In an interview with Senator Iyere Ihenyen, The Write House’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ihenyen said one of the ways to fight corruption in the judiciary is by ensuring that judges write sound decisions. As simple as this solution may sound, the interview got more engaging as Mr Ihenyen described how corruption thrives in a legal system where judicial thinking and judicial writing are unclear, unsound, and uninspiring.
“You want to fight corruption in the judiciary? Cure the disease of bad decision writing first. This disease alone afflicts the entire legal system in Nigeria. We need a cure. That cure, for me, is sound judicial writing. And now is the time to administer this cure on our judges”, said Mr Ihenyen.
Emphasizing how critical integrity is to justice administration in Nigeria, Mr Ihenyen, who doubles as Managing Partner at Assizes Lawfirm, thinks the National Judicial Council should be more proactive.
“Decision writing requires utmost integrity. Integrity in the judiciary starts with clear judicial thinking and sound judicial writing. NJC should not wait till DSS officers pay nocturnal visits to judges, putting the judiciary as an institution to disrepute. NJC should be proactive by investing in world-class continuing judicial education. Global best practices now require professional writing in the judicial job description. NJC needs to also review the way it appoints judicial officers.”
Responding to TheNigeriaLawyer’s question about how The Write House has contributed to continuing legal education for judges, Mr Ihenyen identified ways The Write House has been doing this. “Since 2012, we have been contributing to continuing legal education in Nigeria. One of the ways we do this is through our regular public workshops on legal writing and in-house training programs for courts, law firms, private organizations, and MDAs (Ministries, Departments, and Agencies).
Our Dean, Chinua Asuzu, has also published his book on judicial writing, “Judicial Writing: A Benchmark for the Bench”. This is also The Write House’s course book for our first judicial-writing workshop for judges and magistrates. The forthcoming workshop, first of its kind in Africa, will help judicial officers think clearly and write soundly”.
The Write House is a legal-writing training organization in Nigeria with courses on various aspects of legal writing. It recently concluded one of its public workshops in Lagos