The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen has said that proficiency in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) will soon became an item in considering promotion of judicial officers.
Onnghen urges judges and magistrates to enhance their knowledge of ICT usage and ensure they in continuous learning as the society, more than ever before, expects a smart and efficient judiciary.
He urged judcial officers and magistrates to always be guided by their code of conduct to enable the Judiciary retain its integrity and confidence in the eyes of the public.
The CJN spoke at the 2018 refresher course for magistrates, organised by the National Judicial Institute, Abuja. It has as its theme: “Promoting excellence in the administration of judtice in the lower courts.”
Onnoghen said the course is intended to renew the culture of excellence and create avenue for magistrates from different jurisdictions to exchange ideas and enhance their professional skills.
He said: “I urge you to ensure that you are proficient in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
“Indeed, I must inform you that e-proficiency will become a veritable pre-requisite for career advancement within our Judiciary in no distant future.
“Therefore, it will be in your own interest to key in these reforms, in order not to be left behind like a fossil, while the rest of the Judiciary make the evolutionary leap into an automated Judiciary.
“No doubt, technology has gradually transformed the manner in which activities in our courts are carried out, such as service of court processes, record keeping and retrieval of data and other operations.
“I therefore urge you to embrace technology in discharging your judicial responsibilities within the ambit of the law.
“Let me remind you that with the rapid growth of our population and advancement in technologies, the challenges of dispute resolution in the 21st Century are enormous.
“We are therefore faced with an ever present clamour and demand for speedy, affordable and efficient administration of justice.
“Our ability to respond to the growing demands of judicial services goes a long way in determining our credibility and integrity. “You will agree with me that we must continuously rise to the occasion in order to justify public confidence reposed in the Judiciary.
“It is pertinent to remind you as magistrates, that you must be mindful of your professional duties as well as the ethical content of our Code of Conduct for Judicial officers.
“It is an indispensible guide to the proper conduct and performance of your duties. The Code ode Conduct for judicial officers embodies the best ethical practices that we must adopt if we are to uphold our independence and respect for the rule of law.
“I urge you to always take charge of your courts in the discharge of your judicial functions.
“You must remain diligent, conscientious and imbibe the fear of the Almighty God in the discharge of your duties,” Onnoghen said.