Bar and Bench forum can address delays in justice delivery – Lawyer

 A constitutional lawyer, Mr Spurgeon Ataene, on Wednesday advocated the need for establishment of a routine Bar and Bench forum with a view to addressing delays in justice delivery.

Ataene spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on ways to facilitate speedy justice delivery in Nigeria.

He said that a bar and bench forum be set up to receive complaints from lawyers, litigants and judges, about impediments in the justice delivery system.

“The forum should consist of three senior judges and three senior lawyers of not less than 15 years at the bar, who would sit every Friday to review complaints and find ways of solving them.

“In the new year, decorum at the bar and on the bench should be addressed.

“We are not saying that judges and magistrates should not be in control of their courts but they should listen more, talk less and give their verdicts accordingly.

“Everyone is a stakeholder in the dispensation of justice; lawyers also should cease being cantankerous and address issues with finesse and mutual respect; the bar- bench forum can address this also,” he said.

Ataene also urged that the process of selecting judges should go beyond the practice of “who know man”.

He said that judges must be drawn from a circle of knowledgeable practitioners.

“Te appointment of judges must go beyond a family or clan matter.

“The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is, therefore, called upon to lend its voice in this regard.

“Every Nigerian has the right to aspire to any position including those of judges if qualified; thus, it is important that justice stakeholders do not allow a hijack of the process. (NAN)