The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke yesterday launched the new High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 which enforcement will commence January 31.
Speaking at the launch, Justice Oke said the principal target of reform of any reform is to facilitate total justice delivery by ensuring speedy dispensation of justice and the restoration of public confidence in our judicial system.
She regretted that for a very long time, excessive delay has been an embarrassing feature of the administration of justice adding, stressing that the inadequacies in the state’s civil procedure rules and abuse of its provisions were identified as a contributory factor to the delay.
Oke explained that a number of the procedures in the old rules could not meet the demands of modern civil justice and fell starkly behind international best standards, informing that it became necessary to review the 2012 version of the Civil Procedure Rules to meet the obvious reality and that in terms of efficiency, accessibility and effectiveness, civil justice delivery remained deficient.
In her words, “It, therefore, became expedient to address these problems by introducing reforms directed towards the achievement of a just, speedy and efficient administration of justice in line with the commitment statement of this administration. A review was also essential to further reinforce the independence of the judiciary and address the lacuna identified in the 2012 Rules.
Oke declared further that one of the reasons why the Administration of Justice in Lagos State has been highly revered is because of its leadership in international best practices reform, stressing that the New Rules 2019 is in line with international best practices and comparable with any global jurisdiction.
She remarked that with the new court rules, local and foreign investors would be more attracted to a global Lagos which has an efficient and effectual rule of law-driven business environment.
She said it was in this light that the review of the 2012 Rules was kick-started in 2018 and a 15-man Rules Review Committee was set up under the leadership of Hon Justice Kazeem Alogba to review and ensure an all-inclusive civil procedure rules.