How are you? How is your practice?
Just like you, I have been affected by the impact of COVID-19 on law practice. And also like you, I am working hard to make the most of the situation.
Before I go on to tell you one of the ways I intend to make things better, I would like to remind you about verification. Tomorrow is the last day. Do well to complete it if you haven’t already, so that you can exercise your right to vote. Please, call 081 6801 1578; 081 6537 4194; 081 6503 7594 or 081 6718 1605 if you have any challenges with the process.
Now to the subject of this message.
As an intrinsic part of the process of improving the efficiency of our justice sector, the NBA under my leadership will place emphasis on the utilization of technology. Technological advancements are such that they can enable us to skip several steps in the journey to increased efficiency.
In order to maximize the utility of technology however, we need to change our mindset to enable us to see technology as an enabler and not as a threat. For example, with available technology, there is no reason why our courts should still be recording proceedings in longhand. There should be provision for verbatim recording or transcription of proceedings, thus freeing up the Judges to focus on assessing witness evidence or the submissions of counsel.
With our recent and ongoing experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is obvious that the use of technology would have enabled our courts to ensure continuity and the provision of essential judicial services during what are, unarguably unprecedented and difficult circumstances. The necessity occasioned by the pandemic has made the increased utilization of and reliance on technology imperative and I am aware that the current administration of the NBA is engaging with the judiciary with a view to ramping up capacity in this regard.
If elected President of the NBA, I will continue this engagement with the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Heads of Court at Federal and State levels; with the Federal Attorney-General and the Attorneys-General of all the States to ensure that steps are taken to integrate the use of technology into our justice delivery processes at all levels, to enhance the efficiency of the justice sector.
In the video above, I have highlighted more of my thoughts on the use of technology not just in the justice sector but in law practice as a whole. Further details can be found in my manifesto which can be accessed at babatundeajibade.com/manifesto. Please, take some time to read through it. It details my thoughts on the NBA and my plan to make things better.
My name is Babatunde Ajibade. I am running for the office of President of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Let’s do better.
Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb