in justice administration has its advantages, there are still some challenges facing it. One of such is the provision and maintenance of equipment and poor power supply, the failure of our rules of procedure to accommodate digital evidence presentation system and also, the fact that some of our rules and laws are not proactive.
 
With the world now a global village, it is necessary that the Nigerian judiciary be carried along. It is therefore important that judges of every state and at all levels must be technologically inclined. Our justice system must catch up with its foreign counterparts so that Nigeria would remain relevant in this changing global world and we remain relevant in global discussions and decisions.
 
Caroline Ibharuneafe, Esq
Past Vice – Chairman, NBA Ikeja
#integrity + accuracy
 
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