The Court of Appeal has released new Rules. The new Rules is to be cited as “Court of Appeal Rules, 2021”.

By Order 2 thereof, the Rules came into force on November 1, 2021 and repeals the 2016 Rules

By the new Rules, the Notice of appeal can be served personally or through electronic means.

Click Here To Download the Court of Appeal Rules, 2021

Furthermore, Motions are now required to be accompanied by a Written Address and are deemed argued even when Appellant fails to appear in court.

There are 22 innovations in the 2021 Rules. Unlike the 2016 Rules which had 21 Orders, the 2021 Rules has 25 Rules.

1. Or 2, r1 (a) allows for service of Notice of Appeal to be effected personally or by electronic mail•

2. Or 2, r4(1) states that a Respondent upon being served with a Notice of Appeal shall within 14 days furnish to the Registrar of the lower Court, a notice of his address for service.

3. Or3, r11(2) regulates the number of Counsel that will appear before the Court of Appeal. SANs shall appear with not more than 5 other Counsel, others not appear with more than 2 other Counsel.

4. Or10, r11(2)-the entry of appeal does not affect proceedings in relation to matters in the lower Court not impacted by the appeal to the Court of Appeal.

5. Or6, r1(a)&(b) requires all applications to be supported by affidavit and written address. Timelines are also provided. Respondent who intends to oppose shall has 5 days to file process which shall not exceed 5 pages, while reply by Applicant shall be filed within 3 days and not exceed 3 pages.

6. Or6, r11 cost shall be awarded against a Counsel who allows an incompetent application by an Applicant without bringing same to the attention of the notice of the Court.

7. Or8, r4 regularisation of Records shall be deemed to have been filed within the 90 days period, not in the day the application for extension of time was granted.

8. Or8, r5 where Record is compiled by a Appellant, the Record shall be served physically and electronically on the Respondent.

9. Or8, r11 deposit of cost not less than 50,000 Naira save for indigent persons, governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, States or government agencies.

10. Or10,r1 preliminary objection shall be argued in the brief.

11. Or16, the Court of Appeal Mediation Program (CAMP) has been replaced with Court of Appeal Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (CAADRP).

12. Or19,r12 time would not run during the occurrence of any event which disrupts the normal conduct of the business of the Court.

13. Order 20 establishes electronic filing of processes in the Court of Appeal.

14. Or20, r3 filing after 2pm would be deemed to have been filed in next working day.

15. Or 20,r4 states that a process shall be deemed to have been filed upon payment of the relevant fees.

16. Or20,r5 electronic filing shall run parallel with manual filing.

17. Order 21 is on virtual hearing. Rule 2 states that it shall be accessible to the public.

18. Or 21,r4 requires Justices of the Court and Counsel to be fully robed during virtual hearings.

19. Order 22 provides for case scheduling and management system.

20. Or24,r1 provides for vacation of the Court for a period not exceeding 10 weeks between July and September of each year, as the President may decide.

21. The Court, unless the President decides, shall not sit during Easter, Christmas or Sallah periods. Or24,r2

22. Or24,r3 the time for filing of briefs shall not run during the period of annual vacation.

By Somina Johnbull of NBA Yenagoa Branch

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