By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—-Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, called for more application of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, mechanisms in peace building efforts across the federation.
The CJN said it would better serve the ends of justice if lawyers would inculcate the habit of first encouraging their clients to explore ADR options before resorting to legal actions.
Justice Onnoghen insisted that adversarial system of resolving conflict was no longer fashionable.
Consequently, he urged Nigerian Law School to only post their students to law firms with ADR facilities for their chambers attachment, saying it was imperative for law firms in the country to make provisions for out-of-court methods of promoting peace and harmony in the society.
The CJN spoke at the inauguration of the Bar and Bench House, a law firm in Abuja.
In his speech presented by Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, the CJN said: “People are now moving away from adversarial system of dispute resolution to Alternative Dispute Resolution; this promotes peace and harmony in the society.
“The Law School should only send students to law firms with ADR facilities like we have seen in this edifice of the Bar and Bench House.”
The CJN lauded the principal partner of the Bar and Bench Publishers, Chief Ogwu Onoja, SAN, for erecting a “world-class edifice” for providing training resources for both judges and lawyers.
He said: “This edifice represents a congenial atmosphere for judges and lawyers. It represents world-class in terms of standards. Chief Onoja’s calmness represents diligence and high sense of articulation.
“The Bar and Bench House is a meeting point for judges and lawyers, and we will seek the firm’s collaboration in the training of lawyers.”
Speaking on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Mr. Israel Olorundare, SAN, commended Chief Onoja, whose 50th birthday coincided with the inauguration of the building, for the “huge investment he has made in furtherance of legal jurisprudence in Nigeria.”
Meantime, in his address of welcome, Chief Onoja said expressed concerns over what he termed “archaic laws of antiquities in our statutes book.”
He said: “These laws are not only prejudicial to effective justice system, they are contrary to good reason and conscience. They are anachronism and abandoned legal relics in our statutes books begging for repeal by the parliament.”