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Case management: Lawyers harp on automation

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Some Lagos-based lawyers on Thursday said that automation of operations of Nigerian court system was overdue to  de-congest them and enhance justice administration.

The lawyers told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that manual operation was outdated, congested the courts and slowed dispensation of justice.

According to them, automation of the operations would  ensure allocation of cases to judges and determination of same in record time.

Mr Michael Dugeri, a Senior Associate Partner with Austen Peters and Co. Law Firm in Lagos State, said that automation  of case assignment would eliminate  “painful” delays in justice delivery.

“The manner of assignment of court cases  leaves a lot to be desired, except in few courts including  the National Industrial Court.

“The process is painfully slow, grossly inefficient and unnecessarily expensive.

“As a way out, assignment of cases in our courts should be fully automated.

“There is a lot of technology that can be deployed, which can seamlessly assign cases upon completion of filing of process; the system then sends electronic notifications to all parties involved, with basic details of the case.

“This will go a long way in eliminating  delays in the administration of justice ,” he said.

A rights campaigner, Mr Malcolm Onirhobo of Malcom Omirhibo and Co., regretted  that even when a lawyer  filed all processes timely, manual operation of the courts would delay justice delivery in the case.

He said that delay in assigning cases was alarming, claiming that in some cases, it was done once in a week.

He urged that such a duty should be delegated when necessary to eliminate delay, while awaiting automation.

Omirhibo said that case assignment should be automated “just like what we have in banks today so as to ensure quick case management”.

” I suggest that cases should be assigned on daily basis through an automated system so that, as they come in, they are assigned to the various judges.

“This will reduce  workload on courts,” he said.

He also called for appointment of more judges to ease operations.

Umeh Sandra: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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